About the Fanwood Recycling Center

Fanwood's recycling offers convenience  

As published earlier by The Suburban News


FANWOOD--It is well known by now that Fanwood recycles a greater part of its solid waste than any other community in Union County. Remarkably, this consistently high level is maintained in spite of the fact that Fanwoodians do not have the 'luxury' of curbside pick-up of their recyclable materials but must bring their recyclables to the Fanwood recycling center. 


The center is maintained by the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Recycling Association, which is composed of some 20 individual non-profit organizations such as Boy and Girl Scouts, various charitable organizations, and various church groups.


The association has always looked for the best means of recycling and has been a leader since 1986, when the center was first opened. 


One of the first things learned was that curbside programs are generally limited to high-volume, high-value items, neglecting other recyclables.


The first item the association began accepting--and which was not included in curbside programs--was plastic bottles. Recycling these non-curbside products is still helpful to the environment and economy. Just added to the list of acceptable items are CDs and DVDs. Listed below are the items the recycling center is happy to accept:


Usual paper product - the same as curbside old newspaper, mixed paper, corrugated paper and boxes


Glass bottles


Aluminum and tin cans, aluminum plates and cookware


Plastic products bottles (types 1, 2, 3), plastic bags, solid plastic articles such as pails, tables, chairs, children's toys


CDs and DVDs


Used clothing and shoes. All should be clean and shoes tied together to keep in pairs


Metal objects these can be small lightweight things like wire clothes hangers or heavy objects such as old filing cabinets, old refrigerators or barbeque grills 


Used motor oil


Aluminum products pots and pans, old windows and doors (no glass), gutters and downspouts


Old household and automobile batteries


Old computer ink cartridges


Electronics-old computers and parts, computer printers, old TVs



Although lacking the convenience of curbside pickup, the people of the Fanwood area have shown they care about the environment, the economy and the future by taking some time and effort to get materials to the center.


By accepting these items, the association hopes it is offering more convenience to Fanwoodians and neighboring communities.

The association offers the use of the recycling center to residents of nearby communities who have recyclables, but don't know where to take them. There is no charge for accepting the recyclables, whether from a "Fanwoodian" or from a resident of a nearby community.


The Fanwood recycling center is on North Avenue, at the intersection with Westfield Road. Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Wednesdays are do-it-yourself days with little help in taking items from your cars.


(end of article)



Global Downturns Hurt Everyone  

by Susan Ibarra


As you all know, we are always going to be affected by any economic boom or bust.


Its seems that only during a crisis do we strive to make sacrifices, economize further and cut expenses and costs.  However, regardless of the climate, there is one simple task we all can do all the time that will help the local economy - PLEASE RECYCLE -  Here's the scoop: 


The various materials/commodities that are recycled are sold by the ton to buyers on the open market who need them for their products or services.  The monies generated allow the Fanwood Recycling Center Association, a non-profit organization, to give back to the community in many ways, after expenses.  Donations made by the Association have gone towards the purchase of benches for downtown and local parks, equipment for Fanwood Channel 35, the Public Works Department, the Fire Department, improvements to the Recycling Center, stretcher boards for the Rescue Squad, stipends to community organizations which take turns staffing the center with volunteers that are involved with helping children, the sick, the elderly, the poor and/or the community at large, gifts to local agencies and more.



The quality and efficiency of recycled materials at the Fanwood Recycling Center is at 96% and greater.  For example, all plastic #2 bottles are not mixed in with plastic #1 and unacceptable plastics are entirely removed.  Amber glass is kept separate from brown glass and any metal or plastic rings, caps, bands or sleeves/labels not removed from such bottles by residents is removed here.  Tin cans are not mingled with aluminum cans.  Great care, responsible management and workers and volunteers with a high work ethic work very hard to achieve this.  As a result, the Fanwood Recycling Center is known throughout this industry in the Tri-State area as being the best resource for recycled materials!


About Curbside Pickups - Towns that provide a curb side pick up for recyclables have contracts with other outside facilities, that are not local nor giving back to the community, to "process" the materials that are picked up.  It costs a lot of tax payer money, (and will cost even more), to pay these facilities to sort the items picked up, that could have been sorted at home and instead, brought to the Fanwood Recycling Center, which does give back to the community.


In prior years the prices for recycled materials were fair and reasonable.  


Although there seems to be some improvements, The Fanwood Recycling Center suffered greatly as the price per ton had dropped alarmingly by 70%, 85% and 94%!!!  


In spite of the fact that Fanwood's Recycling Center is recognized for their quality, much more tonnage must be processed in order for their Association to be able to stay current with how they are giving back to the community.  Additionally, as certain traditional buyers of this tonnage are evaporating, new and creative-use-approaches must be developed and applied.  In the meantime, what we as individuals can do, even though we may enjoy our curbside pickups, is to sort at home and bring what you can to Fanwood's Recycling Center.  Here are some more tips and facts to help:


       Newspaper - Tie with string or twine in manageable bundles no higher than ten inches. 

  Glass - Rinse and separate food and beverage glass into green, brown and clear. You do not need to remove labels. All metal caps and rings must be removed, in addition to, plastic and lead or metal sleeves on wine bottles. Plate glass, window glass, ceramics, tableware and light bulbs are not accepted. 





  Aluminum - Pull-tab, rounded bottom can. Seamless, formed in one piece, soft, non-magnetic. Check at home to see that a magnet will not stick. Look for recycling symbols or the words "All aluminum," or "Recyclable." The recycling center will also accept clean frozen food trays, pie tins and aluminum foil. Rinse materials and flatten for easier storage. Heavy aluminum items, such as pots, pans, doors, window frames without glass, gutters and down spouts, are also accepted. 

  Oil - Residents must drain their waste oil into tank supplied at the recycling center. Do not leave containers. Antifreeze is not accepted.

  Plastics - Only pourable containers with the numbers 1, 2 or 3 or on the bottom will be accepted. Plastic shopping bags may be recycled at most supermarkets.

  Textiles - Clean, dry clothing, blankets, shoes, curtains, towels, shoes, hats, belts.

  Batteries - All household and car batteries are acceptable.

  Mixed Paper - Telephone books, office paper, computer paper, junk mail, magazines, brochures and catalogs. Paper materials may be brought in paper shopping bags (no plastic bags).

  Books - Soft and hard cover books. Including encyclopedias, textbooks, etc.

  Cardboard - Both corrugated (i.e. shipping boxes) and light cardboard (i.e. cereal and cracker boxes) are accepted.

  Metal Cans - Must be rinsed thoroughly.

  Steel - Small items may be brought to the center. For larger items, check with the site supervisor.

The Union County Bureau of Environmental Services has arranged for the proper disposal of Propane Tanks. Information is available from the counties Website.

The Fanwood Recycling Center is an outside facility staffed by local organizations.  They are located on North Avenue, at the intersection with Westfield Road and is open on Saturdays and Wednesdays from 9:00am until 1:00pm. Wednesdays are "Do It Yourself" days. 

Drivers should heed SAFETY AT ALL TIMES:

Pay Attention 

Be Aware of the Volunteers that are assisting YOU

Drive SLOW - You are not on the Turn Pike!

STOP & LOOK Before You Drive Into Any part of the facility as the folks here would like to go home in one piece

Please do not leave your recycling materials unless the center is open. Violators are subject to a $500.00 fine.  Trespassers will be Prosecuted.


For more information you can contact:  www.visitfanwood.com/recycling/

Click here for more information about CHILD GOES GREEN - Recycling Helps Kids


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