10 Steps to a Zero-Waste Household

“The benefits of a zero-waste lifestyle go well beyond the obvious environmental impact.”

-Yes Magazine

Curious yet? Let’s explore the well-beyond with some help from YesMagazine.org!

Everyone hates it. Everyone gets it. Junk mail.

Just say no! There are a number of third-party sources you can register with at any time to receive less mail: dmachoice.org, optoutprescreen.org, catalogchoice.org.

And say no to giveaways at concerts or conferences. Instead of giving a false address to vendors, just say you are not interested. That way you save time and resources.

It’s right about that time for spring cleaning! Go through your attic and your storage and take inventory of the items you will keep, and the ones you will not. Once you’ve decided on what to get rid of, consider different avenues of purging your junk—because it might be someone else’s’ treasure.

Think about a thrift store or outlet that accepts secondhand items.


Swapping everyday disposable items for reusable or washable materials is an easy way to cut back on household waste and save some extra green. For example, when you go grocery shopping, bring along a canvas bag or recycled tote to carry your purchases instead of resorting to plastic. Use a handkerchief instead of buying box after box of tissues. Consider using a cloth diaper—even if every other day. You’ll be surprised what you save!

It’s important to know the ins-and-outs of what your city or township offers in terms of trash and recycling services. Before restoring to a landfill, first exhaust your resources for finding a secondhand shop or another person to take an item off your hands.

When purchasing new products, try to buy in bulk to cut down on the amount of packaging used. And whenever you can, avoid plastic. Most of the time America’s plastics are shipped aboard for recycling—and most of the time it ends up in a landfill or in the ocean.

Consider buying another trash bin to use for composting. Excess food, produce, dryer lint, grass clippings, wood chips, shredded newspaper, and more. See a full list by clicking here.

Household Hazardous Waste & Shredding Days

Spring is here, and many residents will begin that annual ritual of cleaning the garage, basement, and sheds.  It’s a great time to look for opportunities to sell or donate used items in good condition thereby reducing waste and promoting recycling.  Leftover hazardous household products can be disposed of at one of the free collection days sponsored by the Cumberland County Improvement Authority in conjunction with the City of Millville, the Landis Sewerage Authority, and the Cumberland County Utilities Authority.  You can conserve landfill space and help to protect the environment at the same time.

Cumberland County residents may safely dispose of gasoline and kerosene, pesticides and herbicides, used motor oil and antifreeze, transmission fluid, car and lead-acid batteries, oil-based paints, turpentine and thinners, and other solvents.  You should store your material in a safe manner until the clean-up day you plan to attend.

The three Household Hazardous Waste and Shredding Events are scheduled for April 22, June 10 and September 9 at the Solid Waste Complex on 169 Jesse Bridge Road, Rosenhayn, NJ (GPS use 169 Jesse Bridge Road, Millville, NJ 08332).  There is a limit to the items that will be accepted and residents are encouraged to visit the Cumberland Con ty Improvement Authority website at http://www.ccia-net.com/recycling-program/accepted-items/household-hazardous-waste-days-document-shredding-days.

For more information about these events and other recycling programs in Cumberland County, please contact Anthony Riviera, Director of Recycling and Clean Communities at 856-825-3700 x2010.

In addition to its environmental related initiatives, the Cumberland County Improvement Authority is responsible for the development, financing and project management of projects and programs most vital to sustaining the economic and environmental future of the County and the state of New Jersey. The Authority works in tandem with the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders to foster greater economic growth, business development and quality of life for all Cumberland County residents.


Anthony J. Riviera III
Cumberland County Improvement Authority 2 North High Street
Millville, NJ 08302
Phone: (856) 825-3700 x 2010
Fax: (856) 825-8121

For more information see the event flyer above.

What The Numbers Mean on the Bottom of Your Plastics



Have you ever taken a closer look at those seemingly mindless numbers at the bottom of your plastics? Items like soda bottles, shampoo bottles, or even plastic Tupperware.

This serial number is actually called a Resin Identification Number—a regulated safety resource for consumers to observe the kind of plastic resin a product contains.

Let’s take a look at the six most common kinds of plastics, and the potential threats they pose, according to Mercola.com:

Plastic #1: Polyethelene Terephthalate (PET)

You’ll perhaps find this plastic is the most common in your life. Bottles for soft drinks, water, mouthwash, condiments, salad dressing, etc. A chemical additive in this plastic known as antimony is present in a product, such as bottled water, at higher levels the longer is sits on a shelf in a store.

Plastic #2: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

HDPE is often considered a low-hazard plastic and used for bottling products like juice, milk, water, cleaning solutions, and shampoo. You’ll find it in grocery bags and the bag in your cereal box. This plastic has also been linked to estrogenic substances.

Plastic #3: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Table cloths, plastic toys, sandwich wrap, medication containers—all often made with PVC, which contains a cocktail of toxic chemicals. This plastic, too, has been linked to what Mercola refers to as a “gender-bending” chemical reaction causing males to develop more female attributes. This has been found in many animal species such as polar bears, whales, otters, and deer.

Plastic #4: Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

LDPE is another chemical compound used for making bags for newspaper, bread, fresh produce, trash, and frozen items. Much like PVC, HDPE, and most other plastics, this compound can cause the “gender-bending” affect.

Plastic #5: Polypropylene (PP)

You’ll most likely find this plastic in containers for deli food, medications, yogurt, and takeout. This plastic is also considered a low-hazard compound due to its high-heat tolerance, however, the plastic is still known to leach, or discharge, two known chemicals.

Plastic #6: Polystyrene (PS)

You may have never heard of Polystyrene, but we’re sure you’ve heard of Styrofoam. This compound is high-hazard for leaching a cancerous chemical known as styrene when exposed to high heat. Ever drink a hot coffee from a Styrofoam container? Not a good idea!

For more information on recycling your plastic items here in Cumberland County, call us at 856.825.3700.

Items You Never Knew You Could Recycle

Get ready to recycle! Here are 15 ITEMS you never know you could… with a little help from Conserve-Energy-Future.com:

1. Motor Oil
When you get your oil changed—where does the oil go? In most cases, it’s set aside and processed for reuse in other industries.
2. Home Electronics
Items like iPods, televisions, and even large appliances are useful when recycled. Recycling electronics has become an industry on its own, and there’s a plethora of companies doing it: Good Point Recycling, HP, and BuyBackWorld—to name a few.
3. Cell Phones
Most of us tend to hold onto our old cell phones. Old pictures and sentimental value aren’t worth tossing it—but if you DO want to free up some drawer space, there are a number of companies out there that will take them off your hands and put them to good use: Gazelle, ecoATM, and Max Back.
4. Sports Equipment
Items like plastic yoga mats, metal weights, and tennis rackets are desirable for recycling. When you bang up your racket or tear your mat, make sure they make it to the proper bin.
5. Toothbrushes
Toothbrushes have a number of components useful for reuse. Next time you replace your brush, consider recycling! Learn how at Earth911.
6. Shaving Razors
Most of us are in the habit of tossing razors when they dull and need replacement—but you should be tossing (Insurance disclaimer: never toss, throw, or juggle razor blades!) the blades into your recycling bin.
7. Cooking Oil
This is a little more known. Most restaurants keep used cooking oil in barrels in the alley or outside the building. The contents are highly useful, and a source of renewable energy!
8. Fertilizers
Yes! You recycle fertilizer. Many agriculturists and larger operations recycle their bulk fertilizer. But the process is a little different. Click here for more information.
9. Bicycles
Bikes for the World creates brand new bicycles out of recycled bike parts. Next time you change up your wheels, send it off, and know it’s being used.
10. Crayons
The National Crayon Recycling Program prevents more than 105,000 pounds of discarded crayons from entering American landfills every year! That’s a lot of colors.
11. Wine Corks
Americans consume a staggering 850 MILLION gallons of wine each year. Do you realize how many corks that is?!
12. Holiday Lights
A year of attic storage can destroy your holiday lights. When all but four bulbs illuminate, don’t toss them in the garbage. Companies like, HolidayLEDS, will collect your broken lights and recycle any salvageable materials.
13. Cosmetic Packaging
Cosmetic containers such as empty lotion or shampoo bottles can be thrown into the bin. And empty packaging such as compacts, eyeshadow kits, or pillars of lipstick are accepted at cosmetics stores like MAC, Origins, Aveda, Kiehl’s, and Lush.
14. Athletic Shoes
While you can’t just throw your running shoes into your single-stream recycling can, there are major brands that accept old running shoes to create new materials. Top brands include Nike, Neiman Marcus, Eileen Fisher, Levi, and Reformation.
15. Bras
Yes ladies—your bras are certainly recyclable!

26th Annual Trash Hunt Announced in Cumberland

MILLVILLE, NEW JERSEY—The 26th Annual Trash Hunt event, sponsored by the Cumberland County Clean Communities Program, has been announced by the Cumberland County Improvement Authority. The event will take place on Saturday, March 18th.

Community members, as well as residents from neighboring counties, are encouraged to select a location in Cumberland County—namely game preserves or wildlife management spots—to participate in the clean-up.

A deadline for registration has been set for March 2nd; all necessary supplies and safety gear will be provided for volunteers.

For registration, visit CCIA-net.com, or contact Director of Recycling, Clean Communities and Enforcement, Anthony Riviera, at 856-825-3700 x2010, triveria@ccia-net.com.