Wednesday, May 07, 2014

The Troubled Tussle With Trash


Posted: January 05, 1986

It was the year of the trash.

In Camden County, 23 towns fought through the 11th hour to keep using the Kinsley Landfill in Gloucester County past a Jan. 1 deadline. The New Year arrived with their legal battle continuing before the state Superior Court.

Across the Delaware River, plans for Pennsylvania's largest incineration plant - expected to handle the future needs of Bucks County and portions of Philadelphia and South Jersey - were suddenly jeopardized when the Falls Township Zoning Board rejected in December an expansion of the GROWS Landfill.

And in Burlington County, although no imminent emergency threatened as in Camden County, two rate cases and controversy about the capacity of one landfill brought home, more than ever, the issue of trash.

"It's a problem everyone is groping with," Mount Laurel Mayor Robert H. King said of the trash disposal crisis.

Burlington County municipal officials predicted the emptying of their coffers if the rate requests passed. A contingent of municipalities in the Parklands Landfill rate case mounted a vigorous defense against an increase and, just as their dispute was settled, towns in the case involving the L&D Landfill began talking of the same action.

State officials started discussing the need to exclude solid waste disposal costs when calculating whether new municipal budgets exceed the state-mandated ''cap" on annual budget growth. State law says that a municipal budget may not be more than 5 percent greater than the previous year's.

"No ifs, ands or buts," said Assemblyman Robert C. Shinn Jr. (R., Burlington), who became something of a solid waste expert during his days as a county freeholder. "It's going to have to be pulled out."

It was the first year in decades that Burlington County accepted no trash from outside its boundaries. Still, with limited life expectancy in the two existing landfills, county freeholders became the first in the state to voluntarily pass a mandatory recycling program.

Some people suggested that a Camden County scenario - no place to dump - was not out of the question should those two landfills run out of space before the county's own $44 million landfill complex opens. So far, at that Florence-Mansfield site, activity has centered on independent archaeologists searching for artifacts.

Delran Mayor Richard J. Knight said the subject was "so much in the news" that residents were increasingly aware of solid waste and its many implications.

And the issues may take on even more import this year, said Burlington Township solicitor Thomas P. Foy, as the financial impact of rate settlements hits local budgets.

"Citizens are really more aware of the costs of solid waste to them than of the environmental issues," said Foy, who is also a Democratic state assemblyman from the county. But, ultimately, "solid waste is going to be New Jersey's most serious problem."


The first tremors were felt at the 80-acre Parklands Landfill in Bordentown Township. Officials and citizens of the 17 towns that send their trash there woke up one morning last winter, it seemed, and discovered that the landfill's new owners were seeking a 1,130 percent hike in dumping fees. Rates would go from $2.40 per cubic yard - the charge in effect since the landfill opened in 1976 - to $29.62 per cubic yard.

Waste Management Inc., the Chicago-based international firm that was forced to buy the site as part of its 1984 acquisition of SCA Services Inc., said the steep increase was necessary to cover daily operating costs and set money aside, as required by state law, to pay for closing the landfill in 1987 and maintaining it until 2017.

Parklands, the company said, was a big money loser.

The municipalities cried foul.

Willingboro, for one, said such an unprecedented increase would raise its sanitation costs from $111,000 to more than $1 million a year. And, led by Willingboro solicitor William J. Kearns and Burlington solicitor Foy, nearly a dozen of the communities fought back. They put their money - $250,000 of it - where their mouths were and hired engineering and accounting experts to support their side in a lengthy series of technical hearings before an administrative law judge for the state Board of Public Utilities.

In mid-December, the towns and Waste Management negotiated an out-of-court settlement at a level far below the company's original request. The new rate of $9.75 per cubic yard, which would raise an additional $1.25 million annually for the company, would include $7.50 for operating costs and $2.25 for the escrow fund for closure and post-closure maintenance.

Even that charge will hit towns hard, officials insist. Administrator Jeff Hatcher of Delanco, where $23,000 was appropriated in an emergency resolution in July to cover increased waste costs, said the tax rate might rise as much as 12 cents above the current 52 cents per $100 of assessed valuation because of the negotiated settlement. The town's trash budget could total $85,000 in the current fiscal year, compared to $19,000 in the previous fiscal year.

"It's been an absolutely terrible year," he said.

Despite questions about the size of the initial rate proposal, Kearns stressed that a new rate had to allow Waste Management enough money to properly run the landfill and, even more importantly, maintain it for three decades after closing.

"We've got to live with the landfill for the next 30 years and with any environmental problems arising from it," he said. Improper maintenance could turn it into a "time bomb."

After the case was concluded two weeks ago, Kearns added, "I don't think realistically we could go much lower without having an (adverse environmental) impact."

The Parklands, according to township officials and its new owner, had been plagued with severe odor problems from improper venting of the methane gas that is produced naturally as waste decomposes. Just this year, Waste Management settled a lawsuit brought by Bordentown Township and the Bordentown Regional School District, which has a school in view of the landfill. Sue Luebbering, a spokeswoman for Waste Management, said the $1 million settlement included the installation of air-conditioning in the building.

"We try to be good neighbors," she said.

Also during the last year, she said, the firm added 14 methane monitoring wells at the landfill and put in a new burner to better control the methane odor. Sediment ponds, which catch rain water runoff, were upgraded and enlarged, and roads on the site improved.

About 75 trucks visit the landfill daily.

"We've not had any odor problem for 2 1/2 weeks," said site manager Bob Everton, during a recent tour of the landfill. "We used to get complaints daily."

It smacked of the suddenness and unexpectedness of the Parklands' proposed rate increase. The first that 19 Burlington County municipalities heard about their rates possibly going up at the L&D Landfill, also owned by Waste Management, came after Willingboro solicitor Kearns overheard a comment about a new rate case while still negotiating the Parklands settlement in mid- December.

It turned out that Waste Management in late November had filed a request to raise rates from just under $6 a cubic yard to more than $26 a cubic yard, again citing large financial losses from daily operation.

Despite the surprise of the L&D rate request, the company is selling itself far differently this time around.

Waste Management's comptroller for its New Jersey operations, Mark Sokoloff, has been meeting, at his invitation, with municipal officials from throughout the county to explain why the increase is needed.

He sat down with Moorestown, Mount Laurel and Delran officials in late December. A session is scheduled tomorrow with Cinnaminson and on Thursday with Medford.

"Waste Management, in my opinion, has learned an important lesson," said Foy, who also represents Delran as solicitor. "The lesson is that no one in Burlington County is just going to roll over just because this major multinational company with abundant resources comes in. People have to feel that they are going to be treated fairly. By the same token, the company has to work with us."

While Delran already has passed a resolution authorizing Foy to intervene in the rate case, most municipalities remain undecided on what action they might take.

Officials say that Sokoloff has an almost impossible task of persuading municipalities to negotiate quickly with Waste Management, especially since the landfill might be closed this year for lack of capacity.

"I'm still very skeptical as to any municipal advantage (to negotiating with Waste Management on L&D)," said Moorestown manager John Terry, who added that Sokoloff cited the escalating costs of leachate treatment, gasoline and employee salaries. Leachate is formed when rainwater passes through a landfill, and it must be drained and treated to avoid groundwater pollution.

According to Terry, Sokoloff said the L&D Landfill, which straddles Mount Holly, Eastampton and Lumberton, lost $3.2 million in 1984 and a projected $4.7 million in 1985.

"We were convinced he has a very difficult task ahead of him," Terry said.

Like the Parklands, the 200-acre L&D has a long history of problems with odors, as well as soil erosion, unstable slopes and groundwater contamination. At one time, erosion during rainstorms was so bad that dirt would wash across Route 38 and force the road to be closed.

But Waste Management says - and county officials concur - that steps have been taken to remedy those ills. A "fact sheet" supplied by the landfill notes that during 1985, 160,300 yards of clay, 97,700 yards of topsoil and 342,000 yards of sand were used to close and cover completed "cells," as the prepared areas where trash is dumped are called. One hundred methane wells were installed.

As undetermined as L&D's new rate is its life expectancy. County solid waste director Robert Simpkins and Assemblyman Shinn maintain that its total capacity was met last summer. Waste Management contends the landfill could continue operating through 1986; additional space has been gained by settling of old trash, the company says.

In addition, there is the issue of groundwater contamination. A state and county study in 1982 identified a flume of contamination heading toward Rancocas Creek via the Mount Holly-Wenonah aquifer, over which the landfill sits. The aquifer supplies water to the communities in the area.

Simpkins believes the contamination is continuing at L&D, and he and Shinn have pushed for several years for the company to conduct a groundwater study and health assessment. However, the state Department of Environmental Protection has never told Waste Management to do the research, Simpkins said.

What is Waste Management, the outsider that suddenly entered Burlington County's trash picture in 1984 and began to change the scenario?

For starters, the Chicago-based international firm is the largest waste disposal company in the country, with 1984 revenues of $1.314 billion. It works in solid waste, chemical waste and low-level nuclear waste. Its international division has operations in Saudi Arabia, Australia and South America.

The firm's "Introduction to Waste Management Inc." elaborates: "The company also operates the largest private fleet of street-cleaning vehicles in the world, is in the forefront of efforts to recover valuable energy from municipal solid wastes, and is the leader in hazardous waste management and international city cleaning."

Company officials point with pride to their GROWS landfill, which operates in the back yard of Pennsbury Manor, William Penn's country estate on the Delaware, and a local sporting club. The landfill has its own leachate treatment plant, developed through a federal grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Locally, Waste Management has earned kudos for its performance at Parklands and L&D.

"It's obvious to me they spend a lot more money on operations plus on the long-term environmental control measures," county solid waste director Simpkins said. "You can visibly see improvements."

Simpkins said that when Waste Management first started managing the two local landfills, "the first couple months they really broke their backs trying to catch up." At L&D, he said, "the place literally was packed with trucks bringing in cover."

The firm, Simpkins believes, is trying to make a good impression here for both immediate and long-term reasons. A lucrative contract lies ahead at the new county landfill, which, although publicly owned, will be run by private business.

Sokoloff said that any intention to run the new county landfill would be initiated out of the company's district office in Falls Township, Pa. Officials there were unavailable for comment. "As far as our plans, we just plan to run our current landfills as well as we can," Sokoloff said.

But Luebbering, the company's spokeswoman, also has chosen to address the company's more pressing reasons.

"It's not a matter of do you or don't you want to do these things," she said. "They must be done. We demand that our environment be protected, and this is necessary to protect it."

Recycling Plan To Be Aired

Source: Posted: February 09, 1986

The Burlington County Department of Solid Waste, in response to opposition by Delran Township officials over the proposed location of a drop-off center for newspapers to be recycled, is to review the plan with the township planning board on Feb. 11.

In a lawsuit filed Nov. 19 in Superior Court, the township contends that the county violated a section of the state's municipal land-use law when it failed to seek a site-plan approval from the township for the drop-off center, planned for a lot on Hartford Road.

The suit, according to John Harrington, the township's special counsel, is ''inactive."

To avoid litigation, the county decided last month to go before Delran to review its plans and answer any questions - but not to seek approval.

"It's sort of a halfway point where we're not going to apply, but we're not going to ignore what the township has to say," said Ann Moore, county recycling coordinator. She said the county's priority was to review the plans and answer any questions.

"It's important that the residents are aware of the nature of the facilities," she said.

The county plans to complete the center by June. Newspapers collected from 25 participating townships by the Occupational Training Center of Burlington County would be dropped off at the center, where they would be baled and later sold for recycling. The Occupational Training Center is a private firm under contract to the county to collect newspapers.

County officials purchased the land in 1984 and plan to expand the recycling program to all 40 municipalities.

Although Delran officials favor the concept of the plant in their township - and the revenues generated through recycling - they also want the power to locate the center at an industrial park planned along Route 130, said Mayor Richard J. Knight.

By locating the center on Route 130 instead of on Hartford Road, Knight said traffic to the center would be routed away from Delran and Holy Cross High Schools, Millbridge Elementary School and the township school bus depot. The schools generate enough traffic on their own, Knight said.

"I believe a recycling center is more of an industrial use," Knight said. ''The features of the industrial park lend themselves to a recycling center more than the Hartford Road site."

George Yelland, who is developing the 53-acre industrial park, said the recycling center would fit right in because the park would have easy access to Cinnaminson and Riverside.

Yelland, who purchased the park site in December, said the recycling center would cover between five and seven acres at a cost of $245,000. He plans to award contracts for water and sewer service this month and have the park completed in 1988.

"We would like the center to locate in the rear of the complex," Yelland said, adding that the site is zoned for industrial use. "All they would have to do is go in and build."

Charles Juliana, clerk-administrator for the county Board of Freeholders, said that the county and Delran had agreed to try to resolve the issue without a lawsuit, but that the chances of the county's considering the industrial park site were slight.

Juliana said a large amount of money has already been spent to purchase the land on Hartford Road and to prepare engineering plans. Choosing another site now, he said, would be a waste of time and money.

But Knight said the county would save money and solve potential traffic and construction problems by building at the industrial park.

"I don't know what (Knight) is talking about," Juliana said.

Under the county's trash-recycling plan introduced in July 1984, vans would be dispatched five days a week to collect newspapers and haul them back to a plant in Delran, where they would be mechanically baled, then shipped by tractor-trailers to commercial paper recyclers.

As the program grows, the county would expand its recycling to include metal and glass, which also would be taken to the center.

According to Robert Simkins, supervisor of the county Solid Waste Management Department, vans - not tractor-trailers, as the township feared - would pick up the recyclable materials from around the county and the traffic to the center would be minimal.

As many as 11 vans would leave the plant on weekdays, between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m., he said, depending on when area schools open, and return to the center between noon and 6 p.m. Once baled, the paper would be removed from the plant in three tractor-trailer loads daily.

County officials are so certain that the facility will be a success that they intend to build another center in the southern part of the county - in Medford or Southampton - sometime this year.

Knight said he hoped that other townships chosen as host communities to county projects would get more cooperation than Delran has.

"Until the foundations and footings are in, I think the freeholders should open their minds to the possibility of the alternative site," Knight said. ''I don't want to fight, I want to cooperate. I need them. I'm part of the county."

County Goes To Delran To Discuss Recycling Site

Source: Posted: February 12, 1986

Representatives of the Burlington County Department of Solid Waste went to Delran Township last night to try to stop a lawsuit over a newspaper dropoff center the county wants to build near a residential area and three schools.

The county department reviewed plans for the center, proposed for a 4.5- acre lot on Hartford Road. Delran filed suit against the county in November, contending that the county had violated the state's municipal land- use law when it failed to seek township approval of the site. Delran Township officials said they would drop the suit if county officials would appear at the meeting to explain the plan.

The dropoff center - the first of three facilities under way to expand the county recycling progarm - is scheduled to be completed in June.

Newspapers collected from 25 townships would be dropped off at the center, where they would be baled and sold for recycling.

At the meeting, attended by 35 residents, council member Maryann Rivell said township officials were not informed of the plan until it was already well under way. She said Delran officals had suggested an alternate site - an industrial park planned along Route 130 - but were told by county officials that it was too late to consider another location.

"We are fairly adamant that they didn't use good reasoning to choose this site," Rivell said. "Why there?"

Officials and residents have expressed concern over increased traffic near the proposed dropoff center, which is close to Delran and Holy Cross High Schools, the Mill Bridge Elementary School and the school bus depot.

As many as 11 vans would leave the plant on weekdays between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. and return between noon and 6 p.m.

Once baled, paper from the plant would be removed daily by three tractor- trailers.

County's Proposed Site In Delran For Recycling Center Denounced

Source: Posted: February 16, 1986

Delran Council members and township residents had some stinging words for representatives of the Burlington County Solid Waste Management Department last week, after a review of a newspaper drop-off center planned for Hartford Road.

The two-hour review, held at the township planning board's regular meeting, included presentations by Robert Shinn, manager of county environmental projects, county solicitor Michael Hogan, solid-waste coordinator Ann Moore and county solid-waste-management supervisor Robert Simkins.

The review was held in response to a suit filed by the township against the county over the proposed center.

In the suit, filed Nov. 19 in Superior Court in Burlington County, the township contended that the county violated a section of the state's municipal land-use law when it failed to seek a site-plan approval from the township for the drop-off center.

But Hogan said the statute cited in the suit was misapplied. He said, after the meeting, that the county was a hierarchy of government over a local municipality and was not required to seek formal township approval of the plan.

"That's not carte blanche," Hogan said. "The county does have a duty to explain the process."

The drop-off center - the first of three facilities under way to expand the county recycling program - is planned for a 4.5-acre lot on Hartford Road and is to be completed in June.

Newspapers collected from 25 participating townships by the Occupational Training Center of Burlington County would be dropped off at the center, where they would be baled and later sold for recycling.

Delran officials said at the meeting that they were in favor of increased recycling but protested the county's site selection and planning processes. In both instances, said Mayor Richard J. Knight, the township was not asked for input or told of the plan's progress.

"We never heard from you until after you spent $25,000 plus of taxpayers' money for the project," Knight said to Robert Shinn, who stood next to a drawing of the plans and before the audience of about 40 residents.

Simkins said he believed the township had a "working knowledge" of the plans.

County recycling coordinator Moore said the county last met with former township manager Robert M. Boyles 3d in February 1985 to discuss the plans.

At that mention of Boyles, Knight bolted from his seat and shouted at Moore, saying that whatever discussions she had with Boyles were of no use to the township now. Boyles was suspended from his post on April 20 after a township car he was driving the wrong way on Route 130 hit a car driven by a college student head-on, killing him. Boyles was dismissed Nov. 23 after a jury found him guilty of death by auto. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

"Don't make comments about meeting with Delran's administrator," Knight told Moore, "because you met with a ghost."

Resident Daniel Paolini told the county representatives that it was "a shame that it took public officials to get you here and that now you are here, nothing can be done."

Simkins said he understood the township's anger at not being consulted on the siting of the drop-off center but that a recycling center did not warrant an investigation into every available parcel of land in the township.

"This site fits our needs," Simkins said.

"Not our needs," answered a smattering of voices in the audience.

Delran officials had suggested an alternate site - a parcel in an industrial park planned along Route 130 and away from a residential area, three schools and the school bus depot - but were told by the county that it was too late to consider another site.

"You have come to the township and you have shoved this plan down the throats of the residents, who are voters," said council member Maryann Rivell. "You have shoved this plan down the throats of the township."

Recycling Proving Not To Be Cure-all

Source: Posted: February 23, 1986

In a West Trenton pulp mill, employees navigate the vast plant on bicycles, speeding through the maze of connected buildings on aging clunkers or dwarfed Stingrays. In the warehouse, they pass through immense canyons formed by ceiling-high stacks of newspaper bales.

Voices echo in this dim storage building where Homasote Co. keeps its surplus raw material - newspapers collected in municipal recycling programs. More than 2,200 tons, shredded and baled in 60-pound bundles, have accumulated in the last year.

Warren Flicker, Homasote's executive vice president, grows somber as he strolls through the towering stacks of old newspapers, brought in daily by South Jersey towns eager to reduce their landfill costs. The supply of paper far exceeds the demand for Homasote's flagship product, a durable, lightweight paperboard used in the construction industry.

Homasote, founded in 1909 by shipping magnate Eugenius H. Outerbridge, has prospered by creating new products made with recycled paper and forging new markets in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Japan, lands without extensive forests.

But many pulp mills have more paper than they can use. Homasote is still unable to exhaust the supply of baled newspaper it bought last year, said Flicker, whose family-owned company is one of the nation's oldest paper recyclers. Yet, municipalities keep collecting newspapers and delivering them to Homasote and other pulp mills. And the canyon walls in Homasote's warehouse keep expanding.


Towns in Camden, Burlington and Gloucester Counties that turned to mandatory recycling as a panacea for their trash problems have discovered that it isn't a cure-all.

Recycling started as a way of keeping trash out of high-priced landfills while picking up some revenue from the sale of reusable materials. It was viewed as an environmentally sound philosophy that would help curb the growth of potentially hazardous landfills and limit the need for incinerators.

South Jersey residents were taught to separate glass, cans, newspapers and other items from the rest of their trash and place them on the curb in individual bins. Local governments bought trucks to collect the material and signed contracts to sell what they picked up to scrap dealers or industries such as Homasote.

But now, local markets for newpapers, glass and aluminum - the most common materials being recycled - are becoming saturated, said Republican Assemblyman Robert C. Shinn Jr., a former Burlington freeholder who coddled the county's first recycling efforts.

"We're in trouble with markets," Shinn said flatly.

The more towns recycle, it seems, the less money they receive for the new commodities, when they can sell the stuff.

The reasons are as basic as Economics 101 - supply and demand.

"It's a charade. There's no such thing as mandatory recycling, only mandatory collection (of recyclables). They're not recycling any more, they're just collecting more," said Paul Parker, vice president of the National Association of Recycling Industries, a New York City trade group representing industrial users of recycled materials.

A few towns are starting to question the potential financial benefits of recycling. One is Gloucester County's Washington Township, which suspended its program for six months in 1984 because it was not satisfied with the financial return.

Richard Marsella, a Washington Township Council member, complained that "we were selling (the newspaper) so cheap it wasn't worth it." The town spent $2,200 for each curbside collection for a $300 return, he said. "I think it's a hopeless situation."

Although 72 towns in the state started recycling programs last year, 31 towns either shrunk their programs or folded them, largely because they were dissatisfied with the financial return, according to the Association of New Jersey Recyclers in Absecon.

There are no cost analyses available, yet county recycling coordinators say recycling still seems cheaper than using landfills. Their fear is that collecting and transporting the materials for recycling could become almost as costly as dumping if the glut gets worse.

Eighteen months ago, Burlington County was getting $48 for a ton of newspaper, Shinn said. Today, the price is $10 a ton and falling. James Warner, Gloucester County recycling coordinator, said that towns there received virtually no money from scrap dealers for newspaper they collect.

Prices for aluminum and glass have fallen, too, but less dramatically. Abca Pallett & Box Co., a glass processor in northern New Jersey, paid $20 a ton for mixed colored glass three years ago and pays $17 today. Aluminum fluctuated from 30 cents a pound down to 20 cents and back during the last several years, according to Frank H. Rathbun 3d, a spokesman for the Aluminum Association, a trade association located in Washington, D.C.

After increasing dramatically for more than 15 years, the amount of newspaper that the nation's pulp mills recycled declined last year because of reduced industry demand, said J. Rodney Edwards, vice president of the American Paper Institute, a trade association in Manhattan.

The dip was small - 2 percent, from 20.5 million tons in 1984 to 20 million tons in 1985 - but disappointing in light of the growing interest in keeping bulky paper out of landfills, which charge by volume, Edwards said.

This does not bode well for New Jersey, which has been ahead of other states in using recycling as an alternative to landfills. The state recycled 56 percent of its newspapers, the highest rate in the country, according to Edwards. The national average is 30 percent.

Municipalities tend to view recycling programs as a means of "cost avoidance," a way to keep trash out of high-priced landfills, some county recycling coordinators say. The revenue from selling the materials is supposed to help defray the expense of collecting them.

But as prices fall, many towns find they must divert more of their own money to keep their recycling programs afloat.

"I don't buy this so-called theory of cost avoidance," Parker said, adding that recycling efforts had become counterproductive. "Driving the price (manufacturers will pay for recyclables) down doesn't increase recycling. Manufacturers don't buy the material because it's cheap; they buy it because there's a demand for their product."

Camden, Burlington and Gloucester Counties have applied different philosophies to the problem of making money from trash.

Burlington County's plan, which started in 1981, is the most comprehensive, and it is subsidized by taxpayers. Camden County, which plans to open a $700,000 processing facility in March, has invested less in equipment but hopes to make a profit from selling glass and aluminum. Gloucester County has not organized a countywide recycling program, leaving individual towns to market reusable materials on their own.

Burlington County has invested about $550,000 in trucks, trailers and other equipment that will allow it to compete with scrap dealers and, it hopes, sell its paper in the lucrative overseas markets, Shinn said. By this summer, paper, glass, aluminum and other reusable materials will be cleaned and processed at three regional processing centers, each costing about $500,000 to build, for a total capital investment of about $2 million.

Camden County has limited its investment, said Terry Dennen, county recycling coordinator, and will pay a private scrap dealer to sort and market aluminum, tin and glass - items chosen because they still draw good prices. Although Camden County is using a $120,000 state grant to pay for the program's first year, he said, it is designed to be self-sufficient within that time.

Individual Camden County towns, however, will be left on their own to market newspapers. Paper is harder to sell than glass or cans, though recycling newspapers saves far more landfill space than recycling glass or cans, Dennen said.

Burlington and Camden have designed countywide recycling programs in the belief that volume makes the material easier to market. Each Gloucester County town is in the position of competing for buyers of recycled materials with Burlington, Camden and other counties.

Gloucester County is still unsure whether it, too, should adopt a regional approach, said Warner, the county recycling coordinator. It has not bought any processing equipment since Superior Court Judge Samuel G. DeSimone issued an order making recycling mandatory in 1984.

But attempts to help the towns secure sales contracts and market the materials have been unsuccessful, Warner said. "Each town is competing with every other town, right now."

While the Association of New Jersey recyclers points to Burlington County's program as a model, it was among the most expensive to develop. There are curbside collections in 25 of its 40 towns and "drop-off" sites in the remainder, officials said.

The annual operating budget for the Burlington program is expected to be $670,000 this year. Revenue from sales will amount to about $200,000 and the county will save $380,000 a year in landfill costs, Ann Moore, county recycling coordinator, estimated. She said she expected newspaper collection in 1986 to total 7,500 tons.

Based on those calculations, the cost of recycling is about $15 a ton for paper, excluding the capital investment needed to start the program.

It costs Burlington residents about $32 a ton to send trash to Parklands Landfill in Bordentown. However, the county's other landfill, L & D in Mount Holly, is asking for a rate increase equivalent to $85.80 a ton.

Shinn acknowledged that Burlington residents paid indirectly to recycle because the program was subsidized with state and county tax revenues. When the county opens its landfill in Florence in 1987, the subsidy will come from a different source.

Shinn said the cost of recycling would be underwritten through the dumping fees, expected to be about $22 a ton, instead of general tax revenues. Recycling, Shinn said, also would enable the county to keep the size of its landfill to 50 acres and avoid creating a potential enviromental hazard.

He said that the cost of recycling should not be the main issue. "The goal in recycling is to preserve landfill space," he contended. "It's going to be a subsidized program."

Burlington is not the only county in the state where residents pay to recycle. Somerset County, in central New Jersey, levies a $10 annual tax on each household, but residents pay the fee directly.

Dennen said that Camden County residents would not pay for their recycling program, either directly or indirectly. He predicted the new sorting facility would break even in its first year and process 60 percent of the glass and cans used in the county.

Because Camden County is buying little processing equipment, Dennen said, it should be able to withstand poor market conditions. Burlington County, he said, "has got a lot more invested. They will suffer directly if there's a bad market. We're getting the same prices, but the difference is that we have less at stake."

Shinn, however, believes Burlington County's heavy investment will give it an advantage over other counties if the glut worsens, enabling it to stand up to the increased competition mandatory recycling will bring. "We'll be less affected because we have established markets," he said.

Broach the subject of mandatory recycling with any entrepreneur involved in buying or selling recycled materials and a scowl will usually cross his face.

The American Paper Institute, the Aluminum Association, the National Association of Industrial Recyclers - all predict dire financial results if New Jersey legislators enact statewide mandatory recycling. Such a bill and several amendments to it are being discussed in the Legislature. Many local officials are also worried.

"If you're having market problems now, what's going to happen when you start recycling even more?" Gloucester County's Warner asked.

He said that newspapers put out on the curb were only being offered for recycling. They were not actually recycled until "they're made into a piece of cardboard or whatever. What if they're just buried again? It becomes trash again."

Parker, of the industrial recyclers association, predicted a glut so severe that within two years towns would have to pay the manufacturers to take their materials.

"We see state officials overstressing the recycling option," said Edwards, of the American Paper Institue. "If the prices deteriorate, people will give up collection."

The paper institute believes that recycled trash should be handled by private scrap dealers who could better adapt to the ebb and flow of market conditions, Edwards said. When prices fall, they could suspend collection until the market rebounded.

The problem with irregular collection is that residents would not know when to save newspapers and when to throw them away, Shinn said. But county governments, which are assuming the scrap dealers' roles, are obliged to collect material for recycling on schedule regardless of the demand and no matter how low the price, Edwards said.

Parker's National Association of Recycling Industries is also unhappy with the new passion for recycling. He said that the current glut and the fall in the price of paper, glass and cans would eventually translate into lower prices for the end products manufactured from them - and smaller profits for industry.

Shinn, who has introduced an amendment that would require a market study before mandatory recycling goes into practice, agreed the bill could backfire unless new markets were created.

Instead of more recycling, there might be more material that had been collected for recycling heading back into landfills or incinerators.

Yet, Shinn remains hopeful that recycling can succeed in its main objectives: making America a less disposable society and keeping more reusable material out of the waste stream.

The number of landfills in New Jersey, once an all-too-common feature of the landscape, has dwindled to 10 from 300 a decade ago.

There will be no private landfills in a couple of years, predicted Mary Sheil, administrator for recycling at the state Department of Energy. Smaller, county-run landfills and incinerators will take their place, but she said recycling would still be essential if towns were going to cope with the revolution in trash disposal.

The mandatory-recycling legislation under discussion in Trenton proposes a number of provisions to increase the use of products made from recycled materials and to penalize those who make throw-away products.

Within three years, 60 percent of the state government's supply purchases would have to be made from recycled raw materials. There would be tax incentives, on the order of the depreciation allowances given foresters, and low-interest government loans included in the bill's provisions.

A key to making recycling work is creating new products and finding new markets for the existing ones, Shinn said.

Overseas markets are gold mines that are not being exploited, said Dawn Jacalone, a member of the Association of New Jersey Recyclers.

Burlington County, one of the few counties preparing to break into markets abroad, is installing a paper baling machine at its Delran sorting facility to make newspapers easier to ship overseas, Shinn said.

Edwards, of the American Paper Institute, said consumer awareness was needed before recycling could succeed. He suggested, for example, that the makers of Marcal toilet paper and other manufacturers that use recycled raw materials promote that aspect of their products.

He reasoned that consumers saved themselves money in the long run by purchasing recycled products and keeping trash out of landfills.

After all, it is the cost of dumping, not the cost of recycling, that is the main issue for many municipal officials.

"We're looking at this from a solid-waste standpoint," Dennen said. Camden County "towns are more willing to accept nothing for their paper" from dealers. "They're recycling not because they can get money for the material, but because (trash) disposal costs are $65 a ton."

"The question is, if you're willing to pay to put something in the ground, what are you willing to pay to put it back into productive use?" asked Trisha Ferrand, of the Association of New Jersey Recyclers.

Burlco Officials Assail Proposed Landfill Rate Hike

Source: Posted: February 26, 1986

Outrage was in the air last night as a parade of Burlington County officials denounced the L&D Landfill's proposed 398 percent rate increase at a public hearing.

"Highway robbery," said Henry McMullen, a Hainesport committeeman and director of public works.

"Absolutely frightening," said Delran Mayor Richard Knight.

"Unconscionable," a "death sentence" to municipal budgets, said state Assemblyman Thomas P. Foy (D., Burlington), who also represents five of the 19 towns that would be affected by the proposed increase.

Waste Management Inc., L&D's parent company, asked for permission from the state Board of Public Utilities in November to raise the towns' dumping fees by $20.97 a cubic yard, from an average $5.28 a cubic yard to more than $26. The firm said the new rate was needed to pay higher operating and environmental costs and to establish escrow funds to pay for the maintenance of the landfill after it is closed.

The increase, if granted, would be the second in three years for the landfill, which spreads into sections of Mount Holly, Eastampton and Lumberton.

But speakers at last night's hearing contended the proposed rate would bankrupt towns.

Knight said Delran's trash-disposal costs would rise from 10 to 50 percent of the town's local purpose tax, and Riverside Mayor Henry Miller said taxes in his town would jump 70 percent to cover a potential $210,110 increase in annual landfill expenses.

Municipal officials also questioned the necessity of the increase, since some said L&D representatives had told them the company would settle for an increase of $9.75 per cubic yard.

"It is obvious that over 80 percent (of the requested increase) is unnecessary in the eyes of the applicant and is a gross overstatement of their needs," Moorestown Manager John Terry said.

Only 15 people - including just one private citizen - offered comments to Administrative Law Judge Walter J. Sullivan, who was hearing the case for the public utilities board. Their testimony lasted 50 minutes, before about 50 people gathered in the Delran council chambers.

The meeting stood in sharp contrast to a 3 1/2-hour hearing held almost a year ago, when several hundred people turned out to oppose a 1,130 percent rate increase sought by the Parklands Landfill in Bordentown Township, also owned by Waste Management. That hearing gave way to protracted technical hearings in which most of the 17 towns affected participated. Ultimately, they succeeded in negotiating a rate much less than that first proposed.

So far, only Delran, Cinnaminson and Maple Shade have intervened in this case.

William J. Kearns, an attorney who represented five towns in the Parklands case, urged Sullivan to look at the two landfills as one. Waste Management acquired both landfills in 1984.

The landfills, Kearns said, share overlapping costs and the same controller, operator and central office location. Waste Management knew a year ago what additional funds L&D required and "they should have applied for it then" with the Parklands case, Kearns said.

Given the site's questionable life expectancy, Kearns and several other people advised the judge to ignore the company's request for an interim charge and to consider only a permanent rate.

"I think capacity is a major issue in this case," Burlington County's director of solid-waste management, Robert Simkins, said.

The county contends the 200-acre L&D landfill reached capacity last year. Waste Management says it is capable of continuing operations through this year. L&D's permit expires April 30.

Hearings on a request for an interim rate increase of $2.65, scheduled for next week, will be followed in late March by engineering and financial testimony.

Fast-rising Landfill Fees Hit Burlco Towns Hard

Source: Posted: March 02, 1986

In the one-two punch staggering municipal budgets this year, one is skyrocketing insurance premiums and two is skyrocketing landfill costs.

Nearly every municipality in Burlington County faces the prospect of paying sharply higher trash fees by the end of the year. Seventeen already are doing so; nineteen others are beginning to budget for what many regard as an inevitable doubling, tripling or even quadrupling of rates.

The reason: two recent rate cases. One was initiated late last November, the other concluded a month later. Both involved the 36 municipalities that send their trash to the L&D and Parklands landfills.

The days of cheap, or relatively cheap, trash disposal are gone forever, concede local officials, who also concede that they were insulated from the escalating costs longer than should have been expected.

Until its rate request last year, Parklands had maintained the charge of $2.40 per cubic yard since opening in 1976. Even L&D, which had received an increase in 1984 to just under $6 per cubic yard, still was far less expensive than the double-digit charges the county was warning towns to expect when its own solid-waste complex begins operation in 1987.

But the reality is that like insurance, trash is largely beyond a local government's control, is not going to go away and is likely to get only more costly.

A look at the rate cases involving the county's two major landfills, both owned by Waste Management Inc. of Chicago, shows:

* The 80-acre Parklands landfill in Bordentown Township filed last March for a 1,130 percent rate increase in dumping fees to $29.62 per cubic yard. This was the largest request in a single utility case in state history.

Waste Management, the landfill's owner of less than a year, said the existing rate was inadequate to cover daily operating costs and to set money aside, as required by state law, for closing and maintaining the site. Parklands is expected to close in 1987.

But many of the 17 communities involved in the case fought back, mounting a defense that pulled the case into lengthy technical hearings. An interim rate of $7.95 was negotiated during the summer. Local officials called this a victory, although municipalities immediately were forced to make emergency appropriations to cover the increase.

In December, a final settlement of $9.75 was reached. The full effect of that is being felt during current town budget deliberations.

* The 200-acre L&D Landfill in Mount Holly, Eastampton and Lumberton, filed in late November to raise rates more than $20 per cubic yard for the 19 towns that send trash there. The issues, Waste Management officials said, were much the same as those in the Parklands case: continuing financial losses in the face of increasingly stringent environmental requirements.

A complicating factor in this case may be the site's contested life expectancy. Its current operating permit expires in April, but Waste Management contends operation could continue through 1986.

Although concerted municipal opposition to the request has not materialized, several towns are fighting L&D. A public hearing Tuesday in Delran attracted more than 50 people and saw a parade of township officials protest what they contended would bankrupt municipal budgets. Technical hearings, centering first on a possible interim rate, will be held this week.

There is little they can do to shift, reduce or cushion these costs, officials said, other than intensify recycling efforts to divert more trash from the landfill, or renegotiate hauling contracts in hopes of lowering prices there.

Willingboro, for one, recently did the latter, changing from a six-day-a- week collection contract to a four-day-a-week pickup. That move cut $140,000, but landfill costs rose more than $153,000, bringing the total trash budget to $1,165,188.

Whether there is any relief on the horizon from the state also remains uncertain.

Some legislators, including Assemblyman Robert C. Shinn Jr. (R., Burlington), insist that communities must be allowed to exempt solid-waste disposal costs when calculating whether budgets exceed the state-mandated cap on annual budget growth. New Jersey law prohibits municipal budgets from exceeding the previous year's by more than 5 percent.

The new state Sanitary Landfill Closure and Rate Relief Fund, signed into law by Gov. Kean last December, could channel grants and low-interest loans to Burlington County communities this year. The fund was designed to assist those municipalities forced to pay the bulk of the costs associated with closing landfills that previously accepted trash from other counties.

But the fund's qualifying criteria and disbursement formula have not been set. In addition, the state must determine how much outside waste each landfill took, and from where.

At one time, Burlington County was receiving garbage from Philadelphia and 12 private Pennsylvania haulers, as well as from Camden, Mercer and other New Jersey counties.

Charting The Opposition In 2 Landfill-fee Cases

Source: Posted: March 04, 1986

Eleven months ago, a crowd of nearly 200 people jammed the Bordentown City Hall to protest a proposed 1,130 percent rate increase at the 80-acre Parklands Landfill in Bordentown Township.

Last Tuesday, fewer than 60 local officials and residents appeared in the Delran Township Council chambers to register opposition to a proposed 398 percent rate increase at the county's other landfill, the 200-acre L&D Landfill in Mount Holly. Fifteen people spoke - only one a private citizen - and the hearing lasted just 50 minutes.

That turnout provided a graphic example of how differently the L&D case is progressing. Although the 19 Burlington County towns that use L&D have a large financial stake in the outcome, they have not presented a vocal, unified front, as many of the 17 towns involved in the Parklands case did.

In fact, a preliminary strategy session on Feb. 13 attracted administrators from only a handful of towns, including Delran, Moorestown, Cinnaminson, Maple Shade and Hainesport.

"I expected to see about 15 places" filled, Cinnaminson Manager John Ostrowski said.

Indifference? Disorganization? Local officials offer a variety of explanations to account for the lack of concerted action, including confusion over L&D's life expectancy, the cost of mounting a legal battle and, especially, the landfill company's eagerness to negotiate a new rate before hearings even began.

But attorney Sandra Ayrers of the state public advocate's office and Robert Simkins, the county's solid-waste management director, cited a different reason: No town has emerged to rally its neighbors and lead the charge.

"I'm not convinced that towns are walking around with a sense of security that the rate isn't going to go up," Simkins said. "But no municipality, no one person, has stepped out front to orchestrate a united opposition to the rate."

It was that opposition, spearheaded by Willingboro Township and its solicitor, William J. Kearns, that many people believe played a critical role in December's settlement in the Parklands case. After protracted technical hearings and negotiations, Parklands and the municipalities agreed to a rate of $9.75 per cubic yard, far below the $29.62 originally sought but still a 300 percent increase over the old rate of $2.40.

The effort did not come cheaply; nearly a dozen towns spent a total of almost $250,000 to hire engineering experts and legal assistance. Still, Kearns stresses, "the only effective way to fight an increase is to make sure you're coordinated and actively participating."

The two landfill-rate cases have numerous similarities.

Both were initiated by Waste Management Inc. of Chicago, which acquired the sites during its 1984 takeover of SCA Services Inc.

Both landfills sought steep increases in fees to offset what they said were significant daily operating losses and the costs of environmental measures and the required closure and post-closure maintenance escrow fund. L&D has filed for an increase of $20.97 per cubic yard, which would push rates from $5.28 to more than $26 per cubic yard. Under the original Parklands request, rates there would have risen from $2.40 to $29.62 per cubic yard.

And both, according to municipal officials, seriously threatened local budgets.

At Tuesday night's public hearing before Administrative Law Judge Walter J. Sullivan, officials emphasized how L&D's proposed increase would devastate tax rates. Maple Shade's local-purpose tax would jump by one-third, its manager said, and Riverside's by more than two-thirds, its mayor said.

"Between landfill costs and insurance costs, we're absolutely being slaughtered," Cinnaminson Deputy Mayor Madeline Koszyk lamented.

Hearings on L&D's move for an interim rate increase of $2.65, to $7.93 per cubic yard, will be held starting today. Testimony on a permanent rate is scheduled to begin late this month.

But there also are key differences between the two cases, with perhaps the most important one being Waste Management's own approach to its request for L& D.

Not even a month after the firm filed its notice for higher rates with the state Board of Public Utilities, company controller Mark Sokoloff was wooing towns with an invitation to negotiate a rate of about $9.75 per cubic yard.

"The company has taken the fire out of the towns by going around," Ostrowski said.

The offer to negotiate, Ostrowski and others said, indicated to municipalities that Waste Management never expected to be granted anything near its official proposal. They point to the Parklands settlement, at $9.75, as further evidence.

"I look at the thing this way," said Palmyra Mayor John Casey, calling the hearing process a charade. "They're asking for 300-400 percent, but they're hoping to come out with 10, 12 or 15 percent."

"We don't think they have any chance in hell of getting the rate they're asking for," Medford Lakes Mayor John Gaitens said. A legal fight "would accomplish next to nothing, because we would have settled for $9 and change without that."

Yet, at least a half-dozen towns have decided to intervene, including Cinnaminson, Delran, Maple Shade, Evesham, Moorestown and Mount Holly. Evesham Manager Burton Conway said he had already detected a split taking place, with some smaller towns very interested in negotiating and larger ones in pursuing rate hearings.

"Waste Management is just throwing numbers around. We want to know the facts," he said.

Sokoloff denied that his visits throughout the county had weakened the company's case.

"I think (the offer) shows good faith on the part of Waste Management," he said. In addition, his discussions with municipal officials have helped them "understand a little more of who we are, what we are trying to do, and that our losses are real."

L&D's 1984 rate increase provided additional money only for the post- closure escrow fund, he pointed out. "Deduct that from our rate, and we're under $2," he said.

As for the possibility that a full rate proceeding will take place, he said, "I don't think the towns want that, and I know we don't want that."

Indeed, some towns question the wisdom of mounting a legal fight, given the landfill's uncertain life expectancy. Officials say there is a definite tradeoff between high legal fees and high trash fees at a landfill that may be open only a matter of months.

"Why get involved in something that's not going to last?" Shamong Mayor Fred Ott asked.

Although Waste Management contends that L&D can continue operation through 1986, the county has said the site already has reached capacity. L&D's current operating permit will expire April 30.

"There are so many unknowns," said Hainesport Committeeman Michael McMullen. "How many expert witnesses is it worth it to pay - sometimes at $100 a hour - to find out (L&D) is closed?"

Keeping A Critical Eye On Recycling Proposal

Source: Posted: March 16, 1986

It's a good thing Bill Hess works on something that makes noise.

The theme songs and laugh tracks that drone from the sets in his television repair shop drown out the screech of car brakes and the grind of school buses as they meet the stop sign outside his shop at the corner of Route 130 and Hartford Road.

But Hess, a 26-year resident of Delran Township, fears that the traffic, danger and noise at the corner will worsen when the county builds a newspaper recycling drop-off center on a vacant lot a few hundred yards from his business.

"There are a lot of fender benders here," he said one day last week, when a light rain had left Route 130's six lanes slick and oily. "On a day like today, I'm going to see at least one accident."

Four businesses and three homeowners would be affected by the drop-off center, from which as many as 11 vans may be dispatched on weekdays between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. to collect newspapers from 25 townships throughout the county. The vans are scheduled to return to the center between noon and 6 p.m. to unload the paper, and, once baled, the paper would be loaded into 40-foot tractor-trailers. Three trailers, according to county recycling coordinator Ann Moore, may leave the plant daily to deliver the paper to commercial recyclers.

County officials have said that the facility, which they expect to begin building this summer, would not adversely affect traffic or property values and would not be a safety hazard.

Hess and other residents, however, are not convinced.

"This is basically in the center of a residential community," Hess said. ''I'm concerned with the traffic and the people on the street who are going to be directly affected."

When the county initially announced plans for the baling facility, Hess said he would donate a piece of ground for the county to pave, so that the 18- wheel trucks that use Hartford Road as access road to Routes 130 and 295 could better negotiate the turn at his corner.

"But now I won't even sell it because of the way the township has been treated by the county," he said.

The township filed suit against the county in November, contending that the county had violated the state's municipal land-use law when it failed to seek township approval of the site. The suit is pending in Superior Court in Burlington County.

In response to that suit, representatives of the county's department of solid waste management attended the township planning board's Feb. 11 meeting and reviewed the plans for the site before more than 60 skeptical residents.

Paul May and Charles Shontz were two of them.

May, an arborist, lives about 500 feet from the proposed site and works out of his home. Shontz, an excavating contractor who lives next door, has lived in his home for 16 years.

Eighty percent of May's property, which he bought from Shontz six years ago, is commercially zoned. When he chose to house his business and his family on the same parcel of land, May said, he went before the township zoning and planning boards numerous times before gaining approval.

"I had to apply by all these rules and regulations and alert (neighbors) of what I was doing," recalled May, seated in the kitchen of his rancher. ''But we didn't get any warning from the county about this recycling center and not much prior notice."

Said Shontz, "We're all for the rules, as long as everybody else is required to abide by those rules, too."

Both men said they favor recycling but are concerned about the unwanted noise, traffic and hazards of storing paper and, as the recycling program expands, glass bottles.

"My concern is rats," May said, adding that he has a young son. "I don't know if this is an area where I should raise more children."

"You know when they collect bottles they may have something left in them that will attract rodents," Shontz said. "Anything else could seep into the ground and the water."

Both men said that they are familiar with the equipment that would be used at the center and that no matter how many trees the county installs as a buffer, the noise still would be bothersome.

"I don't want to hear the wind of a tractor eight hours a day, or the sound of a front-end loader," said Shontz.

He said the machine that would be used to shred cans would generate a lot of noise, especially in the summer, when he speculated that workers would open all the center's doors for fresh air.

Walter Yansick stared out the front window of the gasoline service station he has owned since 1958 and watched late afternoon traffic - cars, buses and tractor-trailers - barrel through the intersection of Hartford and Bridgeboro Roads.

"They (the county) had it on paper last June that there was going to be a light at this intersection last summer," Yansick said. "They were supposed to have a light before they even talked about this (recycling center)." He said he sees at least two bad accidents and five to 10 "close ones" every month.

"You can see," he said, as a car stopped short as another cut in front of it, "it gets progressively worse all the time."

According to Delran police Lt. Art Saul, there have only been one or two accidents "at the most" at the corner of Route 130 and Hartford Road in the last six months. Saul said, however, that the corner does have a high volume of school bus traffic from the township bus depot nearby.

Burlco Takes Landfill Fight Before Judge

Source: Posted: April 01, 1986

Burlington County went on the record yesterday with its opposition to the proposed L&D; Landfill rate settlement, contending that the landfill is full and should be shut immediately, not given a rate increase.

The county's position, presented by Assistant Burlington County Solicitor Glen Filippone during a hearing before Administrative Law Judge Walter J. Sullivan, means that there will be no quick conclusion to the tentative compromise worked out by the landfill and the seven municipalities that intervened in the rate case.

"The county's objection is not, per se, the rate. Whether it's a good rate or not a good rate is not the county's main issue," Filippone said. Instead, the issue "boils down to capacity," he said. "To give any rate increase would be admitting (L&D;) has capacity."

Burlington County officials say the landfill ran out of capacity at least several months ago and are pressing the state Department of Environmental Protection to revoke the landfill's current operating permit, which expires April 30. DEP officials said last month that they would wait for the company's own capacity studies, which are due May 1, before making a decision.

But county freeholders also are threatening to file suit against Waste Management Inc., L&D;'s parent company, contending that the landfill is at capacity and that the firm is violating its operating permit by continuing to accept waste.

Further operation would constitute an expansion at the site, which is prohibited by the county's waste-management plan because L&D; sits over an aquifer, an underground water supply, Filippone said.

Waste Management, however, contends that L&D; could remain open through this year. It originally sought a $26-per-cubic-yard dumping charge to raise additional revenues for operating and environmental expenses. Burlington County communities now pay an average of $5.28 per cubic yard, excluding state and county taxes.

Attorneys for the company and intervening towns last week discussed setting the rate at $7.50 per cubic yard, hoping that the remaining parties would agree to that in a stipulation, or legal agreement, ending the case.

But after the county made its objection at yesterday's hearing, attorneys for the state public advocate's office and the state Board of Public Utilities staff withheld their support pending further study.

Even if the advocate's office and utilities staff decide to agree to the proposed stipulation, the county's objection means that Sullivan will have to hold hearings to consider the county's position and then issue his own recommendation, Filippone said.

Pact Reached On Rate Hike For Landfill

Source: Posted: May 09, 1986

State and municipal officials said yesterday that they had reached an agreement on a rate increase for the L & D Landfill in Mount Holly.

Representatives of the state Public Advocate's Office, the Board of Public Utilities and six municipalities said they would sign a rate-increase settlement, according to George Dawson, spokesman for the BPU.

Burlington County is the only party involved in the landfill's rate- increase request unwilling to sign the settlement, Dawson said.

The settlement would include an increase from the current rate of $5.85 to $7.22 per cubic yard for compacted household trash and $7.32 per cubic yard for uncompacted garbage. The landfill's owner, Waste Management Inc. of Chicago, orginally had asked the BPU for an increase of $26 per cubic yard.

An administrative law judge has yet to rule if the settlement should be submitted for full-scale rate hearings and approval by the BPU. The board has final say over any rate increase.

Eighteen municipalities in Burlington County send their trash to the 200- acre site, which straddles Mount Holly, Lumberton and Eastampton. The landfill has operated since the early 1960s.

However, only six municipalities - Cinnaminson, Delran, Evesham, Maple Shade, Moorestown and Mount Holly - chose to become intervenors in the rate- increase process. The county also chose to intervene.

Burlington County has contended that the landfill reached capacity several months ago and should be closed immediately. State and landfill officials have maintained that operations at the L & D site could continue through 1986.

"I think the county's interest in the rate case has always been different from the municipalities'," said Glen Filippone, assistant county solicitor. ''The county made its objections and submitted various letters to the judge."

The solid-waste staff of the BPU has decided that the question of capacity should not be resolved by the board but by the state Department of Environmental Protection, Dawson said.

The landfill's operating permit expired on April 30. However, it was extended for 14 days to allow state officials time to determine how much capacity remains in the landfill.

A Waste Management spokeswoman, Sue Leubbering, said that as far as the company was concerned, no formal settlement existed. "Until all the towns have come to an agreement and the documents are signed, sealed and delivered, there is no settlement," she said.

Delran's Trash Bill Is Going Up; 'Significant' Tax Hike Predicted

Source: Posted: September 17, 1986

For the last three years, Delran residents' trash-disposal costs have been relatively painless compared with those of surrounding communities. Now, the honeymoon is over.

The Delran Township Council last week approved a new trash-disposal contract, the cost of which will hit taxpayers next year. Mayor Richard Knight predicted a "significant" increase in the budget to pay for trash disposal in 1987 - a cost that will show up on property owners' tax bills.

Neither Knight nor township administrator Matt Watkins were able to estimate how much of an increase the new costs would add to the tax rate.

Many communities have already felt the painful crunch of increased costs for trash disposal. For example, landfill costs tripled for Palmyra last year. In Delanco, landfill costs quadrupled, from $19,680 to $79,950.

Delran had been able to escape those increases because it had a three-year contract with a subsidiary of Waste Management Inc. that fixed the expense.

For $230,000 a year, trash in Delran was picked up and dumped at the L & D Landfill near Mount Holly. The contract was to expire in the summer, but was extended through this month.

With costs going up because of limited landfill space, the days of expenses that low are over. (Knight said he expected Delran to be directed to use the Parklands landfill, in Bordentown Township, next month because of decreasing space at L & D.)

On Oct. 1, the new hauler, Browning-Ferris Industries of Cranbury, in Middlesex County, will begin collecting the trash. The company will be paid approximately $220,000 a year under the contract approved last week.

But that fee will only be for picking up trash at the curb; the contract does not include landfill dumping fees. Knight said the Township Council decided to pay those costs directly, rather than through the hauler, so it could save money by controlling the costs.

The Township Council wants to embark on an ambitious recycling program, he said in an interview this week.

"The less we send (to the landfill), the less we have to pay for," Knight said.

Instead of having the landfill costs included in a fixed contract price, the township needs to pay only for what is actually dumped, he said.

He said the township wanted to eventually recycle 90 percent of its trash. ''It's more than simply a hope," he said. "We're going to go to work."

New Trash Rate Negotiated In Burlco

Source: Posted: October 23, 1986

The 17 Burlington County towns that have used the Parklands Landfill throughout 1986 may see their trash-disposal costs drop by nearly one-fifth should they approve a new rate unexpectedly negotiated between county officials and the landfill's owner, Waste Management Inc.

Most local officials today should receive the county's surprise letter about a $1.81 cut in the Parklands' charge. Dumping fees would fall from $9.75 to $7.94 per cubic yard of trash, which the county's solid-waste consultant called a good rate. "I believe the townships will receive it positively," the consultant, Robert Shinn, said yesterday.

The proposed rate was struck last week during Shinn's discussions with Waste Management officials over closure of its L&D Landfill in Mount Holly and extension of the operating permit for Parklands in Bordentown Township. The three issues are interrelated.

L&D is midway through a phase-out that will close the site by Dec. 31. Eight towns recently were redirected to Parklands, an additional six will begin sending trash to Parklands next month, and the last five communities will leave on the last day of operation.

This gradual redirection would have triggered a reopening of the last Parklands rate case, which ended in late 1985 after months of hearings. The settlement included an unusual clause requiring a new rate request to be filed immediately should other garbage be shifted to Parklands before its current permit expires in April.

Shinn said he and company officials decided to address a new rate themselves rather than pursue the time-consuming and costly hearing process. Although no townships were party to the discussions, Shinn called his meetings with Waste Management "an ideal time to negotiate an ultimate rate" at Parklands. "The sooner we can settle the rate issue, the sooner the towns can save money," he said.

The proposed rate was reached not through the engineering and financial analysis that takes place during hearings, but through straightforward bartering, Shinn said.

"They essentially wanted the same rate. We essentially said that's not acceptable," he said. They started talking at $9.75 per cubic yard; he offered $7.50. "I sort of felt we came to some middle ground that we felt was responsible."

The $7.94 fee also should prove a financial blessing for the communities whose trash is being shifted from L&D to Parklands. Because they were paying $7.50 per cubic yard of trash taken to L&D, they were expecting significantly higher hauling and disposal costs as they moved to the other landfill.

But before the new charge can take effect, all 17 towns involved in last year's Parklands rate case will have to vote their approval. Waste Management, which could not be reached for comment yesterday, has to defend the rate before the state Board of Public Utilities.

Delran To Seek Injunction On Proposed Trash Station

Source: Posted: October 23, 1986

The Delran Township Council last night authorized its solicitor to seek a court injunction to block the construction of a regional drop-off station for recyclable trash.

The Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders submitted plans to the township yesterday calling for construction of the drop-off station on Hartford Road, near schools and homes where items such as glass and paper would be sorted.

Mayor Richard Knight said the township received the plans for the station yesterday morning. Trash from several towns would be sorted at the station for recycling before being sold.

A county representative requested yesterday that Delran's construction official issue a building permit for the site. The official refused.

"We did not issue a permit, and we will not issue a permit," said Knight, who proposed seeking the injunction. He called the request for the permit poorly timed and ill-planned.

Knight said the plans received yesterday had been promised by the end of June by the county solicitor.

"We are in favor of having a transfer station in Delran, we want it here, we've offered them alternate locations," Knight said.

He said, however, that the township wants the station built in an industrial area, and he called the freeholders "insensitive, arrogant, irresponsible and heavy-handed" in pursuing the project for Hartford Road.

The freeholders proposed on July 9, 1984, at a Delran Planning Board meeting, that the drop-off station be located on the county-owned, 4 1/2-acre site on Hartford Road.

According to Knight, officials and residents are concerned about vermin, noise, traffic, property values and the safety of children. The site is in a residental area and is near three schools, Delran High School, Holy Cross High School and Millbridge Elementary School.

Knight said that when he visited the proposed site yesterday, an idled bulldozer was there.

"I'm seeking time," Knight said. "What I want on behalf of the people of Delran is time for our officials to review these plans. We need experts, and we need time."

Judge: Recycling Sites Akin To Dumps

Source: Posted: November 04, 1986

A judge ruled yesterday that a recycling center Burlington County wants to build in Delran is the equivalent of an incinerator or landfill - a decision that could mean difficulties for New Jersey counties trying to build recycling plants as they struggle to find new ways to dispose of trash.

The decision of Superior Court Judge Martin Haines in Burlington County could put numerous regulatory obstacles in the path of any planned recycling facility, according to the lawyers involved with the case. As a result of the decision, counties might be required to prepare lengthy and costly environmental-impact statements and hold public hearings any time they want to build a recycling center.

The lawyers also said Haines' decision could mean that the state Department of Environmental Protection would soon be supervising recycling facilities as it now does landfills, incinerators and other solid-waste dumps.

Until now, the DEP has not regulated recycling facilities because most are small operations, said department spokesman James Staples.

"Whether this remains the case in the future remains to be seen," he said yesterday. "We'll be looking forward to reading the judge's decision."

Haines' decision could be critical in New Jersey, said John Harrington, the attorney who represented Delran. As landfills reach capacity and environmentalists continue to fight incinerators, more and more communities are turning to recycling programs to ease the strain of disposing of trash.

If Haines' decision holds - county solicitor Michael Hogan indicated he would appeal - then lengthy applications could be necessary for recycling facilities. The application process can easily take more than a year as environmental impact-studies are developed and public hearings are conducted.

Delran's concerns with the recycling center were the same that many residents would have if an incinerator or landfill were to be constructed near their homes, but on a smaller scale, Mayor Richard Knight said.

The center would be a magnet for vermin and create a stench in the neighborhood along Hartford Road where it was planned, he said.

"We had a major concern (because) the site was close to three schools," Knight said yesterday.

The county began plans more than two years ago to build the recycling center in Delran, a community of 15,000 people along the Delaware River. The facility would have processed paper, glass and cans. The paper would have been baled and the cans and glass crushed for removal.

Delran opposed where the county wanted to put the facility. The four-acre site on Hartford Road is primarily a residential area and inappropriate for a recycling center, township officials argued.

They wanted the county to build the center in an industrial area of the township, but county officials refused. The fight entered the legal arena last fall when the township sued the county.

The suit was dropped earlier this year when the county agreed to submit construction plans for township approval. However, two weeks ago, surveying stakes appeared on the land, and construction equipment was brought in.

Delran sought an injunction to stop the construction, and Haines granted that injunction in issuing his decision yesterday.

Ruling On Recycling Center Threatens To Cause Delay

Source: Posted: November 09, 1986

Burlington County officials were reeling last week from an unexpected court decision that could delay the implementation of their new recycling program. Superior Court Judge Martin Haines ruled Monday that a recycling center that the county planned for Delran Township was the equivalent of an incinerator, landfill or other solid-waste facility.

"This was really a broadside; it really was," said Robert Shinn, manager of resources and special projects, who is leading the county's recycling program. "We just can't stand any sort of delay."

But delays could occur.

Haines' decision was part of an injunction he issued to temporarily halt construction of a recycling transfer station on Hartford Road in Delran. Township officials contended that the site, which is near three schools, is the wrong place for a recycling center.

The decision equating recycling centers with landfills could have broad implications in New Jersey, lawyers in the case agreed, requiring counties to follow the same lengthy and costly procedures to gain state approval for recycling centers that they now do for landfills.

The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) now does not regulate recycling centers as it does landfills and other solid-waste facilities. That may change as a result of Haines' decision, according to department spokesman James Staples, who said that DEP officials were eager to study the court order.

County officials had scheduled a meeting with DEP representatives Friday to review Haines' decision.

Whatever the outcome, construction of the recycling center in Delran will not begin as quickly as county officials had hoped.

But the decision also has a benefit for the county, said county solicitor Michael Hogan. By terming a recycling center a solid-waste facility, Haines has put placement of the facility in county hands and eliminated any control by Delran, he said.

Hogan said that if the recycling center indeed was a solid waste dump, it would be part of the county's solid waste management plan, over which Delran has no control.

Haines' decision was a setback in the county's struggle to find new ways to dispose of trash.

Plans to build a county-owned landfill in Florence have been bitterly opposed by nearby residents, environmentalists and archaeologists who say historically important Quaker farmhouses are on the site.

While private landfills are rapidly reaching capacity, the county - like many others in New Jersey - has turned to recycling to help ease the trash crunch. A mandatory recycling program was approved by Burlington County freeholders in the summer.

"It's a benign process," Shinn said of recycling.

The center in Delran would be a transfer point where glass and newspapers would be gathered. They would then be taken to a planned county recycling center in Florence for crushing and baling.

Delran Mayor Richard Knight had complained that the transfer station would be noisy, dusty and attract vermin. He wanted the county to build the station in an industrial park planned along Route 130 near Taylor's Lane.

But Shinn said the county's four-acre parcel on Hartford Road was appropriate for the center and would not disrupt the neighborhood.

"It has no more impact than that trucking terminal which we're right next door to," he said. "It's zoned properly for what it is. We're spending $900,000 on the facility to make it a model facility."

Burlco Asks State To Hurry On Recycling-center Permit

Source: Posted: March 12, 1987

Burlington County freeholders asked the state yesterday to speed up its permit process for a Delran recycling center, saying further delay could cause a trash crisis in the county.

The county has been waiting since November for the state Department of Environmental Protection to approve an environmental impact statement that has been done for the center, said Freeholder Director Martha Bark.

A Delran municipal judge stopped construction at the site in early November, after township officials complained that it was too close to a school and homes. Acting on a lawsuit filed by Delran Township, Judge Martin L. Haines ruled that an environmental impact study must be completed and approved by the DEP before construction could resume.

Haines' ruling is the first time a detailed impact statement has been required for a recycling center in the state, said Ann Moore, county recycling coordinator.

The $908,000 regional recycling center was scheduled for completion in February, he said. Unless the center is opened soon, the county may run out of space for its trash, Bark said.

The county planned to use recycling to stretch out the capacity of the Parklands Landfill in Bordentown until its new disposal site in Mansfield and Florence Townships is completed in September 1988, Bark said.

The county already is collecting paper and storing it on county parking lots in Westampton. To avert a trash crisis by mid-1988, Moore said, the county had planned to have all its 40 municipalities recycle paper, glass and aluminum starting in April. If the center is not opened by April, recyclable waste will add 500 tons of trash a month to Parklands, she said.

"We just hope DEP will approve the permit in time so we don't have to worry about expansion at Parklands, although the delay means there will be some," she said. The county has not determined how the delay has affected capacity at Parklands, she said.

Freeholders, however, received encouraging news about another landfill that has worried county officials. Special projects coordinator Robert C. Shinn told freeholders yesterday that the DEP planned to start cleaning up toxic runoff from the Big Hill Landfill in Southampton by June 6, even though the problem is much bigger than first feared.

The county had proposed spending $100,000 in emergency funding to clean up the dump. A DEP analysis showed that about 10 million gallons of leachate was on the site and flowing into nearby drains and retention ponds. The dump was closed in 1982 when the owners went bankrupt. It was targeted for cleanup under the state's Spill Fund, which is money collected from landfill owners.

Because the DEP has accelerated its schedule to clean up and recover the dump, Shinn said the county has turned over emergency cleanup efforts to the state. The county has spent about $1,300 in engineering fees for permits to do the emergency work, he said. The DEP is expected to grant the permits by May 6, and the cleanup could start within the month, said Shinn.

In other action, Freeholder Francis Bodine told county officials that Highway Department managers had failed to anticipate the severity of the January snowstorm. Bark asked Bodine to report on the department's snow- removal efforts after the county received numerous complaints from residents and officials.

Bodine said the department spent $129,693 on labor, salt and sand, contractors, meals and fuel to clear the county's 500 miles of roadway. The money came from traffic violation fines collected by municipalities, according to retiring roads supervisor Kenneth Street.

To improve snow removal next season, Bodine said he would recommend to incoming roads manager Donald Neidich that snow emergency routes be published, that agreements be worked out with large municipalities to clear county roads, that more outside contractors be hired and that road crews be deployed more effectively.

Delran Recycling Station Opposed

Source: Posted: April 23, 1987

About 25 Delran residents attended the Township Council meeting last night to protest the construction of a Burlington County recycling station in a residential neighborhood on Hartford Road.

The residents complained that the station, which will draw heavy truck traffic, is being built without their input. Work on the $908,000 station began April 6, after an appellate court judge refused to issue a restraining order against the county.

Delran is suing Burlington County in an effort to stop the station, which will be used to sort newspaper, glass and aluminum collected from around the county.

Jon Hewko, chairman of Citizens Against the Hartford Road Recycling Station, said last night that the Burlington County Board of Freeholders is "bound and determined to force this thing down our throats and they're doing it."

Delran residents have opposed the recycling center since it was first proposed nearly two years ago. But time may be running out for the opposition. The county expects to finish the center in about two months.

"The county just ran over us," Paul May, who lives in Delran and runs a business on Hartford Road, complained last night.

The residents are still hoping to organize a protest demonstration at the work site or at the county offices in Mount Holly.

"If they intend to shove it down our throats they're going to have a hell of a time doing it," said Hewko.

Delran Council President Mary Ann Rivell responded: "If you're willing to take them on, we're willing to take them on."

The residents' main worry is that the station would be noisy and would increase truck traffic on their streets. They are also concerned that the recycling center will be dirty and attract rats, which could pose a threat to schoolchildren at the nearby Millburn Elementary School and Delran and Holy Cross High Schools.

Residents attending the meeting faulted the freeholders for failing to accept a substitute site in an industrial area offered by the township.

But Freeholder Director Martha Bark said yesterday that the site, located on Taylors Lane, was impractical because it is part of the state's Green Acres parkland preservation program.

Robert Shinn, a state assemblyman and the county's special projects coordinator, said it would take five years to win state permission to use the Taylors Lane site for the recycling station.

Delran Makes A Last-ditch Effort Against County's Recycling Site

Source: Posted: April 28, 1987

Nearly 200 Delran residents and local politicians made a dramatic last- ditch effort last night to keep a county recycling station from opening within a quarter-mile of the Delran High School.

The battle against the recycling site on Hartford Road off Route 130 has dragged on between the township and county freeholders since 1984.

County officials want to have the plant operating by April 1988 as one of two stations to handle recyclable bottles, glass and cans. Two weeks ago, Delran lost a yearlong court battle when a Burlington County judge ordered township officials to issue building permits for the site.

Despite the legal setback, dozens of residents last night told Republican Assemblyman Robert Shinn, a former freeholder, that the center still poses a danger to children attending the school and vowed to continue the fight against it.

"I would like to make it clear that this is an apolitical meeting," said school board President Ron Napoli. "What we are concerned with is the safety of our children."

The school board voted 7-0 on a resolution appealing to the county to work with township officials to resolve the siting of the plant. The county has already broken ground on the proposed $900,000 center, which Shinn said would have been operating a year ago but was blocked by the court battle.

Delran council members, including Mayor Richard Knight, said repeatedly during the meeeting that the township stood ready to cooperate with the county if the plant were to be moved elsewhere in the township. Knight said county officials had ignored alternative sites suggested by the township for the last two years.

"You have been offered three different parcels of land plus an offer to buy out the property," Councilman Patrick Tinney said to Shinn. "We have told you from day one that the objection is not to recycling but to the site."

Shinn was interrupted several times by catcalls, shouts and sporadic questions as he tried to respond to the audience.

"We have a very serious problem with trash," he said, and added that the county might be forced to "float trash on barges" down the Delaware River if the recycling center and a new county landfill in Florence Township are not opened on time next year.

But John Hewko, who leads a citizens' action group against the proposed site, urged residents to continue their oppostion through petitions and organized demonstrations.

"This is the worst possible location they could have picked," Hewko said. He accused the freeholders of "Gestapo tactics used by the county to make Delran a springboard for the county's trash program."

"It's time to make a stand," Hewko said. "If the county wants war - they get war."

Delran Residents Protest Burlco Trash-recycling Site

Source: Posted: April 30, 1987

About 20 placard-carrying Delran residents yesterday protested Burlington County's construction of a trash-recycling station in their community, saying that it would increase truck traffic and pose a safety hazard to schoolchildren.

Residents converged on the station site on Hartford Road near U.S. Route 130 during the morning rush hour with signs urging the Burlington County freeholders to "get your cans out of Delran" and to "crush cans and bottles, not our children." Two high schools and an elementary school are within a mile of the site.

About six of the protesters then went to the Burlington County Administration Building in Mount Holly and demonstrated there about an hour, until the county freeholders invited them to their conference meeting.

Jon Hewko, chairman of Citizens Against the Hartford Road Recycling Station and the one who organized the protest, contended that the freeholders had not considered an alternative site for the station in a new industrial park being built by Delran businessman George Yelland.

"We're not opposed to the recycling station," Hewko told the board. "We support what the county is trying to do. We just want the station built on a site that is not detrimental to the township."

Freeholder Francis Bodine said yesterday, however, that county officials had received only one "written proposal" on an alternative site for the station, and that was for property set aside under the state's Green Acres program. State Assemblyman Robert C. Shinn Jr. (R., Burlington), the county's special projects coordinator, told the freeholders last week that it would take months to have Green Acres property rezoned for industrial use.

Opposition from Delran residents already has delayed the project. A lawsuit filed last year by the township in an unsuccessful attempt to halt the project has put the project behind schedule five months, county officials said.

The county wants the $908,000 recycling station operating by this fall. Work began on the plant on April 6, after a Burlington County Superior Court judge refused Delran's request to issue a restraining order blocking construction and ordered the township to give the county building permits for the site. Delran is appealing another court decision that allows the county to build the recycling station on Hartford Road.

"You can get this project built faster with our support than without it," Robin Hartok, who lives near the recycling site, told the freeholders.

Although construction has started, Freeholder Eugene Stafford assured the residents that the county would "keep the door open" for consideration of other sites.

The freeholders invited the residents to put their concerns and alternatives in writing after Hewko and others complained that county officials were not seeking information from the township about the project.

Hewko said he was surprised that the freeholders knew nothing about the Yelland property. Delran Mayor Richard Knight gave Shinn a letter from Yelland at a special Board of Education meeting on Monday night. In the letter, Yelland offered to discuss putting the recycling station in his industrial park. Hewko said the same property was offered to the freeholders last year, but Bodine said the freeholders had never heard about the property.

Freeholder Bradford Smith said the county could not afford a long delay in completing the recycling station. County officials say the station will help extend the life of the county's only operating landfill, at Parklands in Bordentown, until a new landfill is completed next year in Florence and Mansfield Townships.

If Parklands closes before the new landfill is built, county officials said, it would mean shipping trash across the river to Philadelphia, and that would increase disposal costs.

Recycling Efforts Grow Amid Uncertainties

Source: Posted: May 03, 1987

When New Jersey first began fighting its war on trash, the state issued the slogan: "Recycling pays."

But in dollars, many communities found it didn't. So the state recycled the motto last year, coming up with "Give your trash a second chance."

Even before New Jersey adopted one of the nation's most vigorous mandatory recycling laws last month, some officials and business people wondered whether enough industries were interested in paying for all the used cans, bottles and newspapers looking for a second chance.

Still, several counties plan to open recycling plants costing as much as $2 million, in part to turn their waste into profits. And that could boost the amount of material on the market even further.

"You'll have an increase in the amount of material available for recycling, which could lower the price for some materials," said Mary T. Sheil, administrator of the state Office of Recycling. "If the price drops, you'll see a decrease in revenues."

Recycling advocates stress that profits are just part of the picture, because counties also are counting on recycling to extend the lives of landfills and reduce the cost of dumping trash. The amount to be saved, however, prompts disagreements among officials.

Despite uncertainties over dumping fees and the profitability of recycling, Gloucester County freeholders said that, by early summer, they expected to approve plans for a recycling plant that could cost $2 million. Burlington County is building a $900,000 recycling plant in Delran over protests by neighbors, and plans to complete a more sophisticated $2 million facility in Florence by next spring.

Camden County opened its facility a year ago, and turned a profit for the first time in March, said Jack Sworaski, county recycling coordinator. While Somerset County operates the only other regional facility in the state, county officials also are reviewing plans to open recycling plants in Cape May, Essex, Monmouth and Ocean Counties, said Sheil.

"I don't think it's a question of the market being able to handle the quantity of material to be generated," Sworaski said. "It's a matter of the price you'll be getting for these materials."

It is the simple economics of supply and demand. And even before these facilities rose from the ground, the supply of recycled materials had taken off.

New Jersey increased the amount of all recycled waste - cans and bottles to brown leaves and broken refrigerators - from 252,000 tons in 1982 to more than 900,000 tons last year. In some counties, the jump has been especially remarkable. Burlington County, for instance, boosted its output over that period by more than 12 times, to about 55,000 tons a year, said Ann Moore, county recycling coordinator.

By 1989, the state estimates, at least 1.7 million tons of aluminum, paper and glass - a large component of all recyclables - will be the equivalent of reruns in New Jersey. "I think we'll exceed that. We're capable of exceeding that," she said.

Her optimism, however, smacks into the skepticism of some local officals about marketing that much material. Communities have had a rocky time before.

In 1984, after New York state adopted a 5-cent deposit bill encouraging consumers to return their bottles, many of New Jersey's bottles were not attractive recycling fodder. The market, temporarily glutted with bottles, saw a plunge in the price for recycled glass, said James Warner, Gloucester County recycling coordinator. A year ago, the price for recycled newspaper fell so low that several Gloucester County communities scrambled to give it away, he said.

The effect that mandatory recycling and regional plants will have on prices - and on revenue - may vary depending on the type of material.

Public officials and business people agree that the aluminum market poses the fewest worries. While the price of recycled aluminum has fluctuated in recent years, the amount used by companies such as Alcoa or Reynolds Aluminum has increased. By 1985, aluminum companies were obtaining 33.1 billion recycled cans a year - and turning them into more than half the number of new cans in the country, said Frank H. Rathbun, spokesman for the Aluminum Association based in Washington.

"It isn't just a good thing to do," he said. "It's of supreme economic importance." Using recycled aluminum, he said, saves companies about 90 percent of the energy consumed in producing cans from mined bauxite.

"We won't always be able to guarantee the price will be at the high rate it is at now," said Cynthia L. Strong, market manager for Alcoa Recycling Co. Inc. in Edison, N.J. "But we will always be able to take the metal."

Crushed aluminum currently brings in $400 a ton, considered a high price in the industry. By contrast, old glass earns between $20 and $40 a ton, and yesterday's newspaper reaps between $15 and $37 a ton.

Despite previous snags in marketing crushed glass, recyclers are optimistic that there will be adequate demand for recycled bottles. As with aluminum, producing glass from recycled materials uses less energy than making it from scratch.

"The glass industry certainly will be depending on people bringing glass back for recycling. We don't want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg," said Mel Hintz, director of the New Jersey Glass Recycling Association, composed of glass manufacturers.

But industry representatives acknowledged that an ever-expanding supply of crushed glass would eventually undermine the price. Especially troublesome, they said, is the foreign factor: the green glass common in imported beer bottles. The local demand for green glass is not as great as that for clear glass.

Paper, however, concerns recyclers most.

"The paper companies buying paper in the state are already near max. They can only handle so much," said Raymond Ching, president of the Association of New Jersey Recyclers.

In fact, New Jersey already recycles as much as 60 percent of its paper, the highest percentage in the country, according to the American Paper Institute in New York.

Should the national economy slow, the demand for recycled paper could plummet. One major use of recycled paper is the production of wallboard and other building materials, which are subject to dramatic swings of the housing industry.

The key to stable prices, recyclers said, is the cultivation of foreign markets for American trash. Many of the electronics goods and other products imported from Asia already come packed in paperboard made from waste paper originally from the United States. Nearly a fifth of the 22 million tons of waste paper collected nationally in 1980 was exported, according to the American Paper Institute.

That is but one example of new uses for old trash.

"There's 1,001 entrepreneurs out there," said Warner, Gloucester County's recycling coordinator. "There's a bunch of guys dying to take care of the country's trash."

The mandatory recycling bill offers tax breaks to manufacturers using recycled material. The law also requires state government itself to increase its purchases of recycled paper products. By 1989, at least 45 percent of the state's paper goods must be on their second life.

Delran, County Locked In Recycling-site Battle

Source: Posted: May 06, 1987

The 3-year-old fight between Delran Township and the Burlington County Freeholders over the county's plans to construct a recycling center on Hartford Road has come down to a race against time.

And for Delran, the clock is running out.

"There aren't many avenues left to us," said Delran administrator Matthew Watkins Friday as he gazed at the Hartford Road site about 150 yards from Route 130 North. "They (the freeholders) just ran roughshod over us. And it would not have had to be that way if they just worked with us."

Contractors started laying the foundation for the $908,000 project in early April after Burlington County Judge Martin B. Haines rejected the township's plea to stop the county from building at the site.

The conflict actually began in July 1984, when the representatives of the county's Occupational Training Center first approached Delran officials about placing a recycling station in the township.

Delran Mayor Richard Knight recalled that the OTC director Joseph Bender met informally with township planners on July 9, 1984, to discuss choosing a site within Delran for the recycling station.

Bender mentioned the Hartford Road location, Knight said, and board members expressed concerns about that site.

Officials said they would welcome a plant in the township but not on Hartford Road. The site is directly across from 15 homes and small businesses and is within a mile of Delran and Holy Cross high schools and the Millbridge Elementary School. Local fears about traffic congestion, children's safety, vermin and noise pollution persist to this day.

"The impression I had was that he took our concerns about the location back to the county, and that they would get back to us for formal site plan review and approval," Knight said last week.

But Knight said that the county did not respond until August 1985, "when a set of plans were delivered to my office."

"They even purchased the land on Hartford Road without our knowledge," he said. The purchase took place in the fall of 1984, when Paul Ketchel of Delran sold the land for $83,500, through Terra Associates, a Mount Holly real estate firm.

The gap between Delran and the county widened after a Sept. 25, 1985, freeholders meeting attended by township officials. At that meeting, Knight chastised the board "for consciously avoiding our planning board and discussions with township officials" over the proposed site.

Knight said he proposed to the freeholders that they work with the township ''so that we can join forces to find a location that is better suited to this type of operation."

However, the county never expressed interest in another site, Knight said, and in November 1985, Delran filed suit against the county, charging that the freeholders had violated local zoning ordinances and New Jersey's municipal land-use law.

Municipal approval of a county recycling center had never been required, according to Freeholder Bradford Smith. However, in a precedent-setting decision, Judge Haines did require in December that the county file with the Department of Environmental Protection an environmental-impact statement.

Smith also contended that Delran had ample chances to provide input into the site's plans. "In fact, the plans (for soil and noise pollution) were revised according to their concerns."

Delran officials insist that it is not too late to find a site agreeable to both sides. One option proposed by Knight would allow the county to either lease or purchase a 4.63-acre tract off Taylor's Lane. The tract is listed on the township's Green Acres inventory. Another solution, offered by businessman George Yelland, would allow the county to put the plant in an industrial park he is developing in Delran.

Republican Assemblyman Robert Shinn told 200 residents at Delran High School at a public hearing April 27 that the Taylor's Lane site "was not viable because of the delays involved" in obtaining state permission to use the property.

Freeholder Francis Bodine said Sunday that the Yelland proposal was "an offer to negotiate and not a formal plan."

Watkins said that Shinn's comments do not support the facts. "We asked him directly in February 1986 at a meeting here if the county was interested in an alternate site and his answer was a flat 'no.' "

Freeholder Director Martha Bark argued that the center would be in a commercial area, which has DEP approval and poses no health or safety hazards to the community.

The recycling plant has been held up a year, Bark said, and is needed so that glass, aluminum cans and newspapers can be kept out of the county's Parklands landfill in Bordentown.

Scheduled to close by the end of 1988, Parklands is filling up rapidly, and recycling is the means of extending its capacity until the county's new landfill in Florence and Mansfield Townships opens next year, county officals said.

"Its really too late to consider another site at this point," Bark said Sunday. Delran's concerns will continue to be addressed in the facility

plans, she said, "but we are really under the gun. If Parklands becomes full before we can bring this center on line in time, the cost of dumping trash could increase astronomically."

The county is moving forward in its plans for the recycling center, leaving municipal officials scrambling for an eleventh-hour reprieve, possibly with additional appeals.

County recycling coordinator Anne Moore said Monday that the county hopes the center would be operational by October at the earliest.

Moore argues that the county has gone to great lengths to consider residents' fears.

"It is not going to have an impact on the community," she said. Traffic will be minimal and controlled, Moore said, while safeguards for crushing glass, baling paper and collecting cans are incorporated into the design.

Still, residential opposition persists. A mobile sign across from the center with an arrow pointed at the site symbolizes the fight. It says simply, "Stop This Site."

No Settlement In Delran Recycling Dispute

Source: Posted: May 07, 1987

Tempers flared yesterday as the Burlington County Freeholders, the Delran mayor and Delran residents sought unsuccessfully to end a three-year-old dispute over the location of a county recycling plant in the township.

After a tense hour-long meeting at the county administration building in Mount Holly, both sides agreed to keep their "minds open" and try again for a compromise on the residents' concerns about increased truck traffic and safety risks to the community.

The recycling plant site is at Route 130 and Hartford Road, within a mile of several homes and three schools.

Freeholders said they would respond in writing next week to those concerns, which were spelled out in a three-page letter given to county officials yesterday by representatives of the Citizens Against the Hartford Road Recycling Station.

Still, freeholders made clear that a compromise would not include changing the site of the $908,000 recycling center, as Delran residents have insisted.

"I'm very reluctant to consider relocation, because I'm very concerned about time," Freeholder Director Martha Bark said when questioned on her stand by Delran Mayor Richard Knight. "I'm afraid we will simply run out of space."

Bark said countywide recycling of aluminum cans, bottles and paper was necessary to keep the county's only operating landfill in Bordentown open until its new landfill in Florence and Mansfield Townships is completed in 1988.

The county plans to complete the Delran plant by October. It will accept recyclables from the entire county until two other plants are open next year in Florence and Southampton Townships. Bark told residents yesterday that work on the Delran plant would continue while county officials addressed the township's concerns.

In an earlier meeting yesterday, Bark and other freeholders were told by their special-projects coordinator, Assemblyman Robert C. Shinn Jr. (R., Burlington County), that the county staff had already worked out a new traffic-flow schedule for the plant.

Under the new plan, Shinn said, all traffic in and out of the Delran plant would occur during off-peak travel times. There would be two tractor-trailers and 18 vans making two trips each to the plant, he said.

To slow dumping at the Bordentown landfill, Shinn also recommended that the freeholders move ahead with the recycling plant at the present site, speed up construction of the two other recycling plants and ask the state to allow Fort Dix to burn more in its new trash-to-steam plant.

At a later meeting with freeholders, Knight said the county still could open the recycling center in Delran as planned in October if the township and freeholders worked together to get state approval for an alternative site in Delran now listed under the New Jersey Green Acres program. He also offered to waive certain environmental studies to speed the relocation of the plant to a Green Acres site on Taylors Lane.

Freeholder Bradford Smith said, however, that he was still concerned that moving the site would set back the project too much and result in the Bordentown landfill's having to close before the county was ready.

"Everybody would lose then, because we would have to ship our trash to Ohio for $125 a ton" instead of $17.94 at the Bordentown landfill, he said.

The meeting between the residents and county heated up when Freeholder Michael Conda angrily accused Knight of acting arrogantly.

"I've watched this thing go on and I'm sick of your arrogant attitude: 'Do it my way or not at all,' " Conda responded when Knight asked him where he stood on relocating the recycling plant.

When Jon Hewko, chairman of the citizens' groups protesting the plant, asked Conda whether the commment was directed at him, Conda answered that he had nothing to say to Hewko. Hewko further angered Conda when he asked why the freeholder had nothing to say to citizens. Responded Conda: "Just leave me alone. Just leave me alone."

Conda left shortly after the outburst to take a message outside the freeholders' conference room.

In the charged silence that followed Conda's exit, Freeholder Eugene Stafford guided the meeting back on calmer ground by getting Knight and the three other residents at the meeting to consider a compromise on the recycling facility short of relocation.

However, Hewko and Robin Hartok, another organizer of the protest, said after the meeting that they still hoped to persuade freeholders to move the site.

More than 200 residents attended a meeting called by Hewko last night at Delran Township Council chambers to protest the county's refusal to stop construction at the recycling plant site.

The organization has collected about 1,200 signatures on petitions demanding that the county stop work at the Hartford Road site. Residents said they were unconvinced that the plant could be operated without excess noise, traffic and pollution, as county officials have assured them in the past.

Edwin Kohlbrenner Jr., owner of Kohlbrenner Scrap Metal in Mount Holly, told residents last night that his machine for crushing bottles and cans was so noisy that he could not operate it while people were making deliveries to his plant.

Hewko has asked residents to attend the freeholders' May 13 public meeting to demonstrate against the plant.

Delran Residents Picket County Building To Halt Recycling Plant

Source: Posted: May 14, 1987

Hoping to halt construction of a trash-recycling complex near schools, about 100 Delran Township residents picketed the Burlington County Administration Building in Mount Holly yesterday and urged the county freeholders to select a less offensive site.

"We question your wisdom in the selection of this site knowing that it is in the vicinity of three schools," Delran Councilwoman Mary Ann Rivell told the freeholders during a sometimes raucous public meeting in the administration building.

It was the second time in three weeks that Delran residents have taken to the streets to pressure the freeholders into selecting a site that the township residents consider safer and more suitable than the one on Hartford Road near Route 130.

Jon Hewko, chairman of the Citizens Against the Hartford Recycling Station, Delran Mayor Richard J. Knight and other residents contend that the present site will increase traffic and make the area unsafe for schoolchildren. They also are concerned that the complex will become a breeding ground for insects, rats and other vermin. In addition to the schools, about 30 homes are within a mile of the site.

Freeholders and other county officials have repeatedly said that the complex, where recycable paper, cans and glass from up to 27 municipalities will be processed, will not increase traffic or attract vermin.

They also contend that moving the $908,000 complex to another site now would be too costly and might cause the county's only operating landfill in Bordentown to fill up before the county is able to complete its new dump next fall. And that, freeholders said, would lead to dramatically higher costs for trash disposal at other facilities.

To ease the concerns of Delran residents, the freeholders offered Monday to switch their recycling operations to another site in the township, if the municipality obtained the new site and built the recycling complex.

Assemblyman Robert C. Shinn (R., Burlington), who also is the county's special projects coordinator, estimated that it would cost the township $700,000 to build another recycling complex.

If the township builds the alternative site, Freeholder Director Martha Bark said, the county would give its Hartford Road site to Delran in exchange for title to the township property. The Hartford Road site then could be sold to recover the township's expense of building the recycling complex, Bark said.

Hewko called the freeholder's offer of the swap "ludicrous" and contended that it was irresponsible for county officials to suggest spending more money to build two recycling complexes.

"You insult my intelligence," said Hewko, who gave freeholders petitions with the signatures of more than 3,000 residents opposed to the complex. "If you want war, you can have war."

Among the residents who attended yesterday's session were Democratic freeholder candidates Theodore Costa of Delran and Mary Ann Reinhart of Shamong.

After the 90-minute public meeting yesterday, the freeholders said they would ask to meet privately with Knight and other Delran officials on Wednesday to discuss building the alternative site and resolve a nearly two- year-old lawsuit filed by the township to stop the project.

The discussion is likely to again include the county's traffic study for the project, a study that Delran residents contend was invalid.

The study was conducted on Hartford Road by two methods on Feb. 6 and 7, 1986. According to the county engineering report, traffic was counted by a mechanical meter from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. In addition, said county traffic engineer Alexander J. Litwornia, an engineer was on the road counting traffic in person from about 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 6.

From about midnight Feb. 6 through Feb. 7, the area was blanketed by a heavy snow, and traffic was below normal. But Litwornia said that he used information only from the peak hours of the first day, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., when vehicles from the recycling center would be entering the road at the heaviest period of traffic.

The study concluded that the complex would not adversely affect traffic on the two-lane road.

Yesterday, freeholders were reluctant to discuss the project with the residents, fearing that they would incite a shouting match. The officials' silence only angered some residents further, though.

"We're appalled with your 'Don't approach me with the facts, my mind's made up' attitudes," said Delran resident Jack Foster, who helped organize opposition to the complex.

The freeholders contend that Delran officials were too slow in presenting their concerns about the complex and waited until after state approval was granted for the project last year.

But Knight said the county had only recently explained its plans at a public meeting in the township. Knight had not been elected to political office when the county first contacted the township about its plan three years ago.

After the meeting, Freeholder and Moorestown Mayor Francis L. Bodine recommended that the county make greater efforts to inform residents about projects proposed for their communities.

The county plans to mail the residents who attended yesterday's session a copy of the county's response to previous questions from Delran and a chronology showing when they discussed the project with Delran officials and when Delran officials responded to county and state officials' request for comments.

Two County Elections, Two Underdog Parties In Burlco, Democrats Take Aim At New Republican Vulnerability

Source: Posted: May 17, 1987

Despite the Republicans' historic dominance of Burlington County politics, the two incumbent Republican freeholders are working to solidify support among party members in their June 2 primary bids to retain the two at-large seats up for election this fall.

"We do have a lot of support among voters out there, but we take every election seriously," said Martha Bark, 58, who is running for second terms on both the freeholder board and the Medford Township Council. Bark has held municipal and county offices for 18 years.

Eugene Stafford, 52, a first-term Mount Holly Township councilman, is seeking to hold the seat he was appointed to in January when Henry Metzger left the board to become sheriff. Stafford was Mount Holly's police chief for nine years.

Acknowledging their underdog status, their Democratic challengers - Mary Anne Reinhart, 40, a Shamong Township committeewoman serving her first three- year term, and Theodore M. "Ted" Costa, 30, a Moorestown lawyer from Delran who is county party treasurer - have become regulars at community functions where they hope to build support from the grass roots up.

"I'm looking for a tough race, because the Republicans have already collected about $500,000 for their war chest," said Costa, whose mother, state Sen. Catherine A. Costa (D., Burlington), is seeking re-election in November. "There are only so many voters I can reach personally, but I welcome the challenge."

Since Republicans seized control of the board a decade ago, the race for county freeholder has been a frustrating exercise for Democrats. Several times in previous races their candidates have come close to winning, but in the end the Republicans finished first.

But the county Democratic chairman, Ralph V. Franciosi, said recently that he saw a new vulnerability in the Republican Party, made so by recent public disagreements among GOP officials. "For the first time in years, I think we have a better-than-even chance to beat them," Franciosi said.

Bark said, however, that the Democrats had blown up differences of opinions among Republicans into a "myth of disunity."

"It's rumors," she said. "There are pockets of discontent, but I don't see any disunity."

Longtime political observers were stunned earlier this year when recently elected Sheriff Henry Metzger publicly rejected for undersheriff a candidate recommended by Republican chairman J. Garfield DeMarco. After a three-month standoff, Metzger decided not to fill the post.

Former county roads supervisor Kenneth Street then surprised Republicans by going public with his discontent with party leaders after freeholders in February announced his retirement from the highway department effective June 30.

Stafford said the public disagreements demonstrated that party members were independent thinkers, answering another criticism by Democrats that DeMarco often dictated county policy. "I think their (criticism) is a ploy to get people stirred up and to get some recognition," said Stafford.

Democrats acknowledge that their own infighting has hampered efforts to beat the Republicans. For several years, the Democratic Party was split into rivaling camps supportive of Sen. Costa and Assemblywoman Barbara Faith Kalik (D., Burlington). Sen. Costa, former Willingboro party head, helped Kalik move up the political ladder from township councilwoman to the assembly. But the two women clashed when both sought the party's nomination to the state Senate four years ago.

In a hard-won compromise by party leaders, Kalik agreed to run for re- election to the assembly on the same ticket with Sen. Costa as the Senate candidate. Both won election, but the victory only deepened the chasm between the two women, said one knowledgeable party member who wanted to remain anonymous.

The Democrats argue that the Republicans have become so ensconced on the county freeholder board that they no longer act accountably to the public. Costa contended that the freeholders would not be facing the wrath of Delran residents over a trash recycling complex under construction if they had discussed the project with residents first.

Reinhart said freeholders also angered Shamong residents in March when they initially refused to get state approval for a traffic signal at a dangerous intersection at Medford-Indian Mills and Oak Shade Roads.

Stafford acknowledged that communications between the county and municipalities could be improved but maintained that the freeholders had responded well to residents' concerns.

Also, Stafford said, "Republicans have kept taxes down while delivering needed services to the residents. I feel most people believe we are doing a good job."

Muncipalities Must Choose Recycling Coordinators

Source: Posted: May 20, 1987

TRENTON — Today is the deadline for all municipalities to appoint a local recycling coordinator as the first step in the state's new mandatory recycling law.

In an attempt to reduce New Jersey's trash output, Gov. Kean signed a bill on April 20 that mandates recycling in every community in the state.

The new law made New Jersey only the second state in the nation to require households to separate trash for recycling. Rhode Island enacted a recycling law last summer.

With the state's garbage output exceeding its disposal capacity, Kean and other lawmakers want to significantly reduce municipal waste over the next few years.

Under the new law, counties have six months to devise plans to reduce the waste volume from municipalities by 15 percent after the first year and 25 percent after the second year. State officials say the 25 percent target is conservative.

Counties are required to designate three materials for recycling. Likely targets include glass, aluminum and newspapers. Leaves also must be separated from refuse. The county plans will go into effect once each county finds markets for the materials designated for recycling.

The law also calls for an almost fourfold increase in the state's landfill tax, from about 40 cents to $1.50 per ton, to help finance the recycling effort. The increase would be applied to landfill operators.

The $13 million to $15 million that is expected to be generated from the tax will be used for grants to municipalities and low-interest loans to recycling businesses. Tax incentives also will be provided to recycling businesses to encourage and bolster the industry.

To further expand the market for recyclables, the law also requires the state to significantly increase purchases of paving materials and paper products made from recycled materials.

In addition to designating a recycling coordinator, municipalities must pass ordinances requiring the separation of residential, commercial and institutional waste for recycling by Aug. 20, 1988.

The options for collection include curbside trash separation and the establishment of recycling drop-off stations. Cities and towns could impose fines or halt trash-collection service for residents who refuse to participate.

Many municipalities already have recycling ordinances. Following is a list showing which towns in the Neighbors' area already have ordinances.

BEVERLY: The city has had a voluntary recycling program for two years. Newspapers, glass and aluminum cans are collected at a recycling depot. Stephen Beno is the coordinator.

BURLINGTON CITY: An ordinance requires residents to separate newspapers, which are picked up curbside every other week. The city plans to begin recycling glass, cans, metals and motor oil in the near future. Frank Storm is the recycling coordinator.

BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP: The township has an ordinance requiring the separation of newspapers. Glass, aluminum and wood are collected at a drop-off site.

CINNAMINSON: An ordinance in Cinnaminson requires the recycling of newspapers, which are picked up every other week. The township also has a collection site for the voluntary recycling of glass, aluminum, large appliances and automobile tires.

DELANCO: A three-year-old township ordinance mandates newspaper separation. The recycling coordinator is Jeff Hatcher.

DELRAN: A township ordinance, adopted in 1983, requires residents to separate newspapers. A volunteer program was in effect before that. The township also has a drop-off site for glass and collects automobile tires for a fee. Business Administrator Matt Watkins is also recycling coordinator.

EASTAMPTON: Residents are required to separate newspapers under an ordinance adopted in 1983. Automobile tires are also collected at a drop-off point. Township Clerk Joy Weiler acts as coordinator.

EDGEWATER PARK: A 1982 ordinance requires the recycling of newspapers, which are collected at residents' homes. The town also has a voluntary drop- off program for glass and aluminum. Claudia Raber is the coordinator.

HAINESPORT: A two-year-old ordinance calls for the separation of newspapers, which are picked up curbside. Committeeman Horst Wagner is the recycling coordinator.

LUMBERTON: A Lumberton ordinance calls for the separation of newspapers, which are picked up curbside or dropped off at a collection center. The township also recycles cardboard, motor oil and large metal appliances. Steven Moorer is recycling coordinator.

MEDFORD: The township has a voluntary recycling program for newspapers, which are picked up curbside.

MEDFORD LAKES: The borough has an ordinance requiring residents to separate newspaper, glassand aluminum, which are picked up curbside. The town also recycles motor oil and operates a drop-off site for newspapers. Carl Goodfellow is recycling coordinator.

MOUNT HOLLY: The township has had an ordinance since 1983 that calls for the recycling of paper, glass and aluminum. The items are picked up at curbside weekly. Diane Wallace is the recycling coordinator.

NEW HANOVER: The township has operated a voluntary drop-off program for newspapers and aluminum cans for two years and recently expanded it to include glass. Plans are being made to begin a curbside pick-up in the future. James Nash coordinates recycling.

PALMYRA: The borough has an ordinance mandating the recycling of newspapers and is working on a plan for glass and metals. Rudy Creyaufmiller coordinates recycling.

PEMBERTON BOROUGH: A borough ordinance requires the recycling of newspapers, which are picked up curbside. The coordinator is Lynn Conover.

PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP: The township recycles glass, aluminum, newspaper, cardboard and automobile tires through a voluntary drop-off program. Officials plan to appoint a recycling coordinator in the near future.

RIVERSIDE: The township recycles newspapers through a curbside pickup. Glass and aluminum are also collected at a drop-off site.

RIVERTON: A borough ordinance has required the separation of newspapers since 1985. Officials are currently working on a program to recycle glass and cans. Councilman James Johnson coordinates recycling.

SHAMONG: The township committee is considering a proposal for the collection of newspapers, cans and glass on a drop-off basis. Committee member Mary Ann Reinhart is recycling coordinator.

SOUTHAMPTON: An ordinance in the township requires residents to separate newspapers, which are collected curbside. The town also collects glass and aluminum through a voluntary program. Edward Moffitt is coordinator.

SPRINGFIELD: The township has had a voluntary recycling program for newspaper and cardboard for more than a year and recently added aluminum cans and glass.

Residents may drop off the materials at three different collection sites. A mandatory ordinance is being considered. Judy Schetler is recycling coordinator.

TABERNACLE: A township ordinance requires residents to separate newspapers. The township also recycles metal products, which it picks up once a month. Loraine Schmierer coordinates recycling.

WESTAMPTON: A township ordinance requires residents to separate newspapers, which will be picked up curbside. The township also has a voluntary drop-off program for cans and bottles that officials are considering changing to a curbside pick-up. Christina Maser and David Deardorff coordinate recycling.

WILLINGBORO: An ordinance requires residents to separate newspapers, which are picked up curbside. The township also recycles bulk metals. A recycling coordinator will be appointed in the near future.

WOODLAND: The township has a voluntary plan for recycling that is not in operation. The township is considering several options that would be coordinated with the county. WRIGHTSTOWN: The borough has operated a voluntary recycling program for glass, cans and paper since the beginning of the year. The town council is currently considering a mandatory ordinance, which it will vote on soon..

Pickets Protest Recycling-center Plan

Source: Posted: May 20, 1987

Determined to stop construction of a trash-recycling center near their homes, about 18 Delran parents and children stood in a cool drizzle outside the construction site yesterday afternoon with placards demanding that Burlington County move the project to a different location.

Leaders of the Citizens Committee Against the Hartford Road Recycling Station had hoped that students from the three schools located within a mile of the site would join the demonstration. Residents have contended that the recycling station would bring in heavy trucks that could pose a safety threat to the students.

The messy, wet weather, however, apparently kept most students away, said Jon Hewko, chairman of the citizens' group. There were also no politicians among the small group, Hewko quickly added. He and other members of the committee contend that county freeholders have tried to shift attention away from residents' concerns about the site and focus attention on who the group's supporters are.

Last week, after an emotional meeting with freeholders over the issue, Freeholder Michael Conda, a Republican, questioned whether the residents were being stirred up with misinformation by Democrats.

Democratic freeholder candidates Mary Anne Reinhart of Shamong and Theodore Costa of Delran and other top Burlington County Democrats have supported the residents' efforts to get the recycling center moved to a more industrial area, on Taylors Lane in the township.

Hewko denied, however, that the protest was motivated by politics.

"This is not a political issue, it's a human issue," said Robin Bartok, another committee organizer. "We wouldn't be standing out here in the rain for politicians. We're here because we don't want the recycling station built on this site."

Bartok, who lives a mile from the site, said she and others were concerned that the recycling center would be noisy and become a breeding ground for rodents. Residents also questioned a county traffic study that showed that 20 vehicles carrying recyclable materials to and from the complex would have minimal effect on traffic on the two-lane Hartford Road. Hewko said he was skeptical because the study was based on traffic counts for one day.

County Engineer James Quinn said the county was redoing the study this week to demonstrate the accuracy of the traffic count on the road. The traffic study will be based on a seven-day reading of traffic volume, he said.

Delran officials and county freeholders will meet today to try and settle the dispute over the recycling site. Still, common ground will be difficult to find. Freeholders said they were firm on building at the Hartford Road site and planned to discuss Delran's developing an alternative site the county could move to at a later date.

Delran Mayor Richard Knight said the township hoped to convince freeholders that they had made a mistake and that they should move the site to a more acceptable location in the municipality.

Burlco Freeholder Aspirants Looking To November

Source: Posted: May 24, 1987

With no opposition to their candidacies in the June 2 primary, the Republican and Democratic candidates for two seats on the Burlington County Board of Freeholders already are locked in a race for the general election in November.

Democrats, saying they sense a weakening of the GOP's hold on county politics, have made the Republicans' decade-old dominance of the freeholders' board a central issue of the election.

Democratic challengers Theodore M. (Ted) Costa, a 30-year-old Moorestown attorney from Delran Township, and Mary Anne Reinhart, 40, a Shamong Township committeewoman, contend that the freeholders - who serve for three years and earn $17,364 annually - have become complacent and unresponsive to residents' concerns.

They cite, for example, the angry protests by Delran residents over a trash- recycling complex the county is building in the township and which residents want moved to another location in the municipality. And they contend that freeholders' poor communications with municipalities about county policies have prompted protests this year in Shamong, Florence and Mansfield Townships.

But incumbent Freeholders Martha Bark, 58, and Eugene Stafford, 52, said they were comfortable running on their records, which they said included low taxes, reasonable trash-disposal costs and a wide range of social services.

"We've made some tough decisions, but I think most residents believe we have done a good job," said Stafford.

Bark, who earns $18,364 as freeholder director, said Democrats are taking advantage of residents' concerns to gain visibility in a county where Republicans have outpolled them, despite the Democrats' numerical advantage.

The incumbent councilwoman, who started her political career 18 years ago on the Medford Township school board, says she has not lost touch with residents' concerns or needs. It is a charge also leveled against her by a vocal minority of Republicans in Medford, who are challenging her bid for a third term on the Township Council in the primary.

Bark said her background in finance, four years as a school board president and current job as director of the freeholder board has equipped her to deal with the diverse problems of a rapidly growing county.

She holds a bachelor's degree in economics from DePauw University in Indiana. She was director of product management for Curtis-Young Corp. in Pennsauken before quitting last year to work as a social worker for the state, a move that allowed her to spend more time working for the county.

Although drawn early to the ideas of the Republican Party, Stafford said he never expected to enter public life. Growing up in Mount Holly, Stafford said he became friendly with a number of influential Republicans. After graduating from Rancocas Valley Regional High School, he started driving an ice truck for the Hollyford Ice Co., a Mount Holly company owned by the family of Assemblyman Robert Shinn (R., Burlington).

In 1959, with the recommendation of a top-ranking Republican, Stafford became the first black policeman in Mount Holly. In 1973, he became the township's first black police chief and later earned an associate's degree in law enforcement from Rider College in Lawrenceville. Stafford retired from the police force in 1984 and was elected two years later to the Township Council, where he now serves as deputy mayor.

"When I was police chief, I made it a point to be nonpartisan and stay out of politics," he said. "But while I was there, I saw things I didn't like. But rather than sit back and complain, I decided to do something about it."

Stafford, who is involved in several youth organizations, is rankled by the Democrats' suggestion that he is unresponsive to the community.

"I'm not running for the board because of any need for authority or recognition," he said. "I wouldn't want this job if I didn't think I could deal with the concerns of residents."

But Reinhart contends the board has dragged its feet on environmental issues until jolted into action by protests from residents. Reinhart, who won her Shamong Township Committee seat by defeating a 16-year veteran of the board last November, has made toxic-waste clean-up in the county a top issue. She also has expressed concern about the county's plan to build a trash- recycling center in Southampton Township area.

Reinhart, who supports Delran's attempts to relocate a county recycling complex, said she favored working with residents to find mutually acceptable solutions to the trash problem.

If elected, Reinhart said, she plans to quit her advertisment sales job with the Courier-Post and become a full-time freeholder. A resident of Shamong for nearly 10 years, she attended Glassboro State College and Rutgers University, majoring in Business and Education.

Although Costa, at 30, is the youngest candidate in the race, he said he has spent nearly his entire life in politics - often as a campaign aide for his mother, state Sen. Catherine A. Costa (D., Burlington). Drafted by his party because of high name recognition, a legacy from his mother, Costa said he saw a need to return the county to a two-party system.

"I'd like to open county government more to the people," said Costa. ''I think there needs to be someone on the board who will raise questions."

Costa said he also would like to see more planned growth in the county. He contends that freeholders let the county's growth get out of control, overwhelming the road and sewer systems.

A graduate of Kennedy High School in Willingboro, Costa worked his way through Rutgers University preparing tax returns and doing local government audits. He is a graduate of Seton Hall University Law School. In 1986, he founded the Capitol Title Co. in Moorestown and started his own law firm after working for a local law firm.

White-suited Workers Check Landfill's Pollution

Source: Posted: May 27, 1987

Residents of Cinnaminson and Delran who wondered about the appearance of ''the men in the white suits" in recent weeks at the former Cinnaminson landfill on Taylor's Lane can rest easier: The men didn't arrive from Mars; they were sent by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

They are employees of the CDM Corp. of Edison, a contractor hired by the EPA to determine the cause and extent of the contamination at the Superfund site, and last week an EPA spokesman said the federal agency hoped to be able to supply some answers within six months to a year. The dump was closed by court order in September 1980.

Starting in April, the men in the white protective suits began sinking the last scheduled test-bore wells necessary to identify the source and nature of contamination at the 90-acre site. This work is expected to be completed by June 30.

The landfill is ranked number 415 of 703 sites in the United States on the priority cleanup list of so-called Superfund sites. A report last year said that it was impossible at that time to determine potential public health effects.

In an unrelated matter, the capping of the landfill in compliance with EPA regulations also will be completed by the end of June, according to an official of Waste Management Inc., the international firm in Oakbrook, Ill., that owns the site.

"We are about 90 percent done with the capping construction," said Gary Crawford, district engineer of Waste Management. Capping includes the placement of a minimum of 18 inches of clay topped by six inches of sand and six inches of topsoil on top of the fill site. Then grass seed or other vegetation will be sowed.

Waste Management has been working on the site full-scale since 1985, Crawford said. After capping, the firm must monitor the site for 30 years, according to federal law.

Herman Phillips, EPA spokesman in New York, said that the contractor's employees were "in white suits because it's standard procedure at bore holes because of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards. There can be vapors at the bore holes." The suits protect the drillers but, Phillips said, there is no risk to other individuals in the area because the vapors only occur at the immediate location of the holes.

Contamination of a portion of the Raritan Magothy Aquifer with toluene, benzene and other volatile organics was discovered in August 1983 at the landfill site during a study by a consultant for the owners.

The Cinnaminson Groundwater Contamination Site, as the EPA officially describes it, is unusual among Superfund sites.

"In most cases, it's obvious and clear where a problem is originating from," according to Sal Badalamenti, chief of the EPA's Southern New Jersey remedial action section, "but in this one, a groundwater contamination site, we are not sure of the source. So part of this investigation is to identify the source, and another problem is to identify its extent and the environmental problems." The study, he said, is separate and distinct from closure of the landfill.

The EPA reports are ambiguous about the suspected cause of the contamination, whose threat to the aquifer is more serious than to the private wells in the area, most of whom, the EPA said, are no longer used for anything other than watering lawns or gardens. (Drinking water is provided by the New Jersey Water Co.)

The EPA also plans to sample 24 potable wells in the study area during the investigation, including domestic wells, and possibly wells outside the study area that are owned by public water companies.

An EPA report dated March 1987 said that suspected sources of the contamination included the landfill itself, the nearby Hoeganaes Corp., several small industries near the site and other unknown sources.

"It's really premature to conjecture" on the source of the contamination," Phillips said.

The site was originally a sand and gravel excavation operation owned by Lockhart Construction and began to be used in the mid-1950s also as a municipal refuse dump. A suit brought by the state Department of Environmental Protection led to closure by the court.

Phillips said the EPA's contractor, N.J., a firm of environmental engineers and scientists, has sunk about 40 percent of the test-bore wells needed.

As of last week, that amounted to 26 wells of depths of 18 to 191 feet, according to Badalamenti, four on the landfill property and 22 around it. The plan calls for 31 test borings in all. No wells have been sunk into the fill material at the dump.

"Serious health and safety concerns arise whenever drilling is attempted through garbage, trash or drums which may be present in any landfill," CDM officials noted in a work plan report last year. "Drilling into this material greatly increases the risk of exposure to hazardous materials and conditions for those people performing the work."

The EPA has budgeted $2.19 million for the study and has spent about half of that.

There will be public meetings to report the findings, identify the cleanup criteria needed and receive public comment.

So far the EPA contractor has also conducted air, surface-water and some limited soil sampling, Badalamenti said, adding that the agency was not ready to release any findings at this time. Badalamenti said that the project, called a remedial investigation, is behind schedule but that "We expect completion of the study probably by the end of the year, dependent upon whether we have any additional data gaps or need additional field work."

The boundaries of the remedial study are Swede's Run, Route 130, the Pompeston Creek and the Delaware River. The landfill itself is on the southwest side of Taylor's Lane about midway between Route 130 and River Road (County Route 543).

Of the contaminants, benzene is a rather volatile industrial solvent and a known human carcinogen, and toluene has been shown to cause deformity and degeneration in animals and depression of the human central nervous systems in acute exposure.

In addition to those chemicals, the groundwater has been contaminated by at least seven other chemicals.

Several years ago, a crop kill was linked to the migration of methane gas through the soil from the landfill, leading to a pilot recovery project by Public Service Electric & Gas Co., which installed a collection system to recover the methane and now sells it to Hoeganaes.

The CDM report noted that "foul odors were present during the years of operation of the landfill."

Information on the landfill site is available at the Cinnaminson Township municipal building, the Cinnaminson branch of the county library, the Burlington County Office of Solid Waste Management and the Burlington County Health Department.

Talks On Delran Trash Site Collapse

Source: Posted: May 28, 1987

The longstanding dispute between Burlington County and Delran Township over the location of a trash-recycling center in the municipality showed every sign of raging on yesterday after freeholders and council members broke off a week of negotiations called to resolve the issue.

County freeholders and Delran council members had blanketed their talks with a news blackout, saying they were close to agreement on sensitive issues. However, Delran residents said they thought the blackout was an attempt to muzzle their protest. Because Delran has sued the county over the center, the officials were advised by their attorneys that they could legally keep such meetings closed from the public under the state sunshine law.

Delran residents opposed to the center protested the blackout yesterday with another demonstration outside county offices in Mount Holly, in an emotional meeting with freeholders and at the Delran Township Council meeting last night.

For more than a month, residents have picketed county offices and the recycling site on Hartford Road, off Route 130, to force a halt to construction there.

Jon Hewko, chairman of Citizens Against the Hartford Road Recycling Station, who has organized opposition to the site, said yesterday afternoon, ''Keeping people in the dark about what's going is unconscionable."

Going into the meeting with the freeholders yesterday afternoon, township and county officials were so certain that an agreement was near that they announced a joint news conference would follow their meeting. About an hour later, however, Delran officials left the freeholders' conference room in Mount Holly alone and angry.

"The freeholders never had a desire, ever, to move" the site of the recycling center, Mayor Richard Knight said after leaving the meeting. "Is that good-faith bargaining?"

At the council meeting, council members promised the 60 residents present that they would do whatever was necessary to keep the recycling center off Hartford Road.

"Don't be surprised if we come up with a few little ordinances in this town," said Councilman Richard Smock. "We are also legislators, and we're going to legislate."

Solicitor Thomas Foy said it was possible for the township to apply for an injunction. However, he said, "injunctions are very difficult to get" because the township must prove to a judge that the recycling center poses ''immediate harm" to the community.

Foy, who promised to take the issue to the state Supreme Court, said, ''There's going to be additional litigation, I'm certain."

Although agreeable to the concept of a recycling plant in their municipality, Delran residents and officials oppose its construction on Hartford Road because it would be close to homes and three schools.

In response to the residents' concerns, the freeholders had proposed that Delran build an alternative center at Taylor's Lane, a site suggested by township officials. Freeholders said they would then move their recycling operations to the new site and the old site could be sold to pay the relocation costs.

Yesterday, Freeholder Francis Bodine said talks broke down over Delran's refusal to take responsibility for getting building permits and approvals for the Taylor's Lane property, which is listed under the state Green Acres program to set aside land for open space. The freeholders also would not agree to Delran's "demand" that the county abandon the Hartford Road site in six months, whether the permits were obtained or not.

"I made it very clear to them last week that construction would continue at Hartford Road, regardless," said Bodine after the meeting.

Freeholders are concerned that the state might refuse to allow a recycling center to be built on the Taylor's Lane property, Bodine added. The Hartford Road site would provide a backup in case Delran couldn't finish the project, he said. Freeholders said the recycling center was needed to help extend the life of its county's only operating landfill in Bordentown until its new dump is built next year.

County officials, who at first had insisted that Delran pay for building at the alternative site, are now offering to pay relocation costs. The county said it would then sell the Hartford Road property to recoup its expenses. Originally, the county had proposed turning the property over to Delran, which it said could sell the land and get back its costs of building an alternative site.

Delran Council President Mary Ann Rivell, who also attended the meeting yesterday, said she was appalled that the freeholders had refused to take the lead in getting necessary approvals for the Taylor's Lane site. She and Knight said the county was better qualified to handle such a project.

"We felt they looked upon the residents as their constituents as we do, but they said it was our problem and they were only meeting with us to help us out," Rivell said.

As the agency making the request, Bodine said Delran should take responsibility for securing the permits. He said the county would keep its proposal on the table.

Knight said, however, that discussions were "back at square one." He added that the township would continue to press its lawsuit to halt the project on Hartford Road.

Burlco Freeholder Hopefuls In Position

Source: Posted: June 03, 1987

Burlington County Freeholder Martha Bark, upset yesterday by two political newcomers in her bid for a third term on the Medford Township Council, had earlier discounted the effect a loss in that race would have on her campaign for county office.

For Bark, a convincing win in Medford would have meant riding more easily into her other re-election campaign - for county freeholder - this summer and autumn on a crest of strong local appeal.

"I was elected successfully twice before" to the Medford position, "and obviously that established my credibility as a viable Republican candidate" for freeholder, said Bark, 58. She ran behind challengers James R. Christy and Francis J. Murphy in the Medford Township race but had no opposition in the primary for freeholder.

Like Bark, incumbent Republican Freeholder Eugene W. Stafford and Democratic challengers Theodore M. Costa and Mary Anne Reinhart were unopposed in the primary. The four are already positioning themselves to run for the two at-large freeholder seats up for election in November.

For weeks, they have made the rounds of civic and social groups to test support for their candidacies. Now, with the preliminary contests out of the way, they said, the race is on.

"In November, it's going to be a fight," said Stafford, 52, of Mount Holly Township. He is seeking to hold the seat he was appointed to in January after Henry Metzger stepped down to become county sheriff.

First, however, the Democrats are concentrating on raising enough money to forcefully battle the moneyed Republicans, said Costa, 30, of Delran.

"We have not progressed as quickly as the Republicans," in fund-raising, he said. "That is not to say, however, that we think money alone will win the election. If that was the case, we would definitely lose."

Reinhart, 40, of Shamong Township, said she and Costa were in a position to end the Republicans' 10-year dominance of the freeholders' board because of what she said were recent missteps by freeholders on controversial local issues.

In particular, she said, the all-Republican freeholders' board has failed to effectively deal with the concerns of residents in Delran Township about a trash-recycling plant; Burlington City's residents concerns about possible bridge reconstruction, and the concerns of other residents about shelters for the homeless.

"I think they've very vulnerable now" to an upset, said Reinhart. "They just don't have one issue to handle, they have several."

Although the county Republican Party has not met to map out strategy, Stafford said he expected to deal with the issues raised by his Democratic opponents "head on."

"I don't feel the county government has been unresponsive" to the concerns of residents, he said. "We offered a compromise in Delran and it was not accepted."

County and Delran officials broke off talks last week that were called to settle the dispute over the location of the recycling plant in the township when it could not be decided which should be the lead agency in getting approval for an alternative site.

The freeholders had proposed that Delran, which wanted the recycling site moved off Hartford Road and Route 130, be the lead agency.

Firm Seeks To Halt Recycling Plant

Source: Posted: June 13, 1987

A Hainesport company, saying it would suffer economic harm from a Burlington County recycling station, is seeking a court order to halt construction of the station.

On Tuesday, Burlington County Superior Court Judge Martin L. Haines will hear arguments from attorneys representing the county and Kohlbrenner Recycling Enterprises Inc. Construction on the county site on Hartford Road in Delran Township began in April.

According to papers filed with the court Thursday, the Delran recycling site would be in direct competition with Kohlbrenner. The firm, which was established in 1966, began a municipal recycling program in 1985.

In April 1986, Kohlbrenner contacted county officials with a proposal for recycling services, according to an affidavit from the firm's president, Edwin D. Kohlbrenner Jr. No response was ever received, Kohlbrenner said in the affidavit.

In addition, the legal papers filed by the firm argue that under state law, Burlington County should give priority to local recycling businesses when establishing a recycling plan.

County solicitor Michael Hogan could not be reached for comment.

The county recycling site in Delran has been a source of controversy and legal action. Delran previously lost a legal proceeding in which the township tried to stop the county from building the Hartford Road site.

In April, Delran residents began picketing freeholder meetings and the construction site. Residents argue that the site is too close to schools and homes.

Last month, county and local officials failed to reach a compromise on relocating the recycling station to an industrial area.

Foes Of Recycling Plant Shift Battle To Voter Drive

Source: Posted: July 09, 1987

The picket signs carried by Delran residents outside the Burlington County Administration Building in Mount Holly yesterday were curled and wrinkled from frequent handling.

For more than two months, the signs have punctuated the residents' insistence that freeholders move a trash-recycling plant under construction in the township on Hartford Road to a more industrial site.

Their concerns that the plant poses a health and safety threat to the community have been filed on petitions and shouted through a bullhorn. Yesterday, however, the residents brought only the signs - and lots of voter- registration forms.

Dissatisfied with the freeholders' response to their concerns, members of the Citizens Against the Hartford Road Recycling Station yesterday began a voter-registration drive aimed at ousting each of the five board members, who are Republicans, as their terms expire, said chairman Jon Hewko.

Freeholders Martha Bark and Eugene Stafford are up for re-election this fall, and both say they expect a tough challenge from Democrats Mary Anne Reinhart of Shamong Township and Theodore "Ted" Costa of Delran. The terms of Francis L. Bodine of Moorestown and Michael Conda of Delanco expire at the end of 1988, and the term of Bradford S. Smith of Cinnaminson expires at the end of 1989.

Hewko and others in the group insist they are not partisan. They are simply seeking support for unseating the current freeholder board, Hewko said.

"We may support the Democrats indirectly, but actually we're campaigning against Bark and Stafford," Hewko said.

Although registered Democrats outnumber Republicans, the GOP has dominated county politics.

Hewko and others in the citizens' group contend that the freeholders have also angered residents near the county landfill in Florence and Mansfield Townships by locating the dump there. Residents in Shamong are also unhappy about the county's initial refusal to press the state for permission to erect a traffic light at a busy intersection in Shamong.

County officials, however, did offer to move the site providing that Delran get the necessary state approvals. Delran officials balked at the offer, saying that the county had better access to state officials and accusing freeholders of being insincere.

Freeholders denied yesterday that they had turned a deaf ear to Delran's concerns about the plant. But the antagonism between freeholders and residents, evident in previous meetings, was absent.

Bark, Stafford and Conda, who has raised the ire of residents during previous meetings, congratulated the group on their new tactic of "working through the system." Conda added it was much preferred to the past weeks of acrimonious debate.

Delran Seeks A Ban On Heavy-truck Traffic

Source: Posted: July 23, 1987

The Delran Township Council last night introduced an ordinance that would prohibit most trucks from reaching Burlington County's proposed recycling station on Hartford Road.

Council President Andrew Ritzie said the ordinance was not intended to stop the recycling station from operating, but conceded that it would effectively close off the station to all trucks heavier than four tons.

Ritzie said the council introduced the ordinance to try and minimize the amount of heavy truck traffic in the residential areas and school zones on Hartford Road between Route 130 and Bridgeboro Road.

Daniel MacFarlane, district coordinator for recycling for the Occupational Training Center, a nonprofit group that has contracted with the county to pick up recyclable material, said yesterday that the ordinance would close off Hartford Road to his trucks. But, MacFarlane said, "if we exceeded four tons, we would just come with lighter vehicles."

Delran officals and residents have been fighting the Hartford Road site for more than three years.

Ritzie said that the council would vote to adopt the ordinance on Aug. 26 and that the state must then approve the ordinance before it could take effect.

In a related matter, the Township Council authorized its solicitor, Thomas Foy, to suggest to the county freeholders that the township and the county share the cost of applying for approval to construct an alternative to the recycling station.

The alternative site, on Taylor's Lane, is designated by the state as a Green Acres Site - or open land - and the state would have to approve its use as a recycling center. In the past, county officials have said that the township should bear the costs of applying to the state for that approval. Township officials have said the county should bear those costs.

Foy said during last night's council meeting that he sent a telegram with the offer to the freeholders' office.

Truck Ban's Effects On Station Debated

Source: Posted: July 29, 1987

The Delran Township Council's proposed ordinance to ban heavy trucks from a portion of Hartford Road where the Burlington County recycling station is to be located has opened yet another debate concerning the controversial station.

The ordinance was introduced at a council meeting last Wednesday.

Burlington County Freeholder Bradford Smith said Thursday that the proposed ban would not apply to trucks using the county-sponsored station.

"You can't prohibit local deliveries" under state law, Smith said.

But Council President Andrew Ritzie said the ban essentially would prevent trucks weighing more than 4 tons from entering or leaving the recycling plant, which is to be located a few hundred feet from Route 130 on Hartford Road. The council has opposed the recycling station for the last three years.

Deborah Lawler, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, said municipalities had the authority to ban local deliveries by trucks on township roads only with the approval of the department.

Lawler said that traffic engineering officials in the department would consider the effects of such a ban on neighboring municipalities and the county as a whole.

Ritzie said Friday that the ordinance could allow small trucks loaded with recyclable materials to use Hartford Road to reach the recycling station, while prohibiting large, empty trucks from reaching the station to take the recyclables away.

Ritzie said the council would vote on adopting the ordinance, which would prohibit trucks of more than 4 tons from Hartford Road between Route 130 and Bridgeboro Road, at its meeting Aug. 26.

Delran officials and residents have been fighting construction of the recycling station for three years, contending that it would be a health and safety hazard to the community. Construction, however, has begun on the station.

Ritzie said after the council meeting last Wednesday that the ordinance was intended not to prevent the station from opening, but to minimize the amount of heavy truck traffic in residential and school areas.

Ritzie said trucks of that weight already were excluded from 20 to 25 other major access roads, preventing the trucks from using about 60 percent to 70 percent of the residential streets in Delran.

Burlco Waste-management Plan Draws Vocal Crowd

Source: Posted: August 27, 1987

A vocal crowd that spilled out of a conference room in Mount Holly yesterday opposed the Burlington County Board of Freeholders' solid-waste management plan.

More than 100 people crowded into the freeholders' conference room in the County Administration Building at a public hearing on the required removal of leaves from municipal garbage, and on proposed truck routes to the county's planned landfill. Those who could not fit into the room spilled into the hallway and onto an outside porch.

During a lengthy meeting repeatedly interrupted by applause and boos, the freeholders approved the amendment requiring that residents throughout the county separate leaves from the rest of their garbage, so that no leaves enter the landfill.

The freeholders argued that leaves would take up too much space in the landfill, particularly when leaves could be sent elsewhere for composting.

The board also authorized the advertising of bids for construction of its landfill in Florence and Mansfield Townships. Many people who attended yesterday's meeting were residents of a development next to the proposed landfill site.

Homeowners from the development, Homestead at Mansfield, only recently became aware of the county's plan to build the facility so near the community, said an attorney for the homeowners' association.

"We would like the freeholders to realize that the Homestead owners will do whatever is at their disposal, be it through elections or through the courts, to stop this siting," said the attorney, Paul Rubin. "All of this information is coming onto them like an avalanche. They find that a mile away, everything they were trying to escape is on their doorsteps."

County officials, who said the landfill has been planned since 1980, received preliminary approval for the facility from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) this week. Earlier this month, in an effort to expedite the state's approval process, the freeholders declared the county to be in a trash emergency.

A public hearing on proposed procedures at the landfill is scheduled for Sept. 10. The county expects to have the landfill ready for operation as early as July 1988.

One Mansfield Township resident said the declared emergency was a political maneuver by the freeholders to shorten the time for public comment on the solid-waste plan. "I find this garbage emergency to be nothing more than a threat, a political threat, to the DEP," said the resident, Emily DelVecchio.

Others criticized the county's plans for keeping leaves out of the landfill. Robin Bartok, a Delran resident and critic of the county's proposed recycling center in the township, questioned why the plan did not call for a removal of discarded appliances from local waste.

Metal appliances, usually called "white goods," do not decompose in landfills as quickly as leaves, she said. Also, the used appliances could be sold and recycled into other metal goods, she said.

"Mr. (Edwin D.) Kohlbrenner can do this," she said, referring to a Hainesport recycling company that recently lost a legal attempt to prevent the county from building its recycling station in Delran; the firm argued that the county should be using its plant. "You're not going to get any money back from your leaves," she said.

County officials estimate that every 100,000 cubic yards of leaves sent for composting equals a month's capacity at the Parklands Landfill in Bordentown. Parklands is now the only operating landfill in the county.

Before passing the leaf amendment to the waste plan, the freeholders met in a brief, closed session with county Solicitor Michael Hogan. When the meeting was reopened to the public, Freeholder Francis Bodine said the board would consider ways to eliminate appliances from municipal trash and would probably amend the plan in the future.

The routing of garbage trucks heading to and from the proposed landfill onto Interstate 295 instead of onto local roads was opposed by the National Solid Wastes Management Association. The only exceptions to the county's routing plan are refuse haulers who make stops in Springfield, Mansfield or Florence Townships.

The association opposes the route because it fears that garbage trucks would be fined for violating axle-weight limits on the interstate, said Jack Lutes of Rancocas Disposal, who read a written statement from the organization. Haulers should be able to use any public road, he said.

"We emphasize that we should at least have that choice," said Lutes, who was booed by the audience.

Delran Recycling Challenge Denied

Source: Posted: September 17, 1987

A Burlington County Superior judge yesterday tentatively denied a challenge to the county's controversial recycling center in Delran but said he would postpone a final ruling until the end of the month.

Judge Martin L. Haines tentatively denied a motion that would have required the county to resubmit a recycling plan to the state, a move that could have delayed completion of the recycling center on Hartford Road.

Delran officials and residents have opposed the center, saying it is too close to neighboring homes and schools.

The motion to require the county to resubmit its recycling proposal was made by John Harrington, solicitor of Delran Township, which opposes the recycling center, and Mark J. Molz, attorney for Kohlbrenner Recycling Enterprises Inc., a firm seeking a portion of the county's recycling business.

Molz and Harrington have argued that the county did not secure profitable markets for materials such as paper, glass and aluminum by the end of 1986. Under the state's mandatory-recycling law, counties must submit a new recycling plan to the state Department of Environmental Protection unless they already have a workable recycling program, one in which the cost of recycling items is less than the cost of dumping the waste in a landfill.

Ann Moore, Burlington County's recycling coordinator, testified at a hearing Monday that the county's current recycling program had saved the county $55,000 in 1986 and $151,000 in the first six months of this year. Molz and Harrington, however, argued that Moore's figures did not reflect all the costs of county employees and facilities.

Campaigns Are Polite - But Tough

Source: Posted: September 27, 1987

Democratic freeholder candidate Theodore Costa describes one of his Republican opponents as a nice woman, but one definitely not in touch with the Burlington County residents she represents.

Republican Freeholder Martha Bark, who is seeking her second full term on the board, says Costa is a nice, intelligent man, albeit politically naive and inexperienced.

In Burlington County, it is not unusual for politicians to buttress a political dig by first stating how much they "like" or "respect" an opponent. But then, in the same even, polite tone, they often mercilessly point out their opponents' every flaw.

Politeness is endemic in Burlington County politics, but so is toughness.

"Politics seldom get nasty here because we realize we will have to work together somewhere down the road to get things done," one political observer said. "You'll see lots of criticism, some really tough campaigning, but no mudslinging."

With just over five weeks to go before the Nov. 3 election, Democrats and Republicans are slinging everything but dirt in their attempts to win what the other party now holds.

In the race for two freeholder seats, the Republican incumbents, Bark and Eugene Stafford, are attempting to fend off challenges by Democrats Costa and Mary Anne Reinhart, a Shamong Township committeewoman.

Incumbent Democrats in the Seventh Legislative District - Sen. Catherine A. Costa, Assemblyman Thomas P. Foy and Assemblywoman Barbara Faith Kalik - are opposed by Republican Senate candidate James Bristow and Assembly candidates Vincent Richard Farias and Renee L. Borstad.

In the Eighth District, the Democrats, with Senate candidate James B. Smith and Assembly candidates Harrison B. "Scoop" Slack and Thomas Long, are attempting to end the historic dominance of Republicans. They are seeking to oust Republican Sen. C. William Haines and Republican Assemblymen Harold L. Colburn Jr. and Robert C. Shinn.

Democrats and Republicans acknowledge that they face an uphill fight to end the control of the Democrats in the Seventh District and Republicans in the Eighth.

Democrats, however, see the race for the two Republican-held freeholder seats as more of a tossup. They are encouraged by what they say is an awakening of residents to the disadvantages of a one-party board. Democrats contend the all-Republican board has become callous and unresponsive to residents.

Republicans counter that the Democrats are attempting to create issues to capture the attention of voters who have not elected a Democratic freeholder in 10 years. Still, Republicans say that they do not intend to take the election for granted. Privately, some Republicans acknowledge that the race may be the closest in many years because of recent protests over freeholder policies.

Adds Burlington County Democratic Party Chairman Ralph Franciosi: "We think the recent outcry by residents from many areas of the county may mean that people want a change."

Franciosi points to the angry demonstrations by Delran residents against a county trash-recycling complex; the protests by Mansfield and Florence residents against the county's new landfill; Burlington City's displeasure over discussion by the County Bridge Commission to expand two bridges, and Shamong residents' anger over what they say was the county's slow response to requests to install a signal at a dangerous intersection.

Reinhart, 40, a newspaper ad saleswoman, and Costa, 30, an attorney and the son of Catherine Costa, contend that these examples of discontent expose the freeholders' insensitivity to the people. They also take issue with the current freeholders' contention that they have held down taxes. With the rapid growth in the county, Reinhart and Costa said, the tax rate should have decreased over the last seven years and not just have held steady - at 60 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

"The county is not being well-served by the Republican board," said Costa, a Moorestown attorney from Delran. "There is no watchdog for the people" on the board.

When Bark was told about her opponents' comment on the tax rate, she smiled politely and shook her head.

"They don't sound as if they know much about government," said Bark, 58, of Marlton, a social worker. "If they did, they'd know that when a county grows as fast as this one has, then the level of services must also increase. That costs money."

Stafford, 52, mayor of Mount Holly and a former police chief of the township, said the Democrats were desperate to gain an edge in the Republican- dominated county and were misleading voters.

In the Delran case, Stafford, Bark and other freeholders say, they offered to move the recycling plant to another location if the township applied for the necessary permits and paid the costs. The township, saying that the county should take the lead in getting the complex moved, refused.

Freeholders blame township leaders for a failure to find a suitable compromise. Still, some residents think the freeholders did not try hard enough.

Leaders of the citizens group against the recycling complex, which calls itself Delran Citizens Against the Hartford Road Recycling Station, have taken their grievances to other voters. Since July, the group has been registering voters throughout the county and encouraging them to turn out Bark and Stafford from office. The group also is meeting with residents in Mansfield, Florence and Burlington City, who they say are eager to organize against Bark and Stafford.

Stafford contends that the protests have been motivated by politics, pointing out that Costa, Reinhart and other Democrats often joined with the residents.

Jon Hewko, chairman of the Delran group, said he recently joined the county Democratic Committee, but only after he became frustrated with the freeholders.

"I am willing to do anything to see a change (on the freeholders' board)," he said recently.

Other leaders of the Delran group bristle at the suggestion that their concerns are politically motivated.

"I am not interested in politics," Robin Bartok said. "I'm out here because I believe building a recycling plant near schools and homes is wrong. I don't think other people know how insensitive the freeholders are to the average citizen."

Group leaders refuse to say how many people they have registered. They said they wanted to catch the Republicans off guard.

Bark and Stafford said they had heard no discontent from voters as they make the rounds of numerous campaign luncheons and dinners. Costa and Reinhart contend that the Republicans are not listening.


Two-time Democratic legislative candidate Slack is determined to beat the odds that make him an underdog in his bid to unseat one of the two Republican assemblymen in the Eighth District.

In an average week, he glad-hands his way through at least 40 community and civic meetings, fund-raisers and small gatherings. When the polls open Nov. 3, he said, he expects to have reached out to nearly every voter in the district's 21 municipalities.

Slack, 59, of Bordentown Township, a retired union official, is hoping that his tireless campaigning will overcome the advantage of his opponents - Republicans Colburn of Moorestown and Shinn of Hainesport - in the district. Both are running typical incumbent campaigns based on their records. The Republican advantage is one that was built in by state leaders of both parties in 1980, when South Jersey was redistricted so that Democrats would have the edge along the waterfront communities in the Seventh District and Republicans the stronger draw in the central, rural Burlington municipalities in the Eighth.

The Seventh District comprises the Burlington County communities of Beverly, Burlington City, Burlington Township, Cinnaminson, Delanco, Delran, Edgewater Park, Maple Shade, Palmyra, Riverside, Riverton, Westampton and Willingboro and the Camden County township of Pennsauken.

The Eighth District, solely within Burlington County, is made up of Bordentown City, Bordentown Township, Chesterfield, Eastampton, Evesham, Fieldsboro, Florence, Hainesport, Lumberton, Mansfield, Medford, Medford Lakes, Moorestown, Mount Holly, Mount Laurel, Pemberton, Pemberton Township, Shamong, Southampton, Springfield, Tabernacle, Washington and Woodland.

The Democrats were further hurt this year in the Eighth District by the death of their other assembly candidate, Robert Mitchell, earlier this month. Thomas Long, 42, a financial consultant from Lumberton, said he had agreed to take Mitchell's place, although he knew it would be difficult to gain the recognition he needed from voters in the time remaining before the election.

Smith, 38, a former Mount Holly mayor, who is running against incumbent Haines, said his disadvantage was that voters didn't know more about the senator. He contends that Haines, president of Larchmont Farms in South Jersey, has made farm-preservation his only issue.

"We need leadership on insurance reform, toxic waste and education," Smith said, "but Bill Haines has only one issue."

Smith also blames Haines, who is on the Senate Appropriations Committee, for the loss of $23 million in highway funds to widen Route 38 from Mount Laurel to Mount Holly, money Smith contends was sent to North Jersey.

Haines said Democrats controlled the committee but still denied that money was taken from South Jersey for North Jersey road projects.

"I know that is the sentiment, that is what I felt, too," he said. "The fact is there was a $140 million budget shortfall, and projects were cut all over, north and south."

Haines said that he and other legislators from the county - both Republicans and Democrats - often worked together on issues that would benefit their districts.

In this election, candidates from both parties have expressed concerns over many of the same issues - cleaning the beaches, protecting the Pinelands, lowering automobile insurance rates and cleaning toxic-waste dumps. They differ only on who is most qualified to do the job.

And, because of how the legislative districts are drawn, the challengers say it be will difficult to change the area's representation.

"It's difficult, but we think people ought to have a choice," said Bristow, 41, Cinnaminson mayor and owner of sporting goods stores, who is challenging Costa, 61, of Willingboro, a full-time legislator, in the Seventh District.

To increase their visibility in the district, the Republicans opened their headquarters this month in the most heavily populated Democratic municipality in the district - Willingboro. Incumbent Democrat Foy called it a smart move but said he doubted that it would affect the outcome of November's election.

"(Assemblywoman) Kalik and I are out there every day campaigning aggressively," said Foy, 36, an attorney who lives in Edgewater Park. "We're taking this election seriously."

Republican candidates in the Seventh District have built their campaign around what they perceive as their opponents' shortcomings. One example, Bristow contends, is the Pennsauken trash incinerator.

"Costa and the other Democrats have come all out against the (proposed) incinerator in Burlington (Township), but they have been mute on the one in Pennsauken," he said.

The state is proposing to put a toxic-waste incinerator in Burlington, and Pennsauken officials plan to build an incinerator to handle the township's trash-disposal needs.

"We're talking about two different things here," Costa said. "In Burlington the state is talking about putting a toxic-waste incinerator near residents and the (Burlington Center) mall. The incinerator in Pennsauken will not handle toxic waste."

Opponents of garbage incinerators, such as the one proposed for Pennsauken, contend that they will produce toixic emissions and ash.

Borstad, 55, of the Burlington County Office of Consumer Affairs, is making her second bid for an Assembly seat and questions whether the Seventh District is getting the kind of leadership it needs on this and other issues. Concerned about the stall in getting auto-insurance reform, Borstad, of Willingboro, and her running-mate, Farias, 41, the mayor of Edgewater Park, said they planned to make voters aware that there are alternatives to the present leadership.

Kalik, 50, who owns a travel agency in her home town of Willingboro, contends that the Republican-dominated Assembly had been slow to resolve outstanding issues. If Democrats control both the Senate and Assembly, Kalik contends that longstanding issues such as auto-insurance would get needed action.

Recycling In Burlco Is Criticized

Source: Posted: October 02, 1987

Democratic freeholder candidates Ted Costa and Mary Anne Reinhart yesterday accused their incumbent opponents and the three other Burlington County freeholders of wasting taxpayers' money to build unnecessary and costly recycling plants.

Costa and Reinhart said in a news release that the freeholders had refused to use existing privately run recycling stations, although state law required that local governments include private companies in their recycling plans.

This is the second attack in a week that the Democrats have made on the freeholders' fiscal management of taxpayers' money. Earlier in the week, Costa and Reinhart released a statement challenging their opponents, Republican Freeholders Martha Bark and Eugene Stafford and the three other Republican freeholders, to abolish the Superintendent of Elections Department.

The department was created by the all-Republican freeholder board in 1985, after a Democrat on the county Elections Board took the county to court alleging a number of election irregularities by Republican Elections Board members.

The Elections Board is made up of two Democrats and two Republicans and formerly handled all election procedures, such as voter registration and the hiring of poll workers. A state court upheld some of the allegations by the Democrats but dismissed others.

After the court case, the all-Republican Board of Freeholders created the Superintendent of Elections Department to de-politicize county election procedures, said Stafford, who was not a freeholder at the time.

"I think (the Democrats) are pulling at straws" to win support for their election bid, Stafford said yesterday. "By pulling at such insignificant issues, it shows that (the freeholders) must be doing something right. They don't have anything to say."

Costa contends that the waste of taxpayers' money is a big issue among voters. He said that the budget for both the Elections Board and the Superintendent of Elections Department, which now divide election duties, had increased 30 percent, from $553,611 to $708,804.

He also said that the Republican-controlled Board of Freeholders could save taxpayers about a million dollars by using private recycling companies.

As part of its waste-management plan, the freeholders are constructing or plan to build three recycling stations in the county - one nearly complete in Delran, one planned for Southampton and a third planned for the site of the county's proposed new landfill in Florence and Mansfield Townships.

"The present freeholders have recklessly and blatantly violated state law and wasted the taxpayers' money by spending almost a million dollars on an unnecessary recycling station," Costa said in reference to the Delran station.

Delran residents and officials, who have criticized the freeholders for putting the facility there, maintain that it will be a health and safety hazard.

Costa said yesterday in an interview that the freeholders also would drive a private recycling contractor in Delran out of business when they started operating their own plant in the township in the next few weeks.

Edward Kohlbrenner, who owns the recycling plant in Delran and processed county recyclables last year, has sued Burlington County to prevent the county from opening its plant in the township. Costa said Kohlbrenner could save the county $540,000 in landfill fees by collecting recyclables.

Stafford would not comment on the county's recycling plans because of the lawsuit. Bark could not be reached for comment.

Landscaping Around Recycling Station Fails To Mollify Opponents In Delran

Source: Posted: October 18, 1987

Burlington County officials said landscaping efforts are now being planned to make the controversial recycling station in Delran more attractive, but township officials and community leaders said they are still hoping the county will move the station.

The station, for recycling aluminum, glass and newspapers, has met with fierce resistance since it was proposed three years ago.

Residents complain that the station will bring traffic, pollution, noise and possibly insects and rodents. The station, they maintain, should not be in a residential area adjacent to Delran High School.

Construction of the recycling center began this year, and the brick building is about three-quarters complete. Building plans call for an ''architecturally attractive" brick wall, trees and shrubbery, to help the station blend in with the surrounding community, according to Robert Shinn, the county's solid waste coordinator.

"It will make an attractive addition to the community," said Shinn. "I think once it's in place and operating, it will not be an objectionable facility."

The county has installed a 5-foot-high, 228-foot-long brick fence along Hartford Road. By the end of next week, workers will plant more than 100 maples, spruces, pines, dogwoods and other trees, along with about 70 shrubs. Sod will be installed in front of the 1,250-square-foot, one-level building, and grass will be planted in the rear of the property.

County officials said the wall and trees will keep neighbors from seeing the loading and unloading of trucks or the separation and processing of the materials.

But for Delran officials and residents, landscaping is not enough. They do not want the facility, period. "The building itself is obtrusive," said Delran Mayor Richard J. Knight.

Jon Hewko, chairman of the Delran Citizens Against the Hartford Road Recycling Station, said he thought most residents would not be appeased by the landscaping and would fight to keep the plant from opening.

"We are trying to continue to put pressure on the county to make good with their promise to continue this good-faith negotiating," said Hewko, who added that his citizens group was conducting voter-registration drives.

Knight said he and other Delran residents and officials still hoped the county would move the recycling plant.

Delran officials wanted the county to relocate the facility to Taylor's Lane, on a site they said is better suited to industrial projects. County officials indicated that they would consider the move if Delran officials would secure the necessary approvals and permits.

Delran officials then objected that the process would take too long because they did not have the influence with state agencies the county had.

"We did not believe that we stood a high chance of success with the state agencies," said Knight.

The township has since proposed that the county and the township work together and share the legal and engineering costs for the new site.

Burlington County Freeholder Michael J. Conda said the county is still considering moving the plant to Taylor's Lane. He said county attorneys are examining Delran's proposal to share the permit costs.

Knight said he still expected the township would be able to prevent the Hartford Road site from opening, either through compromise or legal means. A township suit that charges the county recycling program does not comply with the state mandatory-recycling law is expected to be heard in Burlington County Superior Court on Nov. 6.

If the sides agree to the Taylor's Lane proposal, the county would be allowed to sell the land and the building on Hartford Road to recoup the expenses of transferring the recycling station. The Hartford Road structure, Knight said, probably would not have to be torn down.

"The building is such that it could be retrofitted to a less intense use," said Knight.

At County Level, A New Election Season

Source: Posted: December 30, 1987

The polling booths used in November's Burlington County elections have been dismantled and stored; the colorful campaign banners strung outside rented election headquarters long discarded. To all outward appearances, the perennial election battle between Democrats and Republicans for control of county politics has entered a lull.

For local Republicans and Democrats, however, there is no end to the political season. Already in meeting halls and private caucuses among party leaders, groundwork is being laid for the campaigns of 1988.

On New Year's Day, county Republicans will gather in the old courthouse in Mount Holly to swear in the GOP victors in November's freeholder election and pass the highly visible leadership roles of the board to the party's next candidates. This transfer of power is a traditional jumping-off point for Republican freeholder candidates and is made possible by the GOP's 10-year hold on the five board seats.

Republicans will celebrate their 11th victory over Democrats when incumbent Freeholders Martha Bark and Eugene Stafford are sworn in on Friday for their second and first full terms respectively. The all-Republican board is then expected to elect Freeholder Francis Bodine its new director.

Acknowledging that his election is all but a formality, Bodine said last week that he planned to appoint Freeholder Michael Conda as his deputy. The freeholder seats held by both are up for re-election next year.

Under much less formal circumstances, Democrats will exchange well-wishing for the New Year with the knowledge that they are weeks ahead of their usual schedule for assembling a candidate slate.

The Democrats' legacy of infighting usually meant that they could not field a unified ticket until after the June primaries. This year, however, the party put out the feelers early and already has persuaded Shamong Committeewoman Mary Anne Reinhart to make another run for the Freeholder Board, according to Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Bob Renshaw. In November, Reinhart missed upsetting Bark by 1,600 votes.

"We came very close to winning, and with a very well-versed candidate like Mary Anne on the ticket again, I think we should win," said Renshaw, who is heading the Democrats' candidate selection committee.

Renshaw said he expected to counter the GOP's incumbency with help at the top of the Democratic ticket from U.S. Rep. James Florio, a proven vote-getter who is seeking re-election next year and reportedly the governor's mansion in 1989.

Renshaw and other Democrats also are counting on recent controversial freeholders' decisions to dull the appeal of Bodine and Conda.

Demonstrations by Shamong, Mansfield, Florence and Delran residents against freeholder policies regarding traffic signals and waste disposal were used unsuccessfully by Reinhart and her running mate, Moorestown attorney Theodore Costa, to keep Bark and Stafford from returning to office. With a better- financed campaign this time around, however, Renshaw and Reinhart said they expect to expound discontent with county policy to more voters.

Bodine said, however, that he would steer the board away from confrontations with local governments and residents next year.

"I want (freeholders) to avoid the same mistakes we made before," he said. "I'd like to see us sit down and talk with local government officials and get their input before we move ahead on a project."

Bodine said the freeholders already were using this approach in dealing with constituents. He said county officials now were discussing with Southampton officials the possibility of locating a waste-recycling plant in the township. Delran residents and officials opposed the siting of a county recycling plant in their town earlier this year. Delran complained that county officials should have talked with them before choosing a location.

Both Bodine and Conda said they plan to push major projects next year that will increase services for county residents. Those include consolidation of social welfare services in a new county building, completion of the county landfill and a new jail. The programs also will bring Bodine and Conda needed attention during election campaigns.

Earlier this month, Conda announced a new, government-financed respite-care program at the county-owned Buttonwood Hall long-term care facility for elderly residents and said he would work to expand it to include retarded adults.

Criticized before for taking an outspoken hard line on programs for the homeless, Conda repeated several times, when announcing the respite-care program, that he did not oppose government help for all.

"I support programs that help people, who through no fault of their own, need government's assistance," Conda said in a recent interview.

Still, Conda said his sometimes-unpopular stands probably would result in a bruising political contest next year.

Unlike in this year's campaigns, when Democrats and Republicans were unfailingly polite to one another in public, the 1988 campaign could become more of a verbal contest, said Conda.

"Democrats like to pick on me because I'm an easy target," said Conda. ''My races are always hot and emotional. It makes for an exciting campaign."

Recycling Firm Wins Part Of Suit Against Burlco

Source: Posted: January 14, 1988

A Burlington County Superior Court judge ruled yesterday that a Hainesport recycling company that is suing the county is qualified to process collected recyclables in the county.

Further, Judge Martin Haines ruled that the company, Kohlbrenner Recycling Enterprises Inc., should get priority consideration in any bidding procedures if the county revises its recycling plan.

Last spring, Kohlbrenner sued the county, contending that the company should have been given some of the county's recycling business. Delran Township joined that suit in an effort to block completion of a recycling center on Hartford Road in Delran. Kohlbrenner has a similar recycling center in Hainesport.

The state's mandatory-recycling law requires every New Jersey county to submit a recycling plan unless it already had a workable program in place by Jan. 1, 1987. Burlington County contends that it had such a program, an assertion that Kohlbrenner's suit disputed.

Haines did not resolve that disagreement.

The company's lawyer, Mark Molz, said the county was not complying with the portion of the state recycling law that required giving "priority consideration" to companies that were already involved with recycling.

Haines ruled that the county had tried to give priority treatment to Kohlbrenner by asking the company for bids. The company did not submit any bids because, Molz said, the request came after the company had filed the suit against the county.

Although Haines ruled that Kohlbrenner was qualified to participate in the county program, county Solicitor Michael J. Hogan said the decision would not mean anything unless the county has to resubmit its recycling plan to the state.

Haines did not specify a date for when he would rule on whether the county must resubmit its plan. Hogan said the county needs only to prove that it had secured cost-effective markets for recyclables.

Molz said lawyers in the case would meet Wednesday to discuss out-of-court settlements.

Industry Is Urging Counties To Begin Recycling Plastic Containers

Source: Posted: February 18, 1988

Concerned that plastic beverage containers might be banned in New Jersey, the plastic-container industry is trying to persuade officials in Burlington, Atlantic and other counties to start recycling the materials.

The industry is under a two-month deadline imposed by the state to prove that plastic beverage containers can be recycled in the same proportion as glass and cans, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection said yesterday.

The recycling of containers is part of the state's new solid-waste- management legislation, passed April 20, aimed at extending the life span of the area's increasingly scarce landfills.

If the plastic-container industry fails to design a feasible recycling program for its products, the state is expected to develop its own plan for handling the containers by November, said Rick Fulton, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection.

The DEP will judge the effectiveness of the industry program based on whether the percentage of recycled plastics matches the percentage of glass and aluminum cans collected in the state, Fulton said. Exact figures on the amount of recycled materials were not available.

The industry fears that the state plan might result in either a banning of plastic beverage containers, a deposit on the products or other restrictions that are unacceptable to the industry, said Martin Beck, a consultant for the Plastic Recycling Corp. of New Jersey, a group of beverage-container manufacturers and bottlers.

Beck's consulting company, Resource Integration Systems USA of Pound Ridge, N.Y., was hired by the corporation in October to implement a plastics- recycling program in New Jersey.

Beck said his firm already had a contract with Berlin Borough to supply recycled plastics to Rutgers University, which is researching methods of using the materials.

The corporation has offered other local governments technical services, public education materials, aid in transporting the material to the markets, and financial assistance to start collecting plastics, Beck said.

In Burlington, the corporation has proposed to help offset the cost of collecting and marketing plastic containers by buying two trucks for the county's recycling program. Without this assistance, it might not be feasible for the county to collect the plastics, said Ann Moore, Burlington County recycling coordinator.

"Basically, collecting plastics is like collecting air, with almost no dollar value," Moore said.

Recovered plastic materials bring about 6 cents a pound compared with 2 cents a pound for glass. The problem, she said, is that it takes about 14,000 plastic soda bottles to equal a ton, but only 1,400 glass containers to make a ton.

Burlington freeholders are considering the corporation's offer, although the controversy over the county's recycling center in Delran makes it uncertain when they could start such a program.

Delran Township and a private Hainesport recycler are suing the county to keep the center from opening, and county officials said they were unsure when the lawsuit would be resolved.

If the county does start recycling plastics, the program probably will be limited to 10 to 12 municipalities for at least the first year, Moore said.

State May Step In To Approve Delran Recycling Plant

Source: Posted: March 12, 1988

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs could issue a certificate of occupancy for a Burlington County recycling plant in Delran Township - over the objections of local officials - if it finds that the municipality has no grounds for blocking use of the building, a department spokesman said yesterday.

The county yesterday corrected the last of several construction problems that the township inspector had listed as reasons for not issuing an occupancy certificate for the $1 million recycling center. With the installation yesterday of handrails for the handicapped, County Administrator Charles Juliana said he knew of no reason the township should refuse to issue the certificate allowing use of the building.

The county asked Wednesday that the building be reinspected yesterday, Juliana said. But Matthew Watkins, Delran administrator, said he was not aware the county had requested another inspection.

"In any case, we have five days to act, and it will probably take until that time to do the inspection," Watkins said.

The township had turned down earlier requests from the county and state to issue a temporary occupancy certificate for the controversial building, which is next to a residential area. A Department of Community Affairs spokesman said the township was within its rights to keep the county out of the building until it was brought up to state construction codes.

"The local construction-code official is the boss," said Richard E. Harpster, spokesman for the department. "As long as he's enforcing the building code, we're satisfied. If not, we could take over the job and issue a state" certificate of occupancy.

Building inspectors are licensed and trained by the department but operate as independent contractors.

Burlington County officials contend that Delran has used the "minor" construction problems to keep them out of the building while a lawsuit filed by the township against the county's recycling plan wends its way through Superior Court.

County officials said the delay in using the building had prevented them from fully gearing up their recycling program and might reduce future landfill space in the county.

Glass, aluminum, newspaper and possibly plastic beverage containers are to be processed for resale at the recycling center, county officials said.

Delran, whose residents want the center moved to a more commercial location in the township, contends that the plant will pose a health and safety threat to residents.

At the freeholders' request, Juliana wrote to the Department of Community Affairs last month and asked the department to intercede in the dispute. On March 4, the department hand-delivered a letter to township officials asking them to issue a certificate of occupancy or explain its refusal.

In a letter to the department mailed by the township this week, Delran officials cited the lack of handrails at the building for their refusing to issue a certificate of occupancy to the county.

Two Moves Clear Way For Opening Of County Recycling Center In Delran

Source: Posted: March 17, 1988

The controversial recycling plant in Delran is up and running.

Opposition from the township was overcome by two swift moves yesterday, one by the state and another by the courts.

Early in the morning, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs inspected the Hartford Road facility and decided it was ready to be used. That possibility - that the state could step in and take over the issuance of a certificate of occupancy - was raised last week after the county corrected the last of several construction problems that the township inspector had used as reasons for not issuing an occupancy certificate.

Then, in Burlington County Superior Court, Judge Martin L. Haines denied a motion by John Harrington, attorney for Delran, for an injunction blocking the use of the building until all litigation is settled.

The two moves cleared the way for full operations at the center, according to Ann Moore, the county's recycling coordinator. The $1 million center will handle glass, aluminum, newspapers and, perhaps at a later date, plastic beverage containers.

Michael Hogan, the county solicitor, argued successfully in court that "we are at the point where this litigation is going to go on and on and on."

Unless another legal snag occurs, five to 15 trucks will visit the center each day, Moore said. The new facility will help streamline recycling operations, which had been performed in the parking lot of the Occupational Training Center in Westampton.

The moves brought angry reaction from the Delran Citizens Committee, which has picketed the facility. "All this does for us is add fuel to the fire," said Robin Bartok, chairwoman of the group. "We are very upset about this." She said the committee was considering its next move.

Delran residents have opposed the Hartford Road facility, located near Delran High School, saying it should be moved to a more commercial area.

But Moore said she thought Delran residents might drop their protests when they find out how smoothly and cleanly the center operates.

Even if they do, the center is not out of the legal woods yet.

Delran and Edwin J. Kohlbrenner Jr., a private recycler in Hainesport, are suing the county, contending the county is violating the state's mandatory- recycling law because it did not submit a new recycling law for state approval.

That challenge could lead to the facility's closing while the county submits a new recycling plan.

Harrington pointed out the plant could be closed if the county loses the court case. The case is scheduled to be heard at the end of April.

Haines said the issue of whether the county is complying with the mandatory-recycling law was a close one and could go against the county.

"I must say the county's position is precarious," said Haines.

Hogan said that even if the county lost in Haines' court, it might be able to keep the plant open while it drew up a new recycling plan.

Delran Protesters Back In Streets

Source: Posted: March 20, 1988

The white dump truck loaded with newspapers edged close to the more than 25 Delran residents protesting Burlington County's operation of a recycling plant in their community, but the protesters kept walking in tight formation yesterday across the plant's entrance, ignoring the threat.

For two years - through lawsuits, demonstrations and closed-door negotiations - the residents have tried to block the county from using the controversial recycling center on Hartford Road. They contend that the building, designed to reprocess glass, aluminum, newspapers and possibly plastic bottles for resale, should not have been built adjacent to a residential area and two schools.

Now, after the state and courts cleared the way last week for the county to use the building, the residents were back in the streets to demonstrate their continued opposition. Their hope, said a spokeswoman for the group, is that a lawsuit pending in Superior Court will again shut down the plant.

Some people "have asked us if we will drop the issue now that the reycling plant is open," said Robin Bartok, an organizer of the demonstration. "But our purpose in coming out is to show that we are not ready to give up."

Delran had refused to issue the county a certificate of occupancy to use the building, saying that the $1 million structure failed to meet state construction codes.

In February, the county contacted the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, which licenses building inspectors, to intercede in the dispute. The department took over inspection of the building from Delran's local inspector on Wednesday and issued an occupancy certificate for the building, six days after the county had brought the plant up to state codes. That same day, a Superior Court judge in Mount Holly denied Delran's request for an injunction to stop use of the building.

Charles Juliana, county clerk-administrator, said yesterday that he hoped ''cool heads will prevail" so that the recycling plant could operate without disruption.

Delran police were called in yesterday morning after protesters blocked the dump truck from entering. The truck later edged through a gap created by the peaceful demonstrators after police told them they must keep moving.

A Recycling Center's Trucks Get Rolling

Source: Posted: March 23, 1988

Not too long after the sun rises, at about 7 in the morning, workers from the Occupational Training Center Inc. are in their orange jumpsuits, heavy work shoes and goggles picking up glass, aluminum and paper and hauling it to the Burlington County Recycling Center.

Up and down the streets of Willingboro, Burlington City, Westampton and Southampton - to name a few - the men collect glass bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard and newspaper from white plastic buckets residents leave by the curb.

Some might say recycling is a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it - somebody's got to have the recycling center in their back yards.

Not so, say Delran officials and members of the Delran Citizens. They argue that the $1 million center, which opened last week despite objections and some picketing, should have been built in a commerical area. But last Wednesday, the state Department of Community Affairs inspected the center and decided it was ready for use.

But the battle is not over.

In a case scheduled to be heard in April, Delran and a private recycler in Hainesport, Edwin J. Kohlbrenner Jr., are suing the county, contending it violated state law by not submitting a recycling ordinance for state approval.

Residents opposed to the center, on Hartford Road near Route 130, say that the truck traffic endangers students at nearby Delran High. And they fear the center will be noisy and dirty.

Not to worry, says Ann Moore, the county's recycling coordinator. She said the Delran center, designed to serve as a midpoint in the reclamation process, will operate quietly and cleanly.

The center serves as a dropoff point and sorting center for the glass and cans and paper that will later be transported elsewhere to be crushed or torn and then recycled. It gets noisy inside the building when the paper baler or the aluminum "flattener blower" are operating, said Dan MacFarlane, program coordinator for Occupational Training. Glass is broken but not ground outside, MacFarlane said.

Furthermore, MacFarlane said, pickup schedules are arranged so that of the 45 trucks, no more than two are to drop off recycables at the Delran center at the same time. All of the trucks travel on Route 130, not the back roads, he said.

MacFarlane said this year the county hoped to open an additional recycling center, perhaps in Florence, so even fewer recyclables will be delivered to Delran.

Occupational Training, an agency that employs between 65 and 75 percent disabled workers, is contracted by the county to make recycling collections in 32 municipalities. In seven of those, Occupational Training collects glass and aluminum in addition to the paper and cardboard (soon to be eight when Maple Shade is added at the end of March).

Each truck has three workers, two of whom are likely to have either physical or mental disabilities, said MacFarlane.

Because Occupational Training is a nonprofit agency and because the salaries of some of the handicapped workers are subsidized by other sources, it can do the task less expensively than a private hauler, MacFarlane said.

This is how the process works. On collection day, residents leave their buckets containing recycables at curbside. Once workers make a pickup, they turn each bucket upside-down as a signal to the homeowner.

The Occupational Training workers do not pick up unrinsed glass bottles or unrinsed cans. Nor do they pick up light bulbs or broken glass. They pick up only cans made of aluminum, not tin.

Paper products contaminated with food, such as a pizza box, will not be picked up. Such items will be left in the recycling buckets with a note explaining why the item could not be picked up.

In the past, the Occupational Training workers took glass and aluminum to the Burlington City dump to store and sort and delivered the newspapers to the parking lot of the county complex in Westampton to prepare them for transport.

Sorting the newspapers was time-consuming, MacFarlane said. Often the workers toiled until night set in and the parking lot became too dark to continue working.

But the new system should be considerably more efficient, he said. The new complex is equipped with a machine to compact the bundles of paper, and then ''bobcats" - small bulldozer-like vehicles - push the piles into the vans. The old system used an assembly line of workers to prepare the newspapers for transport.

MacFarlane said that what used to take the men 20 to 25 minutes to complete in the parking lot will now take seven or eight minutes at the new Delran site.

Only paper and aluminum are brought inside the new building; the glass is dumped into one of the concrete bunkers behind the brick-and-metal complex. The paper and glass are then loaded into a larger vehicle and delivered to companies that buy the recyclables.

Occupational Training used to have to sell the materials to a middle man because it had no storage space or equipment to package the material. But now, Occupational Training has the option of using a middle man or selling directly to a recycling company. By selling directly to a company, Occupational Training can make more money - five times as much money for each ton of glasss sold, for example.

MacFarlane said he welcomes anyone to come down and take a tour of the new site to see what it is like.

Kevin Wilson, an Occupational Training driver, said that he does not understand what people are upset about since no glass crushing - which would be noisy - is done at the complex.

"There's no sense in picketing, we just put the stuff in a truck and bring it (to Delran) to be shipped out," Wilson said.

In Burlco Freeholder Race, It's No Contest

Source: Posted: June 08, 1988

With the formality of an uncontested primary out of the way, candidates for two freeholder seats in Burlington County said yesterday that it's time to get down to the business of campaigning.

County Clerk Edward Kelly called the voter turnout in the county ''moderate" compared with 1984, the last presidential primary year, but significantly higher than last year. On the Democratic side, turnout was about 50 percent higher than 1987.

At Democratic headquarters in Delran last night, candidate Mary Anne Reinhart said the increased turnout was a good sign and would help establish name recognition for the lesser-known Democratic candidates.

Republicans Michael J. Conda and Francis L. Bodine, and Democrats Reinhart and Paul L. Stephenson ran unopposed in yesterday's primary. The four will now compete for three-year terms in the November general election.

Candidates in both parties said they plan to run tough, visible campaigns.

The two Republicans are considered strong favorites in the general election. Both are incumbents and both are backed by a party machine that has dominated county politics for a decade and has consistently outspent rivals.

As a 13-year veteran, Conda, 54, has been on the board longer than any other member and is one of the most widely known figures in the county.

Bodine, 52, the board's director, recently stepped down after a popular seven-year reign as Moorestown mayor. When the two men ran as a ticket in 1985, they captured more than 60 percent of the vote.

But Democrats say they have recruited a strong ticket this year that will be a challenge.

As a freeholder candidate last year, Reinhart, 41, a Shamong councilwoman, was an aggressive campaigner and fell just 1,500 votes short of capturing a seat on the board.

Stephenson, 54, has a strong base of support in Willingboro, the county's largest municipality, where he has been a councilman for three years.

The Democrats hope to upset the incumbents by exposing what they say is a complacent, all-Republican board that is out of touch with voters and lacks the "creative tension" that would exist with bipartisan representation.

"You don't have the inspiration of other voices challenging you to think and come up with alternatives," Stephenson said.

The Republican candidates deny that they are out of touch with voters. Both Conda and Bodine said they spend many hours each week communicating with residents and adressing their concerns.

"I'm available 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Conda said, "The people know they can pick up the phone and they'll get Freeholder Conda."

The incumbents said they are comfortable running on their records, and they have accused the Democrats of rehashing issues because they lack a meaningful platform - a charge the Democrats deny.

"We are not bringing up old issues," Reinhart said. "They're still the same because they've never been resolved."

Delran Set Back In Recycling Fight

Source: Posted: June 10, 1988

Controversial legislation that would undermine Delran's legal effort to close a county recycling center in the township was approved yesterday by a key Assembly committee.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Robert C. Shinn Jr. (R., Burlington) of Hainesport, was passed 4-0 by the Assembly Solid Waste Management Committee, which Shinn chairs.

Delran officials and many residents opposed construction of the new, $1 million recycling center on Hartford Road, saying it was too close to a school and would cause unacceptable levels of traffic and pollution.

In a lawsuit filed two years ago in Burlington County Superior Court, the township has asked that Judge Martin L. Haines close the recycling center. The township argues that the center is operating illegally because the county has not met a state requirement that it show it is cheaper to recycle waste than it is to dispose of it in a landfill.

Shinn said his bill would clarify a portion of a mandatory-recycling law, passed last year, to exempt counties from that cost-comparison requirement. He said the legislature never intended that requirement to apply to counties, such as Burlington, that had recycling programs approved by the state Department of Environmental Protection before Jan. 1, 1987.

Earlier this year, Delran officials refused to issue a certificate of occupancy for the center, built to process aluminum, glass and newspapers. But county officials persuaded the state's Department of Community Affairs to intervene and issue a certificate of occupancy, and the center opened March 16.

Haines has allowed the center to operate pending a resolution of the township's suit, filed in 1986.

Shinn said his bill will clear up a misunderstanding in the state's mandatory-recycling law.

"I have a great deal of respect for the judge that's hearing this case, but in this particular instance he's misinterpreting the legislation," Shinn said.

Assemblyman Thomas Foy (D., Burlington) of Mount Holly testified yesterday that he opposed the bill.

"It's not a fair fight," said Foy. "To have this legislation move foward while we haven't even had a court decision seems to me to be very unjust and a real slap in the face of the citizens of Delran."

The bill will now go to the Assembly. If passed in the Assembly, it would be referred to the Senate's Energy and Environment Committee. The bill would then have to be passed by the Senate and signed by Gov. Kean.

In an interview yesterday, Foy predicted that the bill would face heavy opposition in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Robin Bartok, president of Delran Citizens Against the Recycling Center, said the group would lobby to kill the bill in the Senate.

Dedication To Recycling Unquestioned

Source: Posted: August 14, 1988

Every Monday morning, Robin Bartok dutifully makes sure that residents in her home town of Delran have their yellow and brown recycling buckets appropriately filled with aluminum cans, glass and bottles and that their newspapers (every other Monday) are neatly tied and lined up alongside the curbs to await pickup by recycling trucks.

The arrival of the trucks makes Bartok happy - it's their destination that makes her angry.

An energetic woman who looks younger than her 32 years, Bartok continues to fight the struggle she became involved in two years ago against the Burlington County recycling center, now operating on Hartford Road in Delran. As one of the primary soldiers in the battle, Bartok became the eyes, ears and voice of the public. She was the lone citizen attending the weekly meetings of the county Board of Freeholders, and she attended the monthly meetings of the Delran Township Council. It was she, along with her neighbor, Jon Hewko, who formed the Delran Citizens Against the Hartford Road Recycling Center to fight the $1 million project.

But as of May 25, Bartok is also the township's part-time recycling coordinator - telling residents of the positive aspects of re-using bottles and cans and paper. In between she runs a household that comprises husband Burt and two daughters, Devon, 5, and Casey, 2. Another child is on the way.

If it appears that Bartok has joined the system she fought against, she is quick to disagree.

"One has nothing to do with the other," she said, "and I think that I have been able to separate it (her job and the fight against the recycling plant) very well."


It was two years ago that Bartok and Hewko formed The Delran Citizens Against the Hartford Road Recycling Center. The county's chosen site, less than a mile from Bartok's home, was in the midst of three area schools, churches and houses. But the group of more than 100 members said they believed that there was a more appropriate location.

Bartok wrote letters, attended meetings and marched in early-morning protests. And although the lawyer for the township fought against the center up to the last minute, it opened on March 16.

Now, at the center, glass, paper and cans collected from municipalities in the northwest section of the county are sorted and crushed for reprocessing elsewhere. And construction has begun on a second county recycling center and landfill on the border between Florence and Mansfield. It is scheduled to open in the fall. A third recycling center is planned for Southampton.

But Bartok, with blond hair and intense brown eyes, still religiously attends meetings of the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Delran Township Council. And the group she helped form has not given up its fight.

In a lawsuit the township filed in Burlington County Superior Court two years ago, the township said center should not be opened because the county violated a state regulation by not submitting a plan showing that recycling is cheaper than using a landfill.

Both Bartok and Richard J. Knight, the mayor of Delran, are optimistic about winning the lawsuit.

Bartok said, "If we win our lawsuit, and there's a good chance we will, I don't think the county will allow us to recycle, and if Delran can't recycle then no one can and Delran will be blamed. I don't want to see the recycling stop."

But a bill proposed by state Assemblyman Robert C. Shinn Jr. (R., Burlington) could end the argument. Shinn's proposal, which has been approved by a committee in the General Assembly, would exempt counties that began construction on recycling centers before 1987, such as Burlington, from the need to submit a plan.

Even if Shinn's bill does not become law, it is likely that Superior Court Judge Martin L. Haines will give temporary certification while the county submits its plan to comply with the law.

Bartok makes it clear that she is not against recycling but against the location of the building.

"Had the county handled this the right way from the beginning, the residents would be supporting the recycling center. We wanted to work with the county," she said.

Bartok said the placement of the center was politically motivated: The Delran council is controlled by Democrats and the freeholder board is heavily Republican.

Delran offered the county a township-owned tract in an industrial district on Taylors Lane in Cinnaminson, which they said was more suitable, for free at a freeholders meeting in September 1985 - before construction began at Hartford Road, said Knight. The offer was made again at a township Planning Board meeting in February 1986, said township administrator Matthew Watkins. The county refused the offers, saying too much money had been invested in the 2.4-acre Hartford Road site, which was purchased in September 1984 for $83,500, Knight said.

But Freeholder Martha Bark has said that the site Delran proposed was impractical because it is part of the state's Green Acres program, which is designed to preserve parklands. Watkins confirmed that the land was part of the Green Acres inventory, but he said that the township was prepared to appeal to the state to remove the property from the inventory, which would have been an administrative action "without any trouble at all," he said.

Bartok confesses that her deep abiding interest in litter and its uses stems from her earliest years of going to camp and teaching horseback riding in Vermont and later living in Texas for a year with her husband. Both states have recycling programs.

She took a personal interest in reforming a litterbug when in 1977 she told a man to pick up a pull tab from an aluminum can that he had just thrown on the ground. She later married him.

In the early years of marriage Bartok worked as a hospital pharmacy technician. But her involvement in family, work and protest leaves little room for anything else.

She said she accepted the job of recycling coordinator in order to take part in something she believed in strongly - saving landfill space. She was appointed to the position by the mayor because she showed the qualities needed for the job, said Watkins.

"She has the enthusiasm needed to talk residents and businesses into an extra service," he said. "She is completely committed to the program."

Most of her time on the job entails paper work, visiting area businesses and ironing out problems such as pickups being missed or residents not understanding the need to separate glass and aluminum from paper. The focus is on convincing Delran's more than 14,000 residents that recycling can save landfill space.

One recent morning Bartok sat at a table in the township building putting address labels on calendars, which explain the recycling schedule, to be mailed to residents. She had just finished a grueling week and a half of making sure that 30,000 recycling buckets - two for each household - were delivered, and she was eager to begin work on new projects.

Bartok has a game plan to visit area businesses and enlist help on recycling programs.

"There are new restaurants in the township, and we can recycle grease," Bartok said. "I want to contact those businesses that have not been tapped yet."

Then she wants to work with two developments, Arbor Green in Edgewater Park and Tenbytowne Townhouses in Delran; offices, and schools for recycling paper, and construction companies to recycle asphalt and concrete. The more tonnage the township can get, Bartok said, the more grant money, which is available to every municipality that recycles, she can apply for from the County Office on Recycling next year.

Still, every day brings decisions for Bartok.

"I have to make sure and ask myself when I get dressed in the morning, 'What hat am I putting on today? My recycling coordinator one, or my resident one.' I hope I always make the right choice. Sometimes I get caught in the middle. It's hard."

Knight supports Bartok's dual roles and describes her work as ''tremendous." She has made recycling in Delran her personal project by working to expand the program, he said.

Her efforts, Knight said, show in the fact that 80 percent of the residents are now involved with curbside collection and newspaper recycling has also increased. Delran has been recycling newspaper since 1981.

"She has gone beyond just separating her job from the fight over the recycling center," he said. And he is not the least bit put off by Bartok's attendance - as a citizen, not as a part-time official - at monthly meetings of the Delran Township Council.

"She . . . keeps us on our toes. She is an asset to us."

Ann Moore, recycling coordinator in Burlington County, agrees that Bartok has been able to separate her feelings from her job.

"She has very strong feelings about the plant, and she is very excited about recycling in Delran," Moore said. "She knows she has a job to do and both sides have to set their differences aside to get it done. Everybody is professional."

Bartok has attended seminars on recycling and wishes that residents were as enthusiastic about the subject as she is.

"I want what's best for the people in Delran," Bartok said. "And recycling is important."

"Either the residents are real excited about it or they don't want to be bothered" with separating their trash, she said. "Recycling is a pain in the neck to them. People can't see in the long run it's saving them money in their taxes."

Old Appliances Piling Up, And Pcbs Are Blamed

Source: Posted: September 04, 1988

For years Charles Kloepfer has made his living hauling junk - mostly used appliances - from private homes and selling it to scrap-metal dealers, who recycle it.

But for the last month, his American Salvage Co. in Philadelphia has been severely hurt.

In response to government findings that the shredding and compacting of old appliances may release hazardous chemicals into the environment, scrap dealers have begun turning his trucks away at the gate. Kloepfer in turn has been forced to stop collecting the appliances - and that, he said, has cost him.

"It hurts," Kloepfer said in an interview last week. "I must be getting a hundred pickup calls a day, and I can't answer them."

From Maine to Maryland, environmental officials say, a crisis is emerging for dealers such as Kloepfer - as well as for thousands of appliance retailers and municipalities charged with collecting the discarded white goods.

Without warning, they have been left with an unwelcome abundance of old refrigerators, washing machines and dryers. The materials, ordinarily a source of revenue, are piling up by the tens of thousands, flooding warehouses, storage yards and driveways throughout the region.

The appliance logjam developed after the federal Environmental Protection Agency discovered high levels of hazardous polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at two Massachusetts scrap yards in July. The PCBs, suspected to cause cancer in humans, were added as a coolant in most appliance motors until 1979, when a federal law prohibited their use, but most discarded appliances are more than a decade old.

In a July 18 letter to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the main trade association, the EPA notified dealers of the findings and warned them that the liquid PCBs could be leaking when the appliances are mechanically shredded before they are melted down for reuse.

Concerned that dealers may be turning their scrap yards into hazardous- waste sites - which could require multimillion-dollar cleanups - the association responded July 28 by recommending that members refuse the appliances. Most of the country's scrap dealers have cooperated, said Herschel Cutler, executive director of the organization in Washington.

The moratorium by the scrap dealers, usually eager to buy the appliances for their valuable metal, has destroyed a vital link in the recycling chain. Municipalities and appliance retailers say they have grown dependent on the dealers as an economical means of appliance disposal, and now they are stuck.

EPA officials say the white-goods surplus has hit hardest along the East Coast, from the industrial sections of New England down through Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where thriving recycling programs have sprung up to ease the burden on overstuffed landfills. But now, large cities with burgeoning recycling programs, such as Boston, Philadelphia and Jersey City - as well as hundreds of smaller municipalities - are scrambling for a way to discard the goods.

Philadelphia has stockpiled more than 100 tons of the appliances at several storage yards, according to city recycling coordinator Alfred Dezzi. The city has a contract with a salvage company to remove the goods, but the agreement has been "put in neutral" until a safe disposal method is found, Dezzi said.

Faced with overloaded yards, the city last week assigned workers to identify appliances manufactured after 1979 - when the federal law banning PCBs took effect - and to send them to the salvage company, said Robert Young, planning director for the recycling office, on Friday. The rest of the appliances will be placed in landfills, he said.

Officials in many communities said the appliance glut has left them in a no-win situation: Disposing of the goods at landfills may be environmentally unsafe, but storing them is costly and breaks local health and safety laws.

"We're violating the law if we keep them and violating the law if we throw them away," said George DeChurch, recycling coordinator in Evesham Township, which has accumulated a pile of appliances covering an area half the size of a football field.

Other communities have either suspended pickup or begun sending the materials to landfills, where they consume scarce - and expensive - space.

"I told the municipalities to consider using the landfills," said Jack Sworaski, recycling coordinator for Camden County. "It's unfortunate, but we have to do something."

In New England, officials say, the problem is more acute because there are fewer scrap metal processors. The State of Massachusetts has ordered the owners of the two contaminated scrap yards to begin disposing of their appliances at landfills or toxic waste incinerators, where they pay a premium price.

The move has paralyzed many New England dealers, who - unlike their counterparts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey - use the same machinery to crush automobiles, which have been found not to contain PCBs. The dealers have shut their entire operations, causing a backlog of old cars.

"We're having a tremendous problem in all our cities," said Stephen DeGabriel of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Quality Engineering. "Boston and Worcester are stockpiling cars and appliances."

Appliance retailers also have been left in a bind. The dealers, who routinely cart away old refrigerators and other white goods when delivering new ones, say their warehouses and yards are overflowing.

"This is a catastrophe for us," said Melanie Willoughby, president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association. "A dealer like Sears alone collects 1,200 pieces a day."

Many dealers simply have stopped removing the appliances, leaving it to municipalities, already burdened by crisis, to take them off the curb. Others have begun trucking the goods to Ohio, western Maryland and other areas, where landfill space is cheaper.

Municipal officials, who say they have worked hard to develop environmentally safe disposal programs, angrily point fingers at scrap dealers, for refusing the junk, and at the EPA, whose actions instigated the collection moratorium.

"Just when we were about to start our new (recycling) program, the EPA hits us with this," said Edward May, a recycling coordinator with the Baltimore Solid Waste Department.

Retailers are upset with the federal agency and the dealers.

"It's amazing they could make a decision like this without any consideration of the consequences," said Steve Seligman, warehouse manager at Dee's Appliances in Delran, where an appliance backlog has filled the store's storage yard.

Scrap dealers who are complying with the moratorium acknowledge that they are alienating customers - and losing money - but say they cannot risk legal penalties or the threat of having to pay for a toxic cleanup.

"Our entire investments would be at risk every time a piece comes in," said Cutler, of the scrap metal association.

Cutler said the EPA's recent announcement was unwarranted because scrap dealers have used the same shredding method to recycle appliances for decades, and the agency has known about it. The EPA's concern is inconsistent, he said, because the agency has issued no similar warning about burying the materials in landfills, a process that eventually releases the same contaminants.

"The amount of PCBs is exactly the same," said Cutler. "They're not going to be protecting anybody."

Municipal officials agree. They say they have received no warnings about placing the appliances in landfills.

"It just doesn't make sense," said Jean Clark, recycling coordinator for Montclair, N.J., which normally collects about 10 tons of appliances each week. "If it's a serious problem, the ground is the worst place for it."

Federal officials have countered, however, that they do not condone the use of landfills for appliances - and acknowledge that that process may also be dangerous, according to EPA spokeswoman Alicia Tenuta. But they have sent no warning letters to landfill owners, according to municipal officials.

Some scrap dealers have demanded the EPA's permission to continue recycling - at least until more testing can be done. And they seek a guarantee that they will not be held liable for any resulting contamination.

The federal agency has not responded, insisting simply that it needs more data to assess the problem.

Tenuta said the EPA had issued subpoenas to the industry association for the results of tests it has conducted on the environmental impact of the shredding process. The EPA also wants the industry to pay for any further tests the agency deems necessary, Tenuta said.

Until EPA officials can evaluate that information, which could take several months, they say they will stick with current policy - even if that means bigger stockpiles and increased use of landfills.

EPA and industry officials alike agree that there is no easy answer to the scrap crisis. But without a solution soon, they say, the already prevalent problem of illegal dumping could increase.

"If something doesn't happen soon, it's going to get worse," said Ed Kohlbrenner Jr., a Mount Holly scrap dealer. "We're going to start seeing it dumped in fields and along the sides of roads."

Salvage Service Proposal Denied

Source: Posted: November 02, 1988

The Delran Planning Board's unanimous decision to deny a local businessman permission to open an automobile salvage service next to a recycling center on Hartford Road was met with cheers and applause from residents against it.

About 100 residents attended last Thursday's meeting to protest the salvage business proposed by Michael DiSpirito, vice president of National Automobile Salvage Service Inc.

The board refused to review the plan for the business, which would hold about 1,400 cars on the 34-acre site, because such use was not permitted under current zoning. The application also was deemed incomplete.

Charles H. Nugent Jr., the attorney for the salvage business, said his next step would be to go to court to force the board to consider the case.

The planning board denial marked the second time the company has been turned down for a zoning change in Delran. A year ago in November, the board refused to hear the company's request to rezone its existing eight-acre site at 115 Mulberry St., stating that the expansion would make the operation too large for the neighborhood. After being turned down, company officials made plans to move their operation to the Hartford Road site.

Nugent said no other zone in Delran could accommodate the salvage business. ''It (zoning ordinance) might possibly be exclusionary," he said.

The family-owned business stores repossessed vehicles for financing and insurance companies, which advertise that the vehicles are available for sale. Prospective buyers then make appointments to inspect the vehicles before purchasing them, said DiSpirito, who said he has an option to buy the 34-acre site that is owned by American Mobile Home Parts.

Although the site is zoned C-4, for light commercial use, the salvage business does not fit the description of either an automobile parking area or a service establishment, which would be permitted uses, said township solicitor Ronald E. Bookbinder.

Nugent argued that the lot on which the salvage business would be could be considered a parking area.

"I don't think it's inconsistent with any other uses in the area," he said, referring to the recycling center and the school district bus garage near the lot. "It is a service facility."

Ronald Napoli, president of the Delran Board of Education, who led the opposition of residents, said the business would create more traffic on the already crowded road with trucks bringing cars for storage. Hartford Road, said Napoli, already has a large amount of traffic from the recycling center and school buses transporting students to three area schools.

Some residents expressed concerns that the business would pose safety and health threats to students.

"We can't become complacent because we have to make certain that this project doesn't resurface at a later date," Napoli said. "We had the recycling center shoved down our throats. I guess this project strikes a couple of nerves."

Raises Flow From Burlco Freeholders

Source: Posted: December 15, 1988

Burlington County freeholders yesterday voted to raise their own pay by 5 percent and ratified a contract that would raise the pay of county prison sergeants and lieutenants by an average of 15.5 percent retroactive for 1988 and by an average of roughly 6 percent in each of the next two years.

The vote on the freeholders' salaries came after a public hearing on the plan that the board first considered Nov. 23.

During the hearing, Robin Bartok of Delran, a frequent critic of the freeholders, criticized the timing of the vote.

"I know it wouldn't be politically good to (vote a pay raise) prior to the election," Bartok told the board, two of whose members - Director Francis L. Bodine and Michael J. Conda - were re-elected Nov. 8. "But it would be a little more honest."

The board has given itself 5 percent raises each of the last five years, always shortly after a general election.

The raise brings the freeholders' annual pay to $19,143. By contrast, Camden County freeholders earn $16,500 a year and Gloucester County's board members earn $15,951.

Later in yesterday's meeting, the freeholders ratified a contract with members of the Policemen's Benevolent Association Local 249, which represents sergeants and lieutenants in the county prison.

Within the overall prison-raise percentages, the contract boosts the pay of first-year sergeants by 31.6 percent, from $19,000 to $25,000 immediately. Freeholders said the "hefty" increase was necessary to keep prison supervisors whom the county has trained from moving to higher paying jobs in state institutions.

The pay was retroactive to Jan. 1. The three-year agreement will give all prison supervisors flat $1,775 annual pay raises in January and $1,625 annual raises a year later, and will improve their dental and prescription coverage.

The union agreed to permit the county to administer urinalysis tests to its members both on a scheduled basis and through spot checks, the freeholders said.

Sheriff And Clerk Targeted

Source: Posted: May 31, 1989

The current Burlington County sheriff and clerk are popular and have created no controversy during their tenures, but Democrats still believe this is the year they can put members of their party into those offices.

Democrats John McBride, running for sheriff, and Jon Hewko, running for clerk, said they thought that county voters were tired of the Republicans, who control every countywide office in Burlington County.

Although both Democratic candidates - like the Republican incumbents, Sheriff Henry W. Metzger and Clerk Edward A. Kelly Jr. - are unopposed in Tuesday's primary, the issues in the fall election have begun to take shape.

The Democrats believe they have all the ingredients for an upset with the proposed replacement for the Burlington-Bristol Bridge, a Republican-backed plan that has enraged Burlington City residents whose homes and businesses will be torn down.

There is also the issue of the Delran recycling center, which opened last year amid howls of protest from nearby residents. Combine those elements with a Democratic ticket that will most likely be headed by South Jersey favorite, U.S. Rep. James J. Florio, and the Democrats say they are on their way.

Kelly has been clerk for 20 years and is seeking his fifth five-year term. Metzger is completing his first three-year term as sheriff, an office he sought after 14 years on the county's Board of Freeholders. Neither has been brushed with a major political controversy.

McBride, 49, a Springfield Township resident, said he was running on the strength of his 25 years with the Burlington City Police. He said he thought law enforcement experience is a must for the sheriff's job.

"The gentleman in there now is a brick salesman," said McBride.

McBride said that not only did he have the law enforcement background, but he also had plenty of administrative experience as second-in-command in the Burlington City Police Department.

But, Metzger said, McBride's arguments are old news.

"That was the issue last campaign, and now I have three more years' experience," said Metzger.

Metzger, 58, a Willingboro resident and a former vice president with Church Brick, said he has had a successful first term. He moved the sheriff's Mount Holly office from a cramped single-family home on Grant Street to roomier quarters in the county courthouse, he said. He has replaced most of the aging vehicles in his prisoner transport fleet, has gotten new uniforms for his officers, and has computerized much of the office's business, he said.

The duties of the sheriff's post, which has a salary of $50,000 a year, include providing security officers for the courthouse, delivering court papers, arresting defendants who skip bail, and transporting prisoners from the county's three jails.

Unlike most sheriffs in the state, Metzger does not have any control over the county's jails. Eight years ago, the freeholders took the jails away from Sheriff Francis P. "Luke" Brennan after a federal lawsuit complained about crowding at the county's Grant Street jail. Brennan charged that the Republican board was the culprit for shortchanging him at budget time.

Brennan, who was sheriff for 26 years, was a thorn in the side of Republican leaders, who tried desperately to oust him in nine elections. Only his retirement three years ago opened the office to the GOP.

McBride said he thought the Democrats could again set up camp in the sheriff's office. William Rowley, the 1986 Democratic candidate, came within 1,500 votes of beating Metzger.

In the clerk's race, Hewko, 35, a Delran resident who works in sales and marketing for an electronics firm, said that although he had no gripes about Kelly's performance, it was time for new blood.

Hewko said he would use his managerial experience to bring some changes to the clerk's office, including more prompt service and more efficiency. If elected, Hewko said, he would like to see the clerk's office install some night hours.

Kelly said he agreed that it would be nice to have night hours. He tried to implement late shifts a few years ago and ran into trouble with his employees' union, he said, but he thinks he would have a better chance of persuading the union now to go along with the idea of late hours.

Otherwise, the office is running well, Kelly said. Kellysaid he expected little problem in the fall campaign.

The county clerk's office includes responsibility for virtually all public records kept by the court. The clerk, who earns $50,800 a year, also is responsible for issuing passports, notorizing documents, printing sample and absentee ballots and recording liens.

Delran Looking To Dump Trash Hauler

Source: Posted: August 13, 1989

Putting the trash out used to be a mundane weekly chore that most Delran residents did not give much thought to until Oct. 1.

That's when Intra-City Inc. of Trenton started collecting the trash.

And the trash began to stay at the curb for days. And trash collectors were spotted playing football in the streets with a fluorescent light bulb and kick-the-can. And they occasionally rang doorbells to tell residents that they were not going to take certain items left curbside, but then changed their minds when offered a few bucks.

State law requires municipalities to select the lowest bidder for any contract, except if there is just cause for rejecting the bid. And last year, Intra-City's bid of $184,140 was $34,610 lower than the next closest competitor.

Intra-City's contract expires Sept. 30, and new bids for trash collection service are due Aug. 21. The township has been documenting the problems with Intra-City and hopes to have just cause to reject the company's offer, should it again be the low bidder.

"If they bid and come in the lowest, we (council members) won't pick them if we have any legal way," Council President Walter Shultz said. "We all have the same complaints. We were all dissatisfied with the services."

It is up to a municipality's governing body to determine in a hearing what constitutes just cause and whether it exists in any given situation, according to Jan Schlesinger, an attorney in the firm representing Delran.

Township clerk Bernadette Porecca said that her office began receiving complaints about the trash company in October.

Township administrator Jeff Hatcher has been documenting the complaints against Intra-City and written the company at least five letters expressing the township's grievances since he started the job in March.

Late and missed pickups have been a recurring problem along the three routes. For example, an area scheduled for Monday pickup would not be done until Tuesday, while other sections were missed entirely, Hatcher said last week.

"We'd have roads with maybe four houses on them that were completely skipped," Hatcher said. "We would call them, and they still wouldn't get to them until a couple of days later."

Intra-City owner Marlene Moser was out of town, according to secretaries at the company, and her son Bill, the only other person reportedly authorized to comment, did not return repeated phone calls.

But Hatcher said Marlene Moser attributed the late pickups to personnel turnover, which meant new people were working on unfamiliar routes.

Other complaints involved damaged trash containers reportedly caused by trash collectors' mishandling and debris left in the road after pickup, Hatcher said.

In May, the township began receiving calls about leaking compacting mechanisms that caused the trucks to leave a trail of rancid liquid in the streets, Hatcher said. The fire company on several occasions had to hose down streets and wash away what Hatcher described as "ungodly" odors.

The trucks also reportedly leaked oily hydraulic fluid, and streets had to be sanded to clean up the potential road hazard.

And then there was the letter written after a resident of Horse Shoe Court complained at the June 28 council meeting that two trash collectors knocked on her door and told her they wouldn't take two 2-by-4 wood beams left at the curb.

She said she went into the house, came back with $3, and one of the men said, "We could take them now."

The clerk's office received between 30 and 40 calls a week when problems were at their worst, Hatcher said. And although volume has slowed, the clerk's office is still receiving complaints.

For Delran, A Switch In Trash Companies

Source: Posted: September 17, 1989

Delran's "voluminous" problems with a contracted, private trash-hauling firm may be over soon, said Mayor Richard Knight.

A new contract with National Waste Disposal Inc., of Trenton, calls for weekly collection for the township's 3,500 residences to start Oct. 2. National's bid of $187,632 was the lowest offered. Pemberton and Westampton currently have trash-removal contracts with National.

Delran's yearlong contract with Intra-City Waste Removal Inc. was notable for complaints of late collection, sloppy collection, spilled collection, no collection and once - a resident told the Township Council - a $2 bribery for collection, township officials said.

"We had some problems in the beginning, but they were all worked out," said Bill Moser, of Intra-City. "As far as I know there were no problems this summer at all. We had everything under control. We had personnel problems, but they've been worked out."

Intra-City's bid for the coming year was $207,840, said township administrator Jeff Hatcher. Intra-City's current contract, which expires Sept. 30, will pay $184,000, Hatcher said.

Fined $2,800 by the township for sanitation violations, the Trenton-based Intra-City was told several times of the township's dissatisfaction, Knight said. Every 10 resident complaints would result in a fine adjusted to the severity of the violation, Hatcher said. For a street missed, for example, Intra-City was fined $500 for each late day. Fines were taken out of Delran's monthly payments.

"In their defense, the folks who own Intra-City tried to make changes," Knight said. "For a while, things would be all right, then the resident complaints would start again."

In particular, there were "voluminous" resident complaints about trash cans being left in streets, whole streets being missed, discourteous employees, trash left scattered and frequent day-late collection, Knight said.

"One resident at a Township Council meeting said she had materials at curbside which they wouldn't take," Knight said. "She offered them a couple bucks and they took it away."

The worst problem was with fluid leaking from the garbage trucks' trash compactors, Knight and Hatcher said.

"Liquid would spill out and sit on the streets for weeks," Hatcher said. ''In the July and August heat, it was a mess."

"The fire department had to hose down the streets," Knight said. "The smell was terrible."

Florio's Coattails Prove Too Short In Burlington County

Source: Posted: November 08, 1989

The Republican Party maintained its dominance over Burlington County government yesterday as incumbent Freeholder Brad Smith, Sheriff Henry W. Metzger and Clerk Edward A. Kelly each defeated their Democratic opponents.

Smith's win over Democratic challenger Donald Scarry, 47, by a slim margin means the GOP still controls all five seats on the county board of freeholders. No Democrat has been elected to that post in 15 years.

Despite the strong showings by the Democrats, who were helped by Governor- elect James J. Florio's big win in the county, Smith, Kelly and Metzger were able to maintain their party's tradition yesterday.

Contacted at a Republican victory party in Mount Holly last night, Smith said the win was especially gratifying because the Republicans were able to overcome a big loss by Jim Courter in the governor's race.

"This is probably my greatest victory," said the two-term incumbent. ''Coming back from such a big loss at the top of the ticket is extremely difficult."

While Smith, 38, enjoyed only a narrow win over his opponent, his running mates Metzger and Kelly, both long-time county officials, had a much easier time disposing of their lesser-known opponents.

Metzger, 59, of Willingboro, won his second term as sheriff, beating Burlington City resident John "Jack" McBride, 49, by about a 4-3 ratio. Before he was elected sheriff three years ago, Metzger had served on the board of freeholders for 14 years.

Kelly, 62, also of Willingboro, who has held the clerk's office for the last 20 years, won his fifth, four-year term yesterday by defeating Jon Hewko, 36, a political newcomer from Delran, by better than a 2-1 ratio.

The party currently controls all five seats on the county board of freeholders and the offices of sheriff, clerk and county surrogate.

Kelly last night attributed his team's success to its record of efficient government and to a hard-fought campaign. Those ingredients allowed the GOP to win despite the long coattails of Jim Florio.

In a barrage of mailings, billboards and newspaper advertisements - in which the Republicans outspent the Democrats about 7 to 1 - Smith, Kelly and Metzger ran on a platform of experience. In their personal appearances, they touted the county's stable tax rate and its successful program to maintain open space and dispose of solid waste.

Scarry and his running mates, combatted the Republicans advantages of money and name recognition by repeatedly telling voters they needed minority party representation in the all-Republican government.

That message apparently was not received.

While the Democrats racked up unusually big margins in traditionally Democratic towns such as Willingboro and Maple Shade, the Republicans were able to rely on their strength in the larger developing towns in the southern part of the county to make up the difference.


* Denotes incumbent

(100% of the vote)


*Bradford S. Smith (R) 51,193

Donald M. Scarry (D) 47,723


*Henry W. Metzger (R) 53,281

John "Jack" McBride (D) 4,889


*Edward A. Kelly Jr. (R) 57,283

Jon S. Hewko (D) 42,234

Yearlong Cleanup Of Township Will Include Roads And Parks

Source: Posted: January 31, 1990

With more than $24,000 in state funds in its coffers, Delran Township is about to embark on a yearlong crusade against litter.

The township is participating in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Clean Communities program, a statewide effort that began two years ago. The Division of Solid Waste Management at the DEP runs the program.

Delran Township administrator Jeffrey Hatcher outlined the coming year's activities in a memo to the Township Council last week.

The township has contracted with a labor crew from Delanco for $4,160 to clean up public roads and parks one day a week throughout 1990. The crew, which worked under the program last year, consists of young people with physical and mental handicaps.

"We're serving two worthwhile purposes," Hatcher said. "They do a tremendous job and they are very happy to get the contract."

Hatcher said the township has planned cleanup days April 21 and 28. On those days, organizers hope to mobilize as many of the town's residents as possible to work throughout the township alongside local groups, including the Cub Scouts, the medical Explorer Scouts and environmental student groups, who will receive some money toward their own activities.

In conjunction with the cleanup days, the township plans to run poster competitions in the elementary and middle schools. Hatcher said the DEP, when disbursing the funds, urges involvement by local schools and youth groups.

Also in April, the township plans to hire a street-sweeping service. The Public Works Department will concentrate on brush chipping that month.

Last year's activities contrast sharply with the plans for 1990, Hatcher said. In 1989, the township disbursed most of the $16,000 in state funds it received to purchase a pickup truck used for litter abatement, leaving very little for projects involving the community.

The township originally received a grant of $19,306 for 1990, but because a number of municipalities statewide failed to participate, the state was left with a surplus and Delran received a bonus of $5,504.

Hatcher said some municipalities find the DEP's requirements for participation too burdensome. The DEP, for instance, requires the passage of ordinances by local governing bodies stipulating the way sewage is handled. It also requires reports on all program activities.

Repeated attempts to reach officials at the DEP who are involved with the program were unsuccessful.

"It should be a great year," Hatcher said.

Recycling In Burlco Is Halted Operation Suspended In Two-year Lawsuit

Source: Posted: February 02, 1990

A Superior Court judge yesterday found that Burlington County's recycling program for paper, glass and aluminum violates state law and ordered operations halted until the county adopts a proper plan.

However, because of the "serious consequences" that would result if collection was stopped, Judge Martin L. Haines said he would stay his order if the county quickly filed an appeal.

Haines' order comes in a two-year-old suit filed by Delran Township and a Hainesport scrap dealer.

Delran argued that a recycling center the county built in the township - which didn't want it - had never been formally made part of the county's solid-waste management plan, as state law required.

The scrap dealer, Edwin D. Kohlbrenner Jr., contended that the county's solid-waste management plan improperly blocked him from dealing in the recycled materials collected in Burlington County.

Yesterday, Kohlbrenner was jubilant. "I won!" he said, when asked about Haines' order. "It would be a little bit ridiculous of them to appeal it."

But county Special Projects Coordinator Robert C. Shinn Jr., who oversees the county's solid-waste plan, said he believed an appeal would be filed soon.

County Solicitor Michael J. Hogan said that if an appeal was lost, the county would have to go through the "bureaucracy" of forming a recycling plan. In the end, he said, the county probably will still operate the Delran facility.

Under the county's recycling program, trucks operated by the Occupational Training Center Inc., a nonprofit organization that employs disabled people, gather materials to be recycled from the various municipalities. The trucks then bring them to either the county-owned Delran recycling center or the county's landfill in Florence Township, where there is another center.

Shinn said that a third recycling station, serving the southern portion of the county, was to be opened soon in an industrial building in Lumberton.

The county sells the recycled material on the open market.

Shinn said recycling had reduced by about 25 percent the amount of waste that was placed in the landfill.

"Our landfill isn't designed for the quantity of recyclables we're generating in this county," Shinn said. If the county has to stop collecting, the glass, aluminum and paper will go into trash bags and the landfill's space will be used up sooner, he said.

"To put that back in the landfill would just be unconscionable," Shinn said. "There's so many people that are recycling now, we'd have a revolution in the county."

Kohlbrenner's attorney, Mark J. Molz, said, however, that Haines' order was ''thoughtful and intellectually honest."

Haines said in his opinion that the case hinged on whether the county had established the "required market" for its recyclable wastes. He ruled that it had not.

To prove it had a market, the county was required to show that the cost of recycling was less than the cost of putting the waste in a landfill. But Haines agreed with a special master, an independent third party employed by the court, to consider the case who, in turn, agreed with an expert who testified that there were no savings from recycling.

Under Haines' order, the county must include a formal recycling plan in its solid-waste management.

Delran Sets Meeting On Recycling

Source: Posted: February 07, 1990

Delran Township's attorney will meet Friday with Burlington County's solicitor to offer a plan to end the township's two-year suit over the county's recycling program, Mayor Dick Knight said yesterday.

Last week, Superior Court Judge Martin L. Haines ruled that the county had failed to meet state requirements when it established the recycling program. Haines upheld Delran's complaint and ordered the county to stop collecting glass, aluminum and newsprint and to close its Delran recycling center.

Delran officials had sued the county because they thought the center should have been placed in an industrial zone. The county built the center on Hartford Road in a residential neighborhood.

On Friday, Haines stayed his own order when the county said it would move quickly to appeal his ruling.

Yesterday, Knight said that before Haines stayed his order, Delran offered to allow the county to operate the facility for up to 60 days, if the county would begin negotiations to settle the case.

Knight said Delran's suit, filed before the recycling center was built, was brought by the township in the hope of forcing the county to choose another location, farther from people's homes.

He said the county refused to discuss the location of the recycling center and went ahead with construction, despite the suit.

Knight said Delran would still like to have the recycling center moved, preferably to another location in the township.

He said Delran might agree to let the recycling center operate until a new one was completed.

"All we've ever asked the county to do was to work with us. That's what the county has consistently refused to do," Knight said.

Knight said Delran did not want to bring the county's recycling program ''to a grinding halt." But, he said, the center could still be relocated.

Delran Is Recycling Corrugated Cardboard

Source: Posted: February 18, 1990

With the new year comes a new mission for Robin Bartok.

The woman who steered the Delran Citizens Against the Hartford Road Recycling Center and fought to tell the residents of Delran Township the positive aspects of reusing bottles, cans and paper is heading a new project - the recycling of cardboard boxes.

"It's something that's going to hit the whole county eventually," said Bartok, Delran's recycling coordinator. "We're just trying to be a step ahead."

Delran is one of five townships in Burlington County that has implemented the corrugated cardboard project.

Mount Laurel, Evesham, Moorestown and Medford all have adopted similar plans in the last six months, according to county recycling coordinator Ann Moore.

"Out of all the areas, Delran is the only one that has a private trash collector, and that can tend to cause a little more difficulty in trying to implement a program like this," Moore said. "In the other areas, like Evesham, public works can leave notices for the residential and commercial areas."

Moore said the project took root in the county because of a state law that requires each township to reduce its solid municipal tonnage by 25 percent by the end of the year. That includes all residential, commercial and institutional waste. In addition, the Burlington County landfill is filling up rapidly.

"If the tonnage isn't reduced by that level, each township must prove that it has tried, by implementing programs, to reduce the amount," Moore said. ''And unless townships take on projects like this, we're going to run out of landfill space a lot quicker.

"As a homeowner, this is the only way to have a voice in reducing taxes. By recycling, it's less money to pay for hauling to the landfill. In addition to the environmental issues, there's no reason not to do it."

According to Moore, half of what is thrown out by the businesses in the area is cardboard.

Bartok said the boxes, which have been collected since last fall, must be broken down and flattened to 3 feet by 3 feet and no higher than 1 foot. The cardboard is picked up every Monday, Bartok said.

Burlco Plans Hearings On Varied Topics

Source: Posted: February 22, 1990

The Burlington County freeholders will conduct public hearings Wednesday in Mount Holly on the board's proposed $134 million 1990 budget, as well as on proposals affecting land use, waste disposal and funding for the Burlington County Bridge Commission, the board said yesterday.

The board will vote on the budget proposal after the hearing. The budget will cost county taxpayers $14.2 million more than the 1989 budget. However, because of rising property values, the tax rate will not change.

The freeholders will seek public opinions on four changes to the county's solid-waste management plan during a second hearing. The board said that it would take written public comments until March 5 and vote on the amendments on March 14.

One amendment would allow the use of a $4-a-ton tax on waste, collected at the county's landfill on the Florence-Mansfield Township border, to pay part of the cost of operating the landfill. The tax generates about $1.5 million a year, while the contractor that operates the landfill gets $3.3 million, according to the freeholders. Until now, the money has been used for the county recycling program.

Another amendment would allow Burlington Asphalt Corp. of Mount Holly to operate a concrete-crushing facility at its plant. A third amendment, requested by Burlington Asphalt, would allow the use of mobile equipment for crushing and shredding wastes and recyclable material.

A fourth amendment to the solid-waste plan would allow the Occupational Training Center, which operates the county's Delran plant for recycling household glass, aluminum and paper, to operate a similar facility in Lumberton.

The freeholders will hold a public hearing on a three-volume document that details the reaction of the county's 40 municipalities to a state plan for controlling growth.

Under the state plan, the county is divided into seven geographic zones, ranging from urban to rural, with the greatest restrictions on growth in the rural areas. After the hearing, the county will forward the document to the state.

Today's Meeting To Address Changes In Trash Disposal

Source: Posted: February 28, 1990

A public meeting with the Burlington County Board of Freeholders has been scheduled for 11 a.m. today at the county administration building in Mount Holly to discuss four proposed amendments to the District Solid Waste Management Plan.

An informal public meeting held Feb. 15 to discuss the proposals drew 30 residents, some of whom voiced objections to the amendments, which involve the following:

* Disbursement of the county's $3.6 million Resource Recovery Investment Tax fund, collected through a $4 per ton tax on trash disposed of at the county landfill. The amendment proposes to keep using the tax revenue toward operation and maintenance of the landfill.

* Issuance of recycling permits to the Burlington Asphalt Corp. to continue asphalt and concrete crushing operations on an 8-acre site at Route 541 and Maple Avenue in Lumberton and Hainesport. In operation as a manufacturer since 1971 and as a recycler since 1983, the plant must be repermitted if it is to qualify under the state's 1987 Recycling Act.

* Regulation of mobile equipment for on-site demolition and recycling of materials such as tree stumps, asphalt, block, brick and concrete. The amendment requires contractors to contact municipalities 45 days before operation with information regarding proposed equipment, disposal plans and length of operation.

* Use of a 28,500-square-foot building on 4.4 acres in Lumberton as a paper, glass and can recycling center to be staffed by disabled adults through the Occupational Training Center of Burlington County Inc. The OTC runs the county's recycling center in Delran.

By far the most controversial proposed amendment is the one affirming Burlington Asphalt Corp.'s operations as a recycler. Several residents attending the Feb. 15 meeting, such as Hainesport Councilman Gerald Parker, complained of truck traffic and dust generated by the facility.

In addition, the plant was criticized as a monopoly by Westampton businessman Robert Winzinger, whose proposal to build a similar asphalt recycling plant was denied by the Board of Freeholders last year.

"You've authorized me to spend (thousands of dollars) for studies in order to get turned down by the freeholders," Winzinger said to county waste officials in attendance. "I'm out of business and they're in business. You're saying that's not a monopoly?"

Objections to a new recycling center in Lumberton have come mainly from Eastampton residents who live near the proposed center, said Mary Pat Robbie, the county's management specialist. She said few objections have been lodged against continuing to use the resource recovery fund toward landfill costs.

All written objections regarding the amendments must be filed by 4 p.m. Monday with Robert W. Simkins, district solid waste coordinator, at P.O. Box 429, Columbus, N.J. 08022. The freeholders are not expected to take any action on the amendments until March 14.

Litter Collectors Find Treasure Among The Trash In Delran

Source: Posted: April 25, 1990

More than 200 Delran residents, many of them teenagers or younger, ignored a persistent drizzle and deployed across the township Saturday morning to rid parks, fields and roadsides of bottles and cans, plastic and styrofoam, metal and wood scrap, and enough appliances to furnish a small housing development.

The young people, joined by Mayor Richard S. Knight and a platoon of township officials, did their part to prepare for Earth Day and in the process learned a lot about the private lives of their neighbors:

* The beverage of choice among Rancocas Creek fishermen is Bud Light, which won the Bridgeboro Point empty-bottle competition over full-strength Budweiser, Kasser's vodka and Guinness Stout.

* Partying teenagers share the piney woods south of Lake Lonnie with headless animals, including rats and at least one dog.

* And at Millbridge Shopping Center, it isn't just fast-food wrappers that are thrown to the wind. It's also money.

By 8 a.m. volunteers were assembling at the Public Works garage on Chester Avenue. There, township clerk Bernadette Porreca, Council President Walter Shultz and First Ward representative Madeleine Horchak joined volunteers taking names and issuing official T-shirts and painters caps while recycling coordinator Robin Bartok dispatched young workers throughout the community.

A mile east in the township's Bridgeboro section, Judy Carroll, vice president of the emergency squad at Delran Fire Company No. 2, led nine teenage Medical Explorers and leaders in trash-policing the popular fishing area off Rancocas Avenue.

The Explorers found concrete and asphalt construction waste, a television set, an air conditioner and galvanized ductwork. They separated the debris by category in township-supplied bags and buckets, leaving it by the roadside under a township sign that said NO DUMPING.

"We're going to furnish a house with this stuff," said Explorers adviser Peggy Cossette-Bauer of Antietam Drive.

On the Rancocas, not all the pollution was on land. Iridescent patches of oil eddied upstream, products of a Friday morning kerosene spill. At water's edge, two unsmiling state workers in yellow Department of Environmental Protection slickers stared out at a boat crew adjusting oil-trapping booms and oil-absorbing sweepers.

As the Explorers cleared the creekside of litter, 33 Cub Scouts and parents fanned out to clean up an area where they will camp next week along Lake Lonnie and Swedes Lake near the township's north end.

"My mom said not to get dirty," said Stefan Miller, a second grader at Millbridge School and a Wolf Scout in Pack 17.

"Look what I got!" said his brother Kris, a Millbridge fourth grader and Pack 17 Webelo. "It's a rat's head! It's got orange teeth!" Other Cubs announced further finds of rodent parts and the headless body of a dog in dark stands of pine along the lakes' southern margin.

"It's teenagers, always messing around," said Frank Seazzuso, a third grader at Cambridge Elementary School, as he and buddy Vic Veston dragged a Lamon Associates for-sale sign to the lakes' Fifth Street entrance.

Neighbors of the Millbridge Center encountered less exotic but more profitable debris while bagging fast-food containers behind the center on Route 130. Auto body shop owner Fred Perkins found a $7 U.S. government food stamp. "Nice to see what our taxpayers' dollars are buying," he said.

His son Ryan, who attends nursery school in Moorestown, found $20 in a battered K mart cash register. Ryan happily ripped out circuit panels in search of more.

Knight returned to the Public Works garage from a soda run to find Riverside Police Detective Michael G. Carroll pitching tree stumps from his pickup truck. Knight and Shultz joined in dumping the wood into Ray Grabert's front-end loader, which dropped it into a Winzinger Inc. dumpster, rented at half price for the occasion. (Dumpsters from Kohlbrenner Inc. of Hainesport and Super-Kwik of Voorhees were loaned free.)

At day's end, the flushed and happy Bartok and township manager Jeffrey Hatcher estimated that four dumpster-loads of metal, a dozen loads of scrap and construction wood and five loads of mixed trash had been collected at a state-paid cost of less than $5,000, part of which went to Boy Scout Troop 17, Cub Scout Pack 17, Girl Scout Troop 49, Brownie Troop 57, the Holy Cross High School Ecology Club and the student group Drugs and Alcohol Are Dangerous (DAAD), which is active at Delran and Holy Cross High Schools.

"We missed our Saturday cartoons," said 8-year-old Lauren Derlin, who, with Troop 57's other 11 members, sacrificed Beetlejuice to clean the township's Faunce Field.

But it was worth it, said Lauren, the subject of intense environmental indoctrination, including a grade-school poster contest and promotions by local businesses. "Mrs. Bartok told us everything's recyclable. We've been throwing away too much."

Delran Moves To Top Of The Recycling Heap

Source: Posted: May 02, 1990

Delran Township is far from the most populous of the 40 towns in Burlington County. Nor are its residents the richest.

But Delran put to shame wealthier neighbors such as Moorestown and Cinnaminson and much larger communities such as Mount Laurel, Evesham and Willingboro by recycling more than 8,200 tons of debris in 1988, said the state Department of Environmental Protection.

That is the latest year for which the state has numbers.

The effort brought Delran a state check for $19,920 last month - and saved taxpayers the $220,000 it would have cost to bury the debris at the Burlington County Landfill, township administrator Jeffrey Hatcher said.

That's more than three times the $71,000 local taxpayers spent to run the recycling program that year. Taxpayers also finance the county's container and paper recycling program.

Ann Moore, the county's recycling coordinator, said she wasn't surprised by Delran's success. "Delran's coordinator works hard," she said, referring to Robin Bartok.

"I'm the enforcer," Bartok said. "But I'd like to believe we come across real warm and friendly."

"Warm and friendly" often means tooling around the township in her family van, two or three young daughters in tow, educating, encouraging and sometimes admonishing residents, business managers and trash collectors to move recyclable products "into the mainstream rather than the waste stream."

"She's well-versed," said Dave Santori, owner of the Delran McDonald's franchise on Route 130. "In some other towns, you go to the local officials and they don't know what they're talking about."

Santori recycles waste oil - a Pennsylvania firm makes it into perfume, cologne and soap - and cardboard.

Delran has gotten an early start on commercial recycling. Moore said it was one of only four Burlington County towns enforcing business ordinances; all are required to do so by summer.

But more than half of Delran's recycling tonnage is household waste. "The residential end is very easy," Bartok said.

According to a township survey, 70 percent of the residents recycle. Those who don't wake up some mornings to see their curbside trash labeled with an orange sticker: "WARNING. Your Garbage Was Not Collected Today Because Recyclables Were Mixed In. . . . Your Garbage Will Be Collected Once The Recyclables Have Been Removed. You Must Recycle. It's The Law."

Repeat offenders are brought to the attention of township secretary Adele Meiluta, who sends letters informing violators of the fines ($25 to $1,000) and jail terms (up to 90 days) they are risking.

Most comply, Bartok said, and "nobody's been fined yet."

But she is working to improve collections among boat-yard owners in Delran's harbor district. Some boaters who use the owners' docks think it's easier to dump into the river than to separate bottles and garbage when they return to shore.

A second challenge is multi-unit housing, such as Tenby Chase and Hunters Glen apartments. "The owners want to build drop-off stations," Bartok said. ''But they don't want to have to pay taxes on them."

Assemblyman Thomas P. Foy (D., Burlington-Camden) is working on a bill that would exempt them from taxes, Barok said, but it faces constitutional questions.

Bartok and Joyce Goldsmith, recycling coordinator for Evesham Township, said their towns led the county not only because of support from residents and leaders but because they had separate recycling officials.

In most other towns, general administrators or public works officials juggle recycling with other duties, said Moore, the county coordinator.

But Hatcher, Delran's township administrator, said titles alone didn't make the difference: "It has more to do with who the coordinator is. Robin is so persistent. She doesn't ever give up."

In Burlco Freeholder Race, A Practice Run

Source: Posted: May 30, 1990

Washington E. Georgia Sr. owns a moving business.

Martha W. Bark is a state parole counselor.

Robert H. King is a bank loan officer.

Jon S. Hewko is a public relations man for a transportation company.

Two are Democrats and two are Republicans.

But this they all have in common. They are candidates for Burlington County freeholder and they have no opponents in the primary election.

Two seats on the Board of Chosen Freeholders will be up for grabs in the November general election - the seats now held by Bark, 61, and King, 42, both Republicans.

Bark, of Medford, is completing her second three-year term on the board. King, of Mount Laurel, is a newcomer to county government. He was appointed to the board in December to replace Eugene S. Stafford of Mount Holly, who resigned.

Both Democrats - Georgia, 59, of Pemberton Township, and Hewko, 36, of Delran - say their candidacy offers voters a needed alternative voice on the freeholder board. Republicans have held all five freeholder seats since 1984.

The Democrats will seize upon problems at the Burlington County Bridge Commission, which is appointed by the freeholders and whose chairman, J. Garfield DeMarco, is the county Republican Party chairman. The problems include the indictment of several former employees in connection with allegedly phony bills for supplies; a commissioner, a former commissioner and several employees collecting $45,000 in excessive expenses for junkets, and the commission's controversial decision to replace the Burlington-Bristol Bridge with a $166 million span.

Opposition to the proposed bridge has come from Burlington City, where dozens of properties would be condemned, and from Pennsylvania, where government leaders have said they would block the bridge from being built.

"They go out and they spend literally millions of dollars (on the bridge proposal) . . . fully knowing the people don't approve of it and knowing they didn't have approval from the state of Pennsylvania," Hewko said.

King responded by saying that both the Burlington-Bristol and the Tacony- Palmyra toll bridges, owned by the commission, are old and have major maintenance problems.

"The question of replacement is in my opinion a necessary consideration," King said.

King's credentials include 10 years on the Mount Laurel Township Council, where he also served as mayor. He is senior vice president at Chestnut Hill National Bank.

As to the commission's scandals, Bark said that some employees had been indicted or removed from their jobs because of the financial improprieties. Regarding the excessive expense accounts, she said, "the bridge commission has adopted probably the strongest travel policy" of any agency in the state.

"Well-run government" is the issue, Bark said. "I think I bring a concern in terms of spending taxpayer money wisely, carefully and for the types of services it seems people are concerned about or want to have."

Bark was on the Medford Township Council for eight years, two as mayor. She was on the township's school board for 10 years and was the board's president for four years.

Hewko has been a member both of Delran's sewer authority and its zoning board for three years. He is chairman of the Delran Citizens Committee, a group of citizens that provides management assistance and direction to township officials. The committee mounted a successful legal challenge of the freeholders, who placed a county recycling station in Delran despite local opposition.

Hewko was defeated last year in his campaign to unseat Republican Edward A. Kelley Jr. as county clerk.

Georgia is the owner of Father & Son Moving & Storage, which he formed 37 years ago. He was honored last year by the Small Business Administration as one of its 10 national business owners of the year. He was on the Pemberton Township Committee and served in 1976 and 1978 as mayor. He served on the township planning board and its industrial commission, and is a member of the school board.

A Test For The Freeholders' Record

Source: Posted: October 24, 1990

It is October in Burlington County, the time when leaves change color, a time when the county Democrats usually field a team of quixotic candidates to joust with the Republicans over issues that - to judge from voter interest - more often appeal only to the eyes and minds of the Democratic faithful.

This year, the Democrats have unleashed two candidates with political experience: Washington E. Georgia, 60, a former Pemberton Township mayor and current member of the township school board, and Jon S. Hewko, 37, a Delran community activist and unsuccessful 1989 candidate for county clerk.

It has been seven years since a Burlington County Democrat held an elective county office, but Georgia and Hewko believe they finally have some issues that the voters will grasp.

They have been quietly campaigning on their issues in the hope of unseating Martha W. Bark, 61, of Medford, who has been a freeholder since 1984, was Medford mayor, a council member and a school board member; and Robert H. King, 43, a former Mount Laurel mayor who was appointed in December to fill an unexpired freeholder seat.

Republicans Bark and King, supported by the party's wealthy war chest that has paid for huge billboards and other advertising, are running on the freeholder board's record of a stable county tax rate and what they say is their efficiency as county managers.

"In many areas, the freeholder board certainly has resolved problems effectively for the county," Bark said, pointing to the county's efforts in handling solid wastes. County disposal fees are among the lowest in the state, she said.

The Republicans are also trying to make Gov. Florio's tax package a partisan issue in the county election.

"That's what's on everyone's mind," King said.

Earlier the board placed a referendum on the November ballot seeking voter sentiment on the Florio tax program. The courts later declared that action and similar ones in other counties illegal.

Beyond those issues, the Republicans are responding to questions raised by Georgia and Hewko.

The top issue is the activity - under Republican control - of the Burlington County Bridge Commission. It has proposed a controversial $165 million bridge replacement project, and some of its commissioners and employees have been accused of several ethical or legal improprieties.

Hewko's initial response, when asked to name the campaign's issues, was to cite what he said was a need for an outside voice on the board of freeholders.

"There's no accountability to anyone in the public in general," Hewko said of the current board. "You really don't have a democracy in place. You've got everybody that says and thinks the same thing.

"The people need to have eyes and ears on the board of freeholders," Hewko said. "They need somebody who's going to be in the back room when all the shenanigans go on."

But Hewko's next topic was "the Watergate of Burlington County," his description of the bridge commission.

"It's just government that has run amok," Hewko said. The Republican freeholder board was "the only body that could have held this thing (the bridge replacement project) in check," he said. Instead, the board voted last year to give the bridge commission full authority in building the replacement for the Burlington-Bristol Bridge, a plan that has yet to be approved by reluctant officials in Pennsylvania.

The bridge commission has already spent $3 million on the project for engineering work and public relations.

"It's unconscionable that you would go ahead and spend almost $4 million of the people's money without investing 50 cents in a phone call to see if the state of Pennsylvania wanted it," Hewko said. "If it's such a good idea and everybody wants it, why are they (the bridge commission) spending half a million dollars to promote it?"

Another Hewko target is what he calls a lack of planning for changes within the county. Reminded that the county government had been involved with a statewide planning process that would establish growth and preservation areas across New Jersey, Hewko said that he was not an "expert" on the county's planning efforts.

Hewko, who said he was self-employed as a public relations consultant for the transportation industry, said he got his start in politics in the mid- 1980s as a founder of the Delran Citizens' Committee, a grass roots-group formed to fight the county's placement of a recycling station in the township.

"I learned that when government comes in and tries to steamroll something over on the public, that they can fight it and win," Hewko said. Delran won a court case after it opposed the freeholders' construction of the recycling center at a location where residents believed it was too close to homes and schools.

"I think the key to it was a group of motivated people who saw a wrong being done to them and got together and did what it took in conjunction with the township," he said. "We said we're not going to stand for this county tyranny."

While Hewko has held no elective offices, Washington Georgia has a long history of election success in Pemberton Township.

Georgia founded Father and Son Moving and Storage in 1953. The company has two dozen employees.

Besides serving two years as Pemberton mayor and several more on the council and school board, Georgia has served on the township's planning board and industrial committee.

"I've always tried to be as liberal as possible," Georgia said. "I just tried to respect everybody, really, as well as everybody's views."

He said, "It's about time now, I would say, that we break away from the one-party rule, and hopefully we're trying to get at least a couple of Democrats on the (freeholder board) to correct some of the problems that's been existing over the years."

Georgia, too, focused on the bridge commission as the key issue in the election.

"It's a very frustrating thing to sit there and listen to the (state Assembly) hearings . . . and (hear) the ways that moneys have been wasted on advertising and engineering fees and printing of glossies to try and sell the bridge before they make any attempts to see that this is resolved between the two states," Georgia said.

"It just seems to me that everybody has tried to put the car before the cost," he said. "We've spent over three-something million dollars to build a bridge that seems to me like it might have a U-turn somewhere in the middle of the water." That represents "poor planning," Georgia said.

"They should stop the spending of all moneys related to the building of this bridge and start out with a totally new approach by sitting down with a committee from the people on the Pennsylvania side and the Burlington (City) side" and find out whether the bridge should be built, Georgia said.

Georgia said that "at least two million of those moneys" spent on the bridge replacement project "could have gone toward a youth type program, to beautify our highways when they (the youth) are out of school for the summer. We could have gotten more for our money."

With the county's money, Georgia said he would like to do more for senior citizens and others living on fixed or low incomes.

"The name of the game is to stabilize our tax base," Georgia said. "We have senior citizens . . . crying because they can no longer afford to live in their homes."

As for the Republicans' claim that a stable county tax rate is the measure of their success, Georgia said: "That is the biggest untruth that has ever been told. The way they are getting away with that is ridiculous.

"Every time properties are revalued, they (the county) tend to get additional monies," he said. "That is how they are offsetting all of these new expenditures."

Robert King's bid for election to a full term as freeholder depends in part on voters' willingness to accept the stable tax rate as a credential. He said the tax rate was the only way government efficiency could ever be measured.

Asked if the dollars the county takes out of a taxpayer's pocket might not be considered a more important gauge than the more abstract tax rate, King agreed.

But he said most people did not understand the complexities of government finance. He noted that some costs borne by the county - the costs of chemicals for treating water and wastes, for example - had risen more steeply than inflation.

"There are certain elements of the budget that, for reasons outside of our control, you have to pay for," King said.

In running for election, King will stick with his focus on the tax rate.

"In a campaign . . . it's these simple statements that people tend to understand," he said.

King, an executive in the loan department of Chestnut Hill National Bank in Philadelphia, defended the bridge commission, both on its plan to replace the Burlington-Bristol Bridge and on the ethical and legal irregularities for which some commissioners and some employees have been blamed.

The Burlington span is old and needs to be replaced, he said. "We either replace the bridge or prepare ourselves to live without the bridge."

The bridge ethical problems involved a travel policy under which the commission paid expenses not only for its commissioners and employees but also for their husbands and wives. Since that practice was disclosed, the commission has asked several individuals to reimburse a total of $45,000 in expenses and has changed its travel policy.

The legal problems included indictments of two employees accused of taking bribes. Another employee indicted was accused of taking illegal expenses and threatening an auditor looking into commission books. One of the employees charged with taking a bribe has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing. The other two are awaiting trial.

King said the bridge commission satisfactorily handled the travel scandal by adopting a new travel policy. Of the indictments, he said: "These things happen in any organization at any time."

King said the Democrats were asking voters to be undemocratic with their plea to place minority party members on the freeholder board.

"It almost takes the American way out of voting," King said. "We've always prided ourselves in looking at the individual and their qualifications and the way we perceive they would do their job. When they (Democrats) say all that matters is that we have both parties represented . . . I wonder if that means we should abandon the idea of selecting our first choice.

"The (only) issue I'm running on is the very positive county government that the Republicans have provided to the county for a long time," King said.

Martha Bark, who works for the state parole board, echoed King's defenses of the Republican bridge commission, and she reiterated King's campaign positions.

"The position of the freeholder board has been to maintain a stable tax rate. We have done that on our own volition," Bark said. "We have lived up to our promise."

A Boost For Recycling In Delran

Source: Posted: May 23, 1991

Burlington County's recycling center in Delran can continue to operate as long as its 1986 recycling plan is deemed acceptable by the state Department of Environmental Protection, an appeals court ruled yesterday.

The decision reversed a February 1990 ruling by former Burlington County Superior Court Judge Martin L. Haines, which held that the facility violated the state's 1987 Recycling Act.

Yesterday's action by the Appellate Division of Superior Court in Trenton leaves in the hands of the DEP the question of whether the Delran facility is exempt from the act, which requires new plans for all recycling facilities unless the sites qualify for an exemption.

In 1987, Delran Township and Kohlbrenner Recycling Enterprises of Hainesport sued the county freeholders, contending that the recycling center - which received DEP approval in 1986 - needed a new recycling plan under the 1987 act.

Kohlbrenner, a scrap dealer, also contended that the county's recycling plan illegally prevented his company from trading in recyclable products in the county.

Recycling centers built before the act was passed are exempt from having to adopt new plans if they meet certain criteria, one of which is that they have the proper markets for their products.

Haines ruled in 1990 that the county facility did not have the proper markets and was therefore operating illegally; he allowed the facility to continue to run, however, pending an appeal.

"The big question is what the position of Delran will be," said Michael Hogan, the county solicitor. "This has been in the courts since 1987 and in all these years . . . the recycling program has been an overwhelming success. Whether it's worth pursuing further is up to them."

Delran's attorney could not be reached for comment.

Mark Molz, the attorney for Kohlbrenner, said, "We don't consider this a loss, only a direction to follow." He said he would ask the DEP to rule the county's plan in violation of the act, but would not say whether he would carry the case back to the appeals court if that route failed.

DEP officials could not be reached for comment.

Hartford Road: Short Lane Has A Long History

Source: Posted: June 23, 1991

It stretches only 11.8 miles from Medford's Methodist Church to Route 130 in Delran, so Hartford Road can't claim the record for being the longest in Burlington County.

Other roads may be longer, but when it comes to history as well as unusual sights, Hartford Road may be in a class by itself.

Carved out of orchards along the road in Moorestown are new homes with price tags of $600,000 and up, and across the road from an old tenant farmstead is the "cruiser in the cornfield," the U.S. Navy's Combat System Engineering Development facility.

Nearby is a new $6 million golf course designed by Arnold Palmer, and soon to come are hundreds of luxury single-family homes and a country club with an entrance fee of $45,000.

A few miles away in Mount Laurel are the remnants of a post World War I Jewish settlement, a now-closed turn-of-the-century general store and the little village of Hartford, once a stop on the Camden and Burlington County Railroad.

All that is left of a settlement of Russian Jews who fled to Mount Laurel because of poor living conditions in Philadelphia is a cement-block synagogue with a star of David over the boarded-up entry. About 25 Orthodox families formed Congregation Agudas Achim in 1927 and built homes within walking distance of the synagogue, where services were held until 1971 when the congregation merged with Temple Sinai in Cinnaminson.

"What makes Hartford Road so unique is that you can see the history of Burlington County as you drive along it," said Rena Hallett, president of the Mount Holly Historical Society. "It's all here, from our rural farm heritage to migration from the cities to the suburbs. It even has two former Indian trails - Centerton and Union Mill Roads - that cross the road."

Once called Oliphant's Mill Road because of a colonial grist and sawmill at the intersection of Hartford Road and Taunton Boulevard, the road gets its name from the village of Hartford on Parkers Creek in the northern section of Mount Laurel.

Although Hallett isn't sure how old the road is, it appears on early 19th Century maps. Before the road was paved, it had layers of oyster shells to keep the dust down.

Parts of the county-maintained two-lane road still weren't paved when Al Tiver moved to a farm in Medford in 1942.

"When we first moved here, it was exciting to see a few cars pass by," Tiver said. "I don't think we saw more than a half-dozen cars each day, and if we couldn't identify them, we wondered what was happening."

Now when he gets up at 5 a.m. to help his brother irrigate the crops, "all I see are streams of cars . . . The traffic on Hartford Road is incredible," he said.

His neighbor, Bill Johnson, opened Johnson's Farm Market at the intersection of Church and Hartford Roads in Medford after moving to the township in 1953 and got a new neighbor five years later when Lenape High School opened.

"If there's any change along Hartford Road, it's all the traffic," Johnson said. "It gets worse each year."

The Hershey's ice cream sign still hangs by Marmon's General Store at the intersection of Moorestown-Mount Laurel Road, but it's been years since ice cream or anything else has been sold at the store, once one of three general stores in Mount Laurel.

"If we wanted anything, we had to go to Marmon's because there weren't any grocery stores nearby," Hallett said. "Stores like Marmon's were a focal point of rural life in Burlington County, but most of them have disappeared."

Gone from the landscape completely are two one-room schools in Mount Laurel, Black Shutter and Hartford.

Before the school teachers at both schools could close the buildings for the summer, old records indicate that they had to clean out the outhouses.

Needless to say, the turnover at Mount Laurel's rural schools was high.

One institution that survives on the road is Ott's Laurel Run Tavern, a two-story frame bar and package goods store in Delran that features neon signs for Silver Bullet and Miller genuine draft.

Originally a farm, the tavern opened in 1946 and was operated by the three Ott brothers - Fred, Bernie and Henry - until it was purchased three years ago by Nick Sommarita and Donald Bigley.

"Right now it's still a typical cross-county country road," said Bigley, who also lives on Hartford Road. "But 10 years from now you won't be able to call this a country road any more."

Two Local Volunteers Recognized By Gov. Florio For Their Work

Source: Posted: May 10, 1992

When the older of Florence E. Gilbert's two sons was approaching his late teens, the Burlington Township woman was worried about his future because both he and his brother are mentally retarded.

"What would you do if your boy was 16 and had to come out of school at 20 and there was nothing for him?" Gilbert asked herself.

So Gilbert solved her own problem.

She founded the Occupational Training Center (OTC) of Burlington County, the first and still the only program of its kind in the county, a thriving nonprofit organization that provides vocational training and jobs for people with disabilities. Last month, recognition came to her for this seminal effort. She received the 1992 Governor's Volunteer Award, one of nine people in the state to be honored.

"I'm still kind of shook up about it," said Gilbert, who continues to serve the OTC despite her 78 years.

"Now I only sign checks," she said. "I'm secretary of the board of directors. I was president one year, but they said I made a better secretary. I don't know how many more years I'll be able to do it."

All of this had its genesis in 1961. When someone said the magic word workshop, Gilbert said OK, and they began from scratch.

They started with seven clients, Gilbert said. The first job literally fell into their laps.

"There was a hardware store in Burlington City, and the top shelf - with cans of nails, bolts and screws - broke, so all the shelves below it broke. The owners shoved it all into barrels and brought it to us to sort out, and . . . those kids loved that.

"Then we found other work. Somebody went out to different factories and we got work that way, and it soon spread and a lot of little businesses came to us."

The OTC has grown far beyond anything Gilbert could have imagined.

It now operates three major programs serving more than 400 clients, according to Joseph S. Bender, its executive director.

The OTC provides janitorial service for more than one million square feet of building space and buses 75 clients a day to clean the Statehouse in Trenton.

For the recycling program, in which OTC picks up bottles, cans and newspapers curbside in all 40 county communities, "we actually hire handicapped people right off the street," Bender said. "They are earning union wages. We have many, many handicapped people not receiving state aid because of that program. We have 80 handicapped people working in the recycling division, our best program. That's funded by the freeholders."

The third program is the traditional sheltered workshop program. Clients go to OTC's Westampton headquarters every day to rebuild laser printer cartridges, stuff envelopes and brochures, and create point-of-display showcases.

And it all started because Florence Gilbert and her husband, William, a retired tractor-trailer driver, were concerned about their sons.

Neither Kenny nor Donny can read or write, she said, yet "they know everything. They're pretty bright. We're very proud of them. Kenny, the oldest, works at the Occupational Training Center, and he's very happy with that. Donny was working in a factory, but the environment was unhealthy for him, so he came home." Donny now does the house and yard work because his parents take walks every day for their health.

The OTC has been Florence Gilbert's consuming interest, but "other parents feel the same way," she said, deflecting praise. "I'm not the only one."

No, but now she might have to explain that plaque and the picture of her with the governor.


Problem solving is what Paul V. Kelly Jr. is good at.

One time, the North Hanover resident recalled, "the Air Force Association had a chapter in Trenton that had fallen apart, so they asked me to help." All he had was a list of names, but he called a meeting. Three people showed up. At the next meeting, it was four. Then five.

"Last Thursday, we had 34," said Kelly. "I have a knack for organizing. I just like to contact people."

When this career military man, now 72, retired in 1986, "that's when I started volunteering," he said.

"Something needs to be done, and I do it," he said - as when he helped form a consortium that provides children with counseling on substance abuse, an act for which he was named a recipient of the 1992 Governor's Volunteer award last month.

"I got into the New Egypt Elks, and one of the exalted rulers said, 'I've got a job for you. We would like you to be drug-awareness chairman.' "

Kelly attended seminars and discovered the organization Municipal Alliances, which educate children about drugs, and he put one together for New Hanover, Wrightstown and North Hanover. Although New Hanover and Wrightstown have split off, he's still chairman of the North Hanover unit. There, along with seminars and peer pressure, the emphasis is on getting the children and parents together for discussions.

Kelly doesn't seem to have done much by the book. During his military service, he spent the first 14 years in the Army (he was out of uniform from 1945-48), then finished with seven more in the Air Force. And after that he worked in electronics at Fort Dix for 20 more years.

In unconventional fashion, his wife, Ellen, was a war bride - an English war bride. More remarkably, his mother was from Europe, too - a French war bride.

Kelly had met his wife, Ellen, at a dance in England, where they married in 1944. The next year she was about to be discharged and come to the United States because she was pregnant, but "she had a miscarriage," Kelly said, ''and they put her right back in the army." That was only temporary, however, and later, the Kellys reared six children.

"My family was very military," he said. "My father was an ambulance driver in World War I. He met my mother, Georgette, while she was working for the U.S. Army in Paris. She had gone to the Sorbonne, became a chemist."

During World War II, his mother joined the U.S. Army as a translator, and when the war ended, she was in Paris and so was Kelly. He arranged to cancel his flight home and launched a three-day search for his mother instead, whom he finally found at the Hotel de Paris.

The press loved it, and Philadelphia newspapers published accounts of it. ''I was looking all over Paris for her," he said, "and she was looking for me."

If it preens, purrs, chatters, nests, tweets or grazes, Barbara Smyth enjoys it.

The Riverton resident can't resist the animal kingdom, and, as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, she spends considerable time restoring its members to health.

Her transient tenants include baby squirrels, birds or rabbits that find themselves orphaned in the spring.

"It's one of my first loves," said Smyth, who also enjoys domestic animals. "I've always had a pet of some sort. Right now I have cats and dogs."

Helping the human race has been a way of life, too, for Smyth, 61, who last month was named the Riverton Porch Club's woman of the year. She has served two terms as club president, 1975-77 and 1983-85.

At the Cinnaminson Home, a facility for the elderly, she's the president of the board of managers, a role she also held in the 1970s.

Smyth has been dealing with animals from the wild for more than a decade, since volunteering for the PAWS program, a nature-study and animal-rescue center in Mount Laurel.

"I handle squirrels, rabbits, most mammals," she said, "except now there is a restraint - we're not handling raccoons because of the rabies through the area."

After the spring influx of baby animals, "the rest of the year it's mostly something injured or caught in a building," she said. "We get a lot of calls for birds. Some raptors fly into factories in the area."

When a red-tail hawk got caught behind some packing and shipping material in a Delran facility, "we had to go in and physically remove it," she said. ''We picked it up and transported it to a veterinarian.

"Over Christmas I had a blue heron that I was able to release. It was starving. We had had a cold snap, and it was still in the area. I had it about three days."

She said her reward is "the pleasure of seeing them go free."

Smyth also handles placements - adoptions of pets. "If there's a stray and everything is OK, we get them taken care of and place them," she said. "And sometimes people come in when they can no longer keep an animal. And some people are looking for a particular kind of animal."

She and her husband, Edward, who is retired, have four grown children and a long love affair with Riverton.

"You know most people. It's small, but it's complete and it has everything to offer," she said. "I have 25 years of my life invested in it, and I'm going to stay."

Zoning Board Rejects Salvage Lot Expansion The Delran Company Says A Shortage Of Sewer Capacity Prevents The Building Of Homes.

Source: Posted: August 16, 1992

In rejecting National Automobile Salvage Service's variance application for the third time since 1987, the Delran Zoning Board recently ended one more chapter in the war between the long-standing business and the feisty residents of the township's Bridgeboro section.

The board decided that NASS, a company that holds wrecked cars for insurance companies, could not expand its operation onto a 3.5-acre section of an eight-acre lot it purchased in late 1986.

By a 6-0 vote June 17, the board rejected NASS' hardship claim that a lack of sewer capacity prevented it from building homes in the R-2 residential zone. The board held that the firm had never applied to the township sewerage authority to reserve capacity.

The board upheld residents' contentions that an expansion of the salvage business would translate into more heavy-truck traffic and noise in their compact neighborhood of narrow streets.

"I have that stuff (already) going by my house every day. It (the road) is not wide enough," said former Councilman Theo Knack, who lives on Mulberry Street, where NASS is located.

Knack also cited worries about leaking oil seeping down into his well water and into nearby wetlands.

"Ecologically, it's not possible. Let's face it; it doesn't make sense to put a junkyard in the middle of the community."

But residents, who have pooled approximately $3,500 to pay for legal help, doubt the case is closed.

The dispute goes back to November 1987, when the Zoning Board said it had no jurisdiction over NASS' application seeking a variance to expand its business. NASS sued.

That got the attention of residents who believed the recent improvements in their neighborhood were in jeopardy.

Judge Martin L. Haines ruled in June 1989 that the Zoning Board did have jurisdiction to hear the variance application, and a hearing was set for that November.

Over the next several months, resident Sue Robbins spearheaded a drive against the plan, sending out meeting fliers, helping raise a legal fund and persuading about 70 people to attend the hearing.

The residents won again.

"If we hadn't organized, nobody would have known about this," Robbins recalled last week.

NASS president Michael A. DiSpirito said he would find a way to use his land, despite the rejections.

"When I start something, I stick it through to the finish," said DiSpirito, adding that he would resume his lawsuit. "You know why I went to the Zoning Board? The judge said I had to."

He denied that his operation was a nuisance or that it caused environmental damage.

The latest hearing was ordered by Burlington County Superior Court Judge Myron H. Gottlieb, who has been overseeing the lawsuit since the retirement of Judge Haines.

Zoning Board solicitor Dennis P. McInerney said he would be filing an application for dismissal of the suit.

Said Robbins: If DiSpirito had "continued with plans to develop the land (for housing), then I don't think anybody in the neighborhood would be opposed to that idea."

"We have an opponent with longevity," she cautioned. "It behooves us to remain vigilant."

Springfield Recycling Gets Off To A Slow Start

Source: Posted: December 13, 1992

SPRINGFIELD — The township began curbside collection of newspapers and cardboard last week, with disappointing results.

According to Monica Hancock, township recycling coordinator, the fact that too few residents took part in the recycling indicated that not enough information about the new service was disseminated to the public before collection started Wednesday. After taking a drive around town on the first day of pickup, Hancock said she hopes more residents will use the service, which is provided to the township by the county.

According to the Burlington County Office of Waste Management, the township has recycled all types of materials including glass, tin cans and paper but has never had curbside collection. Up to now, Springfield's recyclables have been picked up at three drop-off points: the township municipal building, the Jackson Volunteer Fire House and Juliustown Park.

Ann Moore of the county office, the district's recycling coordinator, said curbside collection of glass and tin will also be introduced in Springfield, but she did not know when.

Moore said recycling started in Burlington County in 1982 in Cinnaminson, Willingboro, Delran and Moorestown. In 1987, the state made recycling mandatory. Now, all 40 municipalities in the county take part in the county recycling program in some way, either through drop-off points or curbside collection. The program costs the county about $4 million a year.

Moore also said the township had requested curbside collection about a year ago. She said that until recently, it cost too much to do so.

Officials hope the next pickup, on Dec. 23, will be more successful. Residents desiring more information about the program are asked to call the township at 723-2464.

Trash Strike Settled - Well, Not Exactly

Source: Posted: July 03, 1993

Trash collection resumed in dozens of New Jersey communities yesterday after haulers signed agreements with their striking workers. But management accused union officials of fraudulently altering some contracts.

State and federal mediators yesterday afternoon ordered Teamsters Local 945 and management officials in New Jersey's two-day-old trash strike back to the bargaining table. The two sides are scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Newark office of federal mediator Frances S. Dunham.

Workers for three of the 39 major haulers represented by management bargainers went back to work and then struck again yesterday when it became clear the workers and companies had signed one of several "bastard contracts," said Edward Cornell, chief bargainer for the Solid Waste Management Bargaining Group.

"I don't think the union knows who signed what," Cornell said, adding that there appeared to be serious communications problems within the Wayne- based union local. "This is the worst thing I've seen in 12 years in solid waste."

The strike initially affected about 15 counties from Burlington County north, but county solid waste officials yesterday reported many haulers had resumed collections. In Burlington, Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean, Sussex and Warren Counties, officials said it appeared all their residential haulers and all or most commercial ones were collecting trash.

In Delran Township, the only municipality in Burlington County affected, Councilman Anthony Ogozalek said that because of its strike clause with its hauler, Browning Ferris Industries Inc., Browning management showed up with six trucks and picked up the trash.

But other counties in northern and central New Jersey reported some haulers were still on strike and some workers were picketing landfills and trash transfer stations.

Freeholders Seek A Role In Recycling Burlco Wants To Get Tough On Folks Who Don't Recycle. It Will Ask Towns To Let It Enforce The Rules.

Source: Posted: August 11, 1994

MOUNT HOLLY — On the same day it awarded contracts to finish building the first section of the Burlington County landfill, the Board of Chosen Freeholders took a step that it hopes will keep the site from filling up so fast.

Members want to turn trash cop.

As county officials tell it, Burlington County's 40 municipalities are not doing a good enough job at cracking down on businesses that throw out their recyclables.

So yesterday, the freeholders voted to ask the communities to allow the county to act as their enforcer.

If the towns go along, county inspectors could join local officials in going after businesses that don't separate their cardboard, newspapers and other recyclables from their regular trash.

"We have a selfish interest in this," said Vincent R. Farias, the freeholder director. "Our holes in the ground are filling up too fast."

Currently, when inspectors find a load of illegal trash on the tipping floor, the county must pay landfill operators $8 a ton to pick out the recyclables.

Inspectors try to trace the trash it to its source and notify the municipality where the offender is located. The local government may then issue a warning, followed by a fine and a court summons.

But most of the county's communities don't do a good job of enforcement, often because they lack the personnel, said county management specialist Mary Pat Robbie.

Even when offenders are made to pay, the fines may be as low as $25. The result is flagrant violation, Robbie said.

"We get dumpsters that are filled with nothing but cardboard," she said, pointing to a red bin outside the freeholders' meeting room.

There has been a steady increase in the recyclables that have to be picked out of loads of trash at the landfill. That total jumped to 7,871 tons in 1993 from 4,820 in 1992, officials said.

Municipalities would have to amend their recycling ordinances to allow county inspectors to help in issuing fines. Inspectors from the health department would handle enforcement on top of their regular jobs, in what Robbie called "a shifting of priorities."

Enforcement would be targeted at businesses, because they generate more trash and are easier to trace than residents, officials said.

The county also is asking the communities to raise their fines to at least $500. But before resorting to fines, the county plans to issue warnings to recycling violators and to educate them about the need to comply with state law.

Several local officials supported the idea.

Westampton recycling coordinator Carol Brown praised the plan. She is also the deputy clerk for the township and says she often lacks the time to crack down on recycling violators.

"I think it's a great idea if the county helps us out," she said. "In a lot of towns, the recycling coordinator is part time, or it's just another title added to their name."

Mount Holly Mayor James Logan 3d said the idea "sounds good on the surface," but he cautioned that overzealous enforcement could create a backlog in the municipal courts.

Also yesterday, the board awarded $1.2 million in contracts to build sections 9 and 10 of the county landfill - the last part of the project's first phase.

Section 9 must be completed by July 1995, because the current part of the 54-acre site will be full by then.

The new contracts included more than $775,000 worth of work to Richard A. Alaimo Engineering Co. Most of that will go toward the design and construction of the landfill addition. About $250,000 will go toward designing a power plant to use methane gas produced at the landfill.

Originally, phase one of the landfill was expected to last at least 10 years, Robbie said.

"Now, we're not even going to make that," she said, citing population growth and delays in building a composting facility at the landfill.

The second, 62-acre phase of the landfill is expected to last 15 years, she said. Enforcement of recycling could prolong that lifespan, Robbie said.

In 1993, the county recycled 45 percent of all generated waste. State law requires all counties to reach a rate of 50 percent by 1995.

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