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Making money by turning waste into resources

Since 1995, Ocean County has distributed more than $14 million to municipalities through the Recycling Revenue Sharing Program.

By recycling 37,000 tons of material during the first half of 2013, towns saved a combined $2.6 million by avoiding the tipping fee at the landfill.

James F. Lacey

Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders


In April 1987, Governor Tom Kean of New Jersey signed the Mandatory Recycling Act, requiring all counties to provide recycling services for their municipalities. The act called for the recycling of at least 25% of household garbage within two years.

Assemblyman Arthur Albohn said, “It’s a major step forward toward solving the solid waste problems of the state of New Jersey.”


Ocean County decided to turn a 60-acre (24-hectare) municipal landfill in Lakewood Township into a state-of-the-art recycling complex. The county turned to Mott MacDonald for help in developing, operating, and eventually expanding the Northern Recycling Complex.

The Northern Recycling Complex is a full-service facility that includes a wide range of services and facilities, including two 40,000-square-foot (3,716-square-meter) Single Stream Recyclable Materials Processing Facilities (RMPFs), easily accessible drop-off facilities for recyclable material and hazardous waste, maintenance and fueling facilities, a tractor-trailer scale facility, employee offices, a brush collection and wood chipping operation, a 30-acre (12-hectare) leaf composting operation, and a wood processing area.

Our services to the county included the following:

  • Preparation of permit application
  • Site planning
  • Preparation of bid documents for all site and building construction
  • Coordination with various governmental agencies
  • Assistance with procurement of a new processing equipment
  • Assistance with replacement of tipping floors

Mott MacDonald also helped prepare an RFP for the Operation and Maintenance of a Recovered Materials Processing Facility (RMPF). This included reviewing the existing operations and finances, developing a revenue-sharing formula, developing a service contract, preparing contract documents, and assisting with the public bidding phase and with bid review and negotiations with the successful bidder. Once the new vendor began operation, we conducted performance testing of the operation.


In August 2013, James F. Lacey of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced that municipalities would shortly be getting checks for their recycling efforts.

“As we work at keep government effective and efficient, this is one program that has a positive impact on all of our towns,” he said. “Last year, Ocean County returned almost $1 million to its municipalities in recycling revenue sharing. Our towns recycled just over 77,000 tons of material last year.”

Since 1995, Ocean County had distributed $14 million to municipalities through the Recycling Revenue Sharing Program.

Lacey also said that recycling reduced the cost to towns of landfilling waste. “For instance, by recycling 37,000 tons of material during the first half of 2013, towns saved a combined $2.6 million by avoiding the tipping fee at the landfill.”

He went on, “If a road needs to be fixed, or a park needs to be upgraded, this money can help with those projects. This is a return on their recycling effort.”

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