I met up with Cranford Green Team members Donna Bascich and Rose Capobianco at the Community Center to find out more about the “recycling buzz” going around town! I think you would be happy to note that this organization is making a huge dent in the reduction and recycling of plastics in our town. The Cranford Green Team is “a small passionate group of volunteer residents working towards initiatives to keep our community greener and cleaner.” Ann Dooley, our Deputy Commissioner is the liaison between the Township Committee and the Cranford Green Team. According to Donna, she wrote Cranford’s Plastic Ordinance (effective July 2020 there will be a ban on single-use plastics in Cranford – read entire article here: Cranford’s Single Use Plastics Ordinance
Teamwork Makes The Green Work:
“We as a team were saying that if we really want to make an impact, we have to work with the businesses and help them find alternatives – that’s the core of what we are trying to do. We also reached out to Westfield Green Team to help guide our efforts. When we pool businesses together, costs of alternatives to plastics can go down. Thirsty Turtle has taken the initiative and really gotten away from plastic use. They are the benchmark for how to do it right. We are just trying to get out in front of it. We did research and sent everything to DMC – alternative uses for all the products being used in our stores/restaurants.
The goal is to work closely with everyone to help guide through this process. Some things will be hard to find alternatives. We need to know what they are and then we can help identify “exceptions”. We want businesses to reach out and let us know how we can help them and what difficulties they are having. That, coupled with community education – is a win-win. The Cranford Green Team was reformed this year and is now composed of twelve volunteers. We are not an official township committee and we have no budget. We just want to make a difference in this town!”
The Cranford Green Team Leads the Recycling Movement:
In anticipation of the single-use plastics ban going into effect, the Cranford Green Team registered Cranford as a community with the Trex Soft Plastics Recycling Program. “Trex is proud to sponsor local recycling programs in universities and communities throughout the country. Recycle your household bags & wrap into Trex’s Earth-friendly composite decking & railing!” If Cranford can collect more than 500 pounds of plastic refuse in a six-month span (about 40,500 plastic bags), Trex will donate a high-performance composite bench to a school or community. The Green Team chose the time frame of National Recycling Day on November 15 through Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22 as the six-month collection window. The Team is working with Junior Girl Scout Troop 20772 (they chose the recycling of soft plastics as their Bronze Award this year).
Soft plastic recycling bins have been set up at:
- · Livingston Avenue School
- · Walnut Avenue School
- · Hillside Avenue School
- · Brookside Place School
- · Community Center lobby
- · Cranford Centennial Pool & Fitness Center
- · Cranford Township Hall/Police Department
- · Cranford Fire Department
The Cranford Green Team Explains the Term “Soft Plastics”:
“Soft plastics” are those plastics that are not allowed in your curbside recycling collections: produce/bread bags, grocery bags, cereal box liners, ice bags, Ziploc & other reclosable bags, case overwrap, newspaper sleeves, dry cleaning bags, and bubble wrap.
Junior Troop 40772 girls pick up all the plastics from these sites and deliver them to the volunteers. Donna and Rose weigh and report the collected materials every month. After that, they deliver the plastics to one of Trex’s participating drop-off retailer location!
The holiday season is particularly filled with an over-abundance of soft plastics. We use bubble wrapping, toys in plastic packaging, holiday food with plastic film, soda/drink cases wrapped in plastic, gift and grocery shopping with plastic bags, leftovers in Ziplocs…the list goes on and on! Help the Cranford Green Team by rinsing and bringing all of your soft plastics to one of the designated locations. In addition, we can act environmentally friendly by bringing our own grocery bags and storing food in glass containers. Anther great tip: gifting in reusable bags, and bringing your own take-away containers to restaurants!