Recycling: What’s Untold in Freehold


Leah Bloom, Staff Writer

‘Reduce, reuse, and recycle’ has been a common phrase heard throughout schools and households for the past fifty years.  However, recycling is often looked at as a chore rather than something that can make a difference.  When you recycle, the goods are taken to a plant where they are sorted into groups.  The goods are then sent to different manufacturers who can turn them into brand-new materials.  But, recycling has a cost, which is often paid for by the towns.


In Freehold, new laws have been implemented that change the recycling patterns of the community.  Before May of 2021, recycling was collected every week, which enticed families to recycle.  However, this was considered too expensive, and now, recycling is picked up every other week/twice a month.  Interested in how these new laws would affect the town, I sent out a survey to Freehold Township students to see how their habits would change.


Out of all of the people surveyed, everyone answered that they did recycle, but only 53% of students answered that they were aware of how many times per month recycling was collected.  Out of these people, only four students gave the correct answer—twice in a month—meaning only 25% of the students were aware of this information.  


Furthermore, students were asked how their habits might change if recycling was collected less.  26% of students said they would recycle less with fewer pickups.  Unknowingly, students and their families might be recycling less because of these new rules.


Fortunately, there are some tips to help.  The first step is awareness of the regulations in your town, as knowing your pickup date and time allows you to be responsible and not miss a day.  Buying more cans gives you more space to put goods.  And, teaching others about the importance of recycling can help spread the information.  Despite these new laws, we can continue to recycle just as much as before.


Lastly, what can you recycle?


In the survey, 10.5% of the students did not know what materials were recycled or how to find out.  Luckily, it’s easy: Google “Freehold Township Recycling Services” and click on the first link.  From there, you can click on any of the tabs on the left, including accepted materials, unaccepted materials, and even a schedule.  Some of the commonly known recyclables include paper, glass bottles, cardboard, and aluminum cans.  If you drive to a recycling center, they accept more uncommon goods, such as grass clippings, small appliances, and batteries.  Plastic bags, chemicals, large appliances, or hazardous materials should never be recycled.


So, the next time you’re cleaning and have paper that you want to throw away, think of the difference you can make by recycling.  Let’s continue to recycle and make our town a greener place.