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How Can You Help in Good Earthkeeping
Please do your part in helping the environment. The Sparta Township Environmental Commission encourages everyone to recycle.
The following items are picked up curbside: Aluminum and tin cans, glass (clear, amber & green), all plastic containers with codes between 1 PET and 7 OTHER (milk, soda, detergent, bleach, yogurt cups, baby wipe containers). These items can all be co-mingled together in one reusable container.
Recyclable fiber materials include: corrugated cardboard & brown paper bags (bundled), newsprint, magazine, telephone books, junk mail chip boards (food cereal, tissue, shoe boxes and other gray and white paper board containers), office paper and shredded paper. The items can also be co-mingled in one reusable container.
Non-recyclable items are:
- Aerosol cans
- Coat hangers
- Drinking glasses
- Oil and paint cans
- Plastic bags
- Plastic toys
- Wax-coated material (juice boxes and main cartons)
- Window glass
The following items can be recycled Monday – Saturday 7 am – 2 pm at Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority, 34 Route 94S, Lafayette, NJ 973-579-6998)
- Aluminum Bakery Plates and Foil
- Aluminum Beverage Cans
- Clear and Green Soda Bottles, Number 2 Pet Plastic Containers
- Clear, Green and Amber, Number 1 Pet Plastic Containers
- Corrugated Cardboard and Press-Board
- Glass Bottles and Jars
- Junk Mail
- Milk, Juice, Water, Detergent Bottles
- Mixed Office Paper and Shredded Paper
- Old Clothing
- Steel and Bi-Metal Food and Beverage Cans
- Used Motor Oil, Waste Anti-Freeze and Household Batteries
Monthly Shredding Service
Monthly shredding service is the 3rd Friday of every month 9 am to Noon, $6 per 40 pound box – no limit.
Bats in Buildings
New Jersey is home to 9 bat species. Most live in trees or under loose bark, but some will also roost in warm attics and other man-made structures. Bats can't claw or chew holes into your home and they don't build nests, just hang by their feet. They leave the roost each night at dusk (like clockwork) and return by dawn to rest and digest.
Most colonies are made up of mother bats and their young, called "pups." Bats give birth to just 1 or 2 pups per year, in late May or June. The pups nurse for about a month until they can fly and feed on their own. Bats live up to 20 to 30 years.
Bats are important animals and are protected by law in New Jersey. If you are planning to evict bats from a building, follow state guidelines so that no bats are harmed or trapped inside. Physically removing the bats is not legal and is not effective.
The "safe dates" for bat eviction are April 1-30 and August 1-October 15
Benefits of Bats
All of New Jersey's bats eat insects… lots of insects! Your neighborhood bats do everybody a service by controlling beetles, moths, and mosquitoes, free and organically. To keep the bats around (just not indoors), hang a bat house on the sunny side of your building or on a pole before evicting the bats. The Conserve Wildlife Foundation is offering FREE bat houses to give these bats a place to go… other than your neighbor's attic!
Bats are shy, valuable, and fascinating animals. Visit the Conserve Wildlife website or call 908-782-4616, ext. 104 for New Jersey exclusion guidelines, qualified pest control companies, bat house information, and more.
B.Y.O.B. - Bring Your Own Bag
Reusable Bags are the latest "Green" trend. Did you know:
- Plastic bags kill thousands of birds, whales, seals and turtles every year, and takes hundreds of years to break down in landfills.
- The U.S. uses 100 billion plastic bags annually.
- Plastic bags are among the 12 most common items found in coastal cleanups.
- Each high-quality reusable shopping bag you use has the potential to eliminate hundreds of plastic bags over its lifetime.
Steps to Take
For those interested in joining the crusade against plastic, there are small and simple steps that can be taken every day. The best place to start is by properly disposing of household plastics, separating them, and putting them in the correct recycling receptacles. Reusing plastic bags is also an option. Another option would be reusable bags, which are the "must-have" item of the moment. Many stores are trying to get a head start on weaning their customers off of disposable bags.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has started a program enforcing and creating recycling laws county by county to encourage citizens to do their part. The program targets both citizens and businesses, as industries and large companies, have a big impact on recycling
Guidelines for Proper Disposal of Household Medication
Over-the-counter and prescription medications should not be disposed of down the drain because wastewater treatment facilities are not designated to remove pharmaceutical compounds and they may end up in your local waterways, and may eventually be found in drinking water. Properly disposing of unwanted and expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications in the trash promotes a healthy aquatic environment and prevent accidental poisoning and intentional abuse.
4 Steps for Proper Disposal
- Keep the medicine in its original container. Mark out personal information on prescription bottles.
- Mix liquid medicine with undesirable substance like coffee grinds, cat litter, or dirt.
- Place bottles in an opaque container like a yogurt container, and secure lid; or wrap in a dark colored plastic bag.
- Hide the container in the trash. Do not recycle.
Improper disposal in your trash allows others to divert the substance and consume medication that was not prescribed to them.
For more information contact:
DEP Solid and Hazardous Waste Program
For proper disposal of household sharps call 609-984-6620.
Don’t Toss That Bulb!
Switching to compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs is a very bright idea. They use about one-fourth of the energy and produce 90% less heat compared with traditional incandescent bulbs. The advantages of using CFLs far outweigh the hazard from the small amount of mercury they contain. The largest source of America’s airborne mercury comes from burning fossil fuels such as coal for electricity production. According to the National Association of Counties, a power plant emits about 4 times the amount of mercury into the atmosphere to produce the electricity to run a regular incandescent light bulb compared with a CFL for the same length of time.
Changing the five most frequently used light bulbs or fixtures in the house to Energy Star CFLs can save the average household about $60 a year in electricity costs and New Jersey would prevent more than 3.5 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of the bulbs – the equivalent of removing nearly 600,000 cars from our roadways.
Since they last up to 10 times longer than old-fashioned light bulbs, the CFLs you have purchased over the last few years probably have not burned out yet. But what do you do with them when they do reach the end of their lives?
Disposal of Bulbs
Because CFLs contain a small amount of mercury they should be disposed of properly. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends taking advantage of available local recycling options, but currently, most New Jersey communities don’t yet have collection sites for CFLs.
EPA is working with CFL manufacturers and major U.S. retailers to expand recycling and disposal options. For example, IKEA stores in New Jersey accept used CFLs in addition to batteries and other toxic household items. Each New Jersey county also has a household hazardous waste recycling facility that accepts used CFLs. The bulbs should be placed in a clear plastic bag and disposed of just like batteries, paint, or motor oil at a household hazardous waste collection site. To find out about collection dates, locations, and other information please refer to the recycling information provided below.
If it isn’t possible to recycle your used CFLs, you can dispose of them along with your regular trash after sealing each bulb in two plastic bags. Don’t dispose of CFLs in an incinerator.
Clean-up of Broken Bulbs
For accidentally broken CFLs, EPA recommends the following clean-up and disposal guidelines.
- Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
- Carefully scoop up the fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard and seal them in a plastic bag.
- Use disposable rubber gloves, not bare hands to wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes and place them in a second plastic bag along with the first bag containing the bulb fragments and any other cleanup materials.
- Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.
- Put the bag in an outdoor trash container or in another outdoor protected area for the next normal trash disposal.
- Wash your hands after disposing of the bag.
Bulb Breaks on Carpet
If a fluorescent bulb breaks on a rug or carpet:
- First, remove all materials you can without using a vacuum cleaner, following the steps above. Sticky tape (such as duct tape) can be used to pick up small pieces and powder.
- If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken, remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister) and put the bag or vacuum debris in two sealed plastic bags in the outdoor trash or protected outdoor location for normal disposal.
Contact the Technical Support Center of the NJ State Department of Environmental Protection:
- For Freshwater Wetland or Highlands questions call 609-777-0454
- For Waterfront Development, C.A.F.R.A., Stream Encroachment or Flood Hazard Area permitting questions call 609-984-0162.