HIGHTSTOWN: Borough tightens recycling rules

By Amy Batista, Special Writer
HIGHTSTOWN — The borough aims to better enforce its recycling regulations.
The Borough Council introduced an ordinance during its last meeting that would revise its recycling regulations and rules pertaining to property maintenance regarding recyclable materials.
“Out at Michael’s Plaza, we’ve discovered that there’s a constant pile up of recycled cardboard, pallets and various other debris that is out in front of the entire Michael’s Plaza blocking view to the businesses,” Councilman Charles “Lee” Stults said, adding that borough officials have approached the owners about the recyclable materials.
“You are not supposed to deliver your recyclables to the curb until the night before they are supposed to be picked up,” he said.
Councilman Stults said borough officials asked the owners to consider storing the recyclables behind the plaza.
“We asked them to move it,” he said.
The owners said that the recycling truck couldn’t pick the recyclables up in the back of the building, he added.
“We sort of felt that was causing a detriment to all of the businesses,” he said.
The appearance of properties and the health and safety of borough residents can be adversely affected by the accumulation of recyclable materials, according the proposed ordinance.
It is in the public interest for the borough to establish a mechanism to enforce recycling regulations and property maintenance regarding recyclable materials, according to the ordinance.
Councilman Stults said, “We realized that the term ‘recyclable material’ was never in (the township code) so we just added that as a catch all. We also realized at the time that that there was only one enforcement official listed in the ordinance so we added housing official/housing inspector as another set of eyes to see as they are walking around town when this happens at other places.”
The borough’s recyclable coordinator, housing official/housing inspector, and police are authorized to enforce the recycling regulations. Enforcement may include random inspections of garbage set out for disposal in order to determine compliance, according to the ordinance.
“That’s why this language was added — to add a little more teeth,” Councilman Stults said. 