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Plastic Bag Initiative
Residents are being asked to collect plastic bags

There has been recent momentum to curb plastic bag usage in towns and states across the country. Plastic bags are a scourge on landfills. Often people put plastic film into the recycling stream by mistake, which jams up the mechanical sorters and leads to further waste. The Chatham Borough Environmental Commission debated various methods of reducing plastic film usage through plastic bag taxes on businesses or consumers, to encouraging re-usable bags, to banning plastic bags in the town altogether. In the end, we concluded that a first step would be to quantify current plastic bag and film usage within Chatham Borough, and to raise awareness throughout the community by asking residents to remove the plastic bags from the waste stream.

We've started a six month plastic bag drive in March through August, where residents can deposit their “bag of bags” into bins at the town recycling center. In addition to plastic bags, the initiative covers other plastic film such as bread bags, dry cleaning bags, newspaper sleeves, ziploc bags, produce bags, bubble wrap, salt bags, and cereal bags. If Chatham Borough residents deposit these plastic films into the proper bins, they'll save money by using fewer trash bags, and keeping our recycling costs down through minimizing waste. The Chatham Borough Environmental Commission is working with Trex to collect these bags with a goal of recycling 500 pounds of bags during the six month period, and if we're successful, Trex will send us a bench made of recycled materials for our accomplishment. Chatham Borough has a history of leading Morris County and the state in environmental best practices, and we're excited about your involvement and raising awareness through our 2017 plastic bag initiative.

Members of the Environmental Commission have already begun collecting plastic bags and plastic film materials. We need your help!

Environmental Commission

Bag collectors Left to right— Brendan Keating, Project leader: Ben Lampert, Chair: Kate Murphy, John Dey, Council Member: Len Resto, Carl Cappabianca