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Township of Denville School Rcycling Info Edited 5-5-21

School Recycling Programs

Recycle posters are available: Grey Bin      Blue Bin

Download these generic posters or contact for format changes.

Schools must be able to demonstrate to the Township Municipal Recycling Coordinator that their recycling program is active, current and effective. Non-compliance carries an initial Township of Denville penalty of $ 250 and higher penalties may be assessed by the county recycling office and NJDEP. 


Owner, operator or manager of a business, institution, office complex, hotel, school and multi-family dwellings must ensure that a recycling program is in place.

Commercial establishments are required to submit annual recycling plans and or vendor contracts by January 15 of each year. See our forms Center for example of recycling plan. Report must be sent to:

Denville Department of Public Works, 140 Morris Ave, Denville, NJ 07834.

Each business, institution, office complex, hotel, school and multi-family dwellings is required to complete a recycling tonnage report on or before March 1st of each year. See our forms Center for example of recycling plan. Report must be sent to:

Denville Department of Public Works, 140 Morris Ave, Denville, NJ 07834.

 See enforcement section………………..

As Green Teams around the state consider how to shrink their environmental footprint, they should be alert to institutional opportunities.  In many towns, the school system consumes more resources than any other agency, particularly paper. Big environmental gains can be achieved through proper recycling at school. Green Teams have the opportunity to make a big difference in environmental performance.

Two circumstances recommend the inclusion of such action:  one is that ample support already exists for schools trying to recycle well, and the other is the potential cost savings.  Money invested in program improvements pays towns back year after year.

School recycling could be presented as a single action with many sub-actions, but because of the complexity of school recycling, it would be more sensible to write two tools.  The first tool (Core School Recycling) would establish recycling of mandatory materials, which must by law be done in all districts. The second (Advanced School Recycling) could present actions that would be suitable to some districts and not others. 

Core School Recycling

In many communities, the school system is by far the largest agency, in which the most people spend a great part of their day.  When the business day ends, the community continues to use school facilities.  The size and complexity of the physical plant, and the number of people served, make it a great place for Green Teams to concentrate their efforts.  Schools can cut use of fuel and natural resources, and can cut their indirect greenhouse gas emissions, by recycling thoroughly. 

The goal of this action is to build a recycling program from the ground up if necessary or improve an existing program by:

• assessing the collection and delivery of mandatory recyclable materials,

• correcting collection and delivery problems,

• identifying appropriate additional materials and developing collection and marketing,

• educating for sustained performance,

• educating school administration in relations with transporters

• measuring recycling in tons and dollars.


Core School Recycling Goal

This action will assure that schools collect all mandatory recyclables and any appropriate additional recyclables, thus minimizing waste disposal.  This includes collection in all school property, indoors and out, instructional and administrative. School districts will be able to audit their facilities to discover weaknesses in the recycling program, measure their generation and recycling rates, calculate costs and savings, and relate the recycling tonnage to diminution of greenhouse gases and use of natural resources.


Who should lead and be involved with this action?

Implementing a school recycling program would typically include the following municipal agents:

  • Municipal Recycling Coordinator
  • Director of Public Works if DPW collects trash or recyclables
  • Board of Education representative
  • Superintendant of Schools or representative
  • School business officer
  • Town Council representative
  • School custodial supervisor
  • Director of Athletics
  • Representative of Environmental Commission or Municipal Sustainability Committee


It would also include the following people outside municipal government:

  • County Recycling Coordinator
  • Representative for private transporters if contracted
  • PTA representative if desired


The municipality will need to determine who should coordinate this action.  A member of the Green Team or the Municipal Recycling Coordinator would be typical leaders.  This person must have authority to require the cooperation of all other municipal parties.


School Action Plan

Meeting to explain the action and audit existing program.

Correct deficiencies in existing program to assure collection of mandatory recyclables.

Costs may be incurred for:

  • Indoor collection containers
  • Collection carts and other custodial equipment
  • Labels
  • Printed signs or flyers as needed
  • Optional promotional materials for Earth Day or America Recycles Day events.


Why is it important?

Relative to other agencies and workplaces, schools involve a great number of people spending a large part of their day in a centralized place.  The opportunities for efficiency are tremendous.



Towns can save money by tightening up their recycling program.  Disposal cost of trash ranges exceeds $100 for each ton placed into a landfill or incinerator. Although there may be a cost for recycling ----  the cost avoidance (landfill cost minus recycle cost) can be substantial . Plus some recyclables are, on average, cost free because the value of paper and aluminum cover the cost of of glass. Thus, every ton relocated to the recycling bin saves money. Additionally, diminished trash volume may allow a decrease in pickup frequency and thus in transportation cost. 


Recycling also delays local landfill closings.  When those facilities cannot accept more waste, the municipalities will ship their trash much further away at much higher cost.



When schools recycle they provide materials to the paper and packaging industries.  Recycled paper, on average, uses only half the energy that virgin paper does.  It does not result in deforestation and loss of habitat, and it uses much less water, and fewer bleaching chemicals.  Different types of paper yield different energy savings; for example, white office paper with 30% recycled content takes 13% less energy than virgin. The same holds true for food packaging; aluminum is recycled with only 10% of the energy it required to be produced the first time.  Green Teams can learn more at

Environmental Energy Technologies paper division



The Law

Recycling is required by the Solid Waste Management Act and the Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act, codified in the New Jersey Statutes Annotated at NJSA 13:1E, especially 13:1E-99.    NJSA 13:1E-99.12 specifies that “institutions”, including schools, shall separate for recycling those materials designated by the county as marketable.   

Consult the NJ DEP, Morris County web page and Township of Denville web site for further information.

NJ DEP     

Morris County                                       

Township of Denville                                     

Non-compliance carries an initial Township of Denville penalty of $ 250 and higher penalties may be assessed by the county recycling office and NJDEP. 

New regulations specify that municipalities must update their recycling ordinances and enforce them, and must train and equip their municipal recycling coordinators, and must spend the municipality’s tonnage grant on labor or equipment that increases the number of people recycling or the amount they recycle. Municipal budgets will be audited by the New Jersey Department of Treasury to see that this is done.

Recycling Manual for New Jersey Schools

What to do, and how to do it

The action coordinator and one or two deputies need to familiarize themselves with school recycling. Download the Recycling Manual for New Jersey Schools at and read it over for a general sense of what is required. Although published in 1994, it reflects conditions in today’s schools.

The Guide cannot provide local information, and the action leader needs to find out a few things about his own town. 

The coordinator should meet with all stakeholders parties and outline the goals of the action:  to determine and correct shortfalls in the collection of mandatory recyclables, and to save money over the long term. All stakeholders need to recognize that, whether the municipality or the school system actually sees the savings, it translates to better use of tax dollars.  If the school has been paying for trash disposal, the school can redirect this money to reimburse itself for any outlays, and then fund visible projects that garner school staff, student, and public support for the action.  If the municipality pays for trash disposal, it may redirect money to offset expenditures from the township budget. It may also direct some of the savings to improvements at the school beyond the school’s normally allocated budget, in recognition of the school’s effort.  It is desirable for participants to have a clear idea of how recycling can lead to concrete improvements.

Some members among the stakeholders should accompany the coordinator in an audit of the facilities as outlined in the Manual. 

Before any corrective measures, it is important for participants to ascertain true amounts of materials disposed and recycled. Even in schools that have operational programs, this is a worthwhile effort, so that later improvements can be documented. Transporters should be able to report in tons how much paper, waste, and commingled containers are removed from the premises.  Where transporters pick up loads from many towns in one day, they may agree to send trucks capable of weighing sample loads.  Teams can also estimate tonnage from volume, by recording amounts of material in outdoor collection containers the day before pickup. County Recycling Coordinators can advise on tonnage measurement.

It may also be necessary for the municipality to purchase collection containers, labels, and signage.  Multilingual or pictorial signage may be needed. 

The director of custodial services must explain any new recycle operations to all custodians.  In schools or office spaces where contract workers are used, the business officer or his designee must contact that contractor and explain the new requirements.  The contractor must then train his employees, providing translation as needed.

Teachers may choose to involve students in the new operations, as explained in the Guide.  This is optional, but popular in the elementary grades. Students may also be enlisted to measure and record amounts of paper diverted from trash. Teachers may also incorporate curricular materials. NJDEP recommends

USEPA’s curricula, at

Here Today, Here Tomorrow, New Jersey’s state-specific curriculum for grades 1-6, at

Washington State’s “A-Way With Waste” recycling and litter curriculum, grades 1-8, at

Project Learning Tree’s Municipal Solid Waste Module for grades 7-12, provided by NJDEP’s Forest Resource Education Center, at

As explained in the Manual, schools should present program changes dramatically at the opening of school, America Recycles Day, Earth Day, or a town-specific event.

The coordinator and others should consider, with help from the county coordinator, the appropriateness of additional materials. 

Schools should take on the responsibility to audit every few years to assure thorough collection.

Schools should be to document the following material:

  1. A copy of the town’s recycling ordinance.
  2. The names of the action coordinator and action participants, and their titles and roles.
  3. A copy of the school recycling audit.
  4. A copy of the school’s contracts with both waste and recyclables transporters.  .
  5. The name of the school’s primary recycling contact.
  6. Samples of materials such as signage and notices to adults using the school after hours, and participants in sporting events held on school grounds.
  7. A schedule of waste and recycling pickup at the school and a list of receiving facilities.
  8. Pictures of paired or tripled collection containers in classrooms, fields, gyms, and offices.


Technical Resources

Recycling Manual for New Jersey Schools



Education/Training Resources:

USEPA’s curricula

Here Today, Here Tomorrow, New Jersey’s state-specific curriculum for grades 1-6, at

Project Learning Tree’s Municipal Solid Waste Module for grades 7-12, provided by NJDEP’s Forest Resource Education Center, at

Recycling Poetry Contest

New Jersey Buildings and Grounds Association

NJBGA Environmental Guide



Safe Schools

Main page       

NJ Safe Schools manual

NJ Safe Schools program




Starting a Recycling Program

Waste Management think green – How to start a Recycling Program in Your Community

Go green initiative Planning Guide

Association of New Jersey Recyclers (ANJR) Recycling Manual for schools

Think green Lesson Plans – videos- Interactives

Student Resources - By Grade

Miscellaneous Links

EPA - Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3)  

Rutgers – School Recycling Program

NorthEast Recycling Council – school waste reduction

Association of NJ Recyclers – School resouces

NJ here today, here tomorrow-recycled program

RecycleMania – school programs

Terracycle – brigade recycle program

EPA IAQ Tools for Schools Program

NJ Grades 4- 8 powerpoint presentations