Recycling: Why Is It So Hard for Some?

Recycle graphic from psdgraphicsYesterday I had an argument with someone I know. She was mixing all the trash into one bag to put out on the street. No matter what I said, she refused to separate the trash. Why is it so hard for some people to follow the rules (the law)… not just because the city tells us to, but because it’s right for our community and our planet.

My community has a trash problem, city wide actually. The street cleaners (physical people) are currently at a minimum. I see someone maybe once a week and that’s not enough to pick up after citizens who believe there is someone walking directly behind them ready and waiting for their chip bag, pizza plate or empty soda can. What kind of parent doesn’t teach their children to respect others, our community, and has those same bad habits? Store owners don’t bother to come outside and pick up the trash right outside their door.

And… we’ve got another problem (worse than regular trash, if you know what I mean) with the homeless who are living on the streets, and don’t get me started on the dog poop.

Lately, the Riverview Neighborhood Association has pushed back against this with their own “clean-up” project, one street at a time. A very impressive initiative, which more neighborhood associations need to implement.

The City of Jersey City and Sustainable JC have hosted conferences in City Hall such as the Zero-Waste Conference, but of course the people who attend (like me) already care about this issue, so how can we reach the people we need to?

Anyway, in case you’re not sure what the “Trash/Recycling” law is, here in Hudson County, here are some details via the Hudson County Improvement Authority — http://hcia.org Visit their website, because there is a lot more information including what you cannot recycle!

Solid Waste Management
Each and every day, Hudson County residents generate more than 1,500 tons of solid waste! Much of this can be harmful to our environment if disposed of improperly. Making certain that this trash is disposed of in an environmentally sound and cost-effective manner is the highest priority for the HCIA and its Division of Solid Waste.

In Hudson County, recycling has become an important method of waste management. Materials that were once thought to be unrecyclable are now being commonly recycled. However, there are still some materials that can not be recycled and those that can be need to be prepared correctly for recycling so that they can be reprocessed into new products.


Paper and paper products comprise approximately 32% of the waste stream in Hudson County. There are many different types of paper:

* Corrugated Cardboard
* Chipboard & Paperboard
* Mixed Paper
* Phone Books
* Hi-Grade Office & Computer Paper

Plastics can be very mysterious because each type is made up of different chemical components. Therefore, it is essential that only similar types get recycled together.

For Better Recycling
Sorting different types of plastic is essential to producing high quality recycled products. Check with your local recycling coordinator as to which types of plastics are collected by your municipality.

Recycle only glass bottles and jars from food, beverages and medicine. Do not recycle light bulbs, glassware, ceramics and window glass, which are each made of different ingredients, and by different processes.

Aluminum, Tin and Steel Cans
Typically, the only kind of aluminum your town wants set out for curbside collection is aluminum beverage cans. You can test if a can is aluminum or steel by using a magnet: a magnet won’t stick to aluminum. Unless indicated differently, glass, aluminum, steel and tin cans can be commingled for collection.


Earth Day and Save The Frogs Day 2014

In the Spring of 2009, when Frogs Are Green was just an idea, I had a dream, and that dream is coming true.

My dream is to do all that I can to bring awareness within my community and around the world to help save frogs and amphibians.


This coming Tuesday, April 22, is Earth Day and we’re having the first of two celebrations, here in Jersey City! The Distillery Gallery and Artspace has partnered with Frogs Are Green to showcase hundreds of artworks by children 3-12 from more than 27 countries. Green Dream International Children’s Earth Day Exhibition is on display April 5-27 and visitors are streaming in, either as they pass by or riding over on their bicycles.

On the 22nd of April, join us between 7-10 pm for a little wine and food with our musical guests, The Sensational Country Blues Wonders.

Saturday, April 26th, is Save the Frogs Day and this will be the first big STF Day event we’ve coordinated here in Jersey City. Join us from 4-7 pm with musical guests, The Gully Hubbards, as well as guest speakers: Mayor Steven Fulop, Laura Skolar of the Jersey City Parks Coalition, and Michelle Anne Luebke, instructor at CUNY and environmentalist. Chef Camillo Sabella is bringing his delicious gluten-free, vegan, organic treats and Gia Gelato is bringing her yummy gelato!

Bringing awareness to Jersey City, one community group at a time

I have connected with Jersey City in a multitude of new ways.

Last week, I spoke at The Village Community Association, which is a section of downtown Jersey City, and this past week I spoke to the Pershing Field Garden Friends (in my own neighborhood), and enjoyed hearing about what both groups are doing!

I have also connected with the visual coordinator for Jersey City public schools as well as teachers at the Learning Community Charter School where they study frogs and amphibians as a part of their curriculum.

Each time someone asks “What’s happening to the frogs?” I know my work has just begun.

Talking with different people from these different groups has given me ideas of ways to build even more awareness in the coming months and years. I’ll be looking to bring the Green Dream to other cities, schools and galleries as a traveling exhibit.

The 2014 Frogs Are Green children’s art contest as well as the photography contests (Frogs in the Wild and Backyard Frogs, which are open to frog lovers of all ages), will open September 2, 2014 and I expect Jersey City to lead the USA as the largest contributor of artwork and make us all proud.

Happy Earth Day and Save The Frogs Day, to all.

— Susan Newman, founder, Frogs Are Green