Starting Nov. 13, Bradley Beach residents will be able to do something no other town’s residents have been able to do before: recycle their plastic bags, plastic film and plastic wrap at the foot of their curb.
The Borough of Bradley Beach and consumer goods company SC Johnson are running the pilot program from November 2019 to November 2020. According to Waste Management, four trillion plastic bags are used each year in the United States alone, and only 1 percent are returned for recycling.
Bags are typically used for less than an hour. As a result of the waste, an average 46,000 pieces of plastic are in each square mile of ocean, according to WM.
“This is a win for the environment, a win for Bradley Beach residents and a win for the plastic recycling market,” said Bradley Beach Mayor Gary Engelstad in a statement. “By participating in this program, residents can help safeguard our coast and minimize our plastic waste.”
Plastic film is recyclable at approximately 18,000 retail locations across the country according to the Association of Plastic Recyclers, but most municipalities don’t have a related curbside recycling program. For Bradley Beach’s pilot program, SC Johnson is providing funding for the collection vehicle, curbside bins and community engagement materials to increase awareness.
“Making it easier for people to recycle plastic is one the best ways to reduce waste,” said Fisk Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of SC Johnson, in a statement. “We’re proud to join Bradley Beach in this effort, and we thank the community for its leadership. I hope this is the first of many more pilot programs around the U.S.”
To participate, residents should place clean and dry plastic film items into a plastic bag, tie it, and place it in the curbside bin provided by SC Johnson next to their recycling bin on collection day starting Nov. 13. Once collected, the Bradley Beach Department of Public Works will sell the film to an end-market purchaser.
Other municipalities interested in a curbside recycling program for plastic film should contact SC Johnson at 262-260-2440.