Organic learning Garbage truck
“If it Grows, It Goes”
Innovative Princeton Township Recycling Coordinator Launches First Curbside Organic Waste Recycling Program
How Rutgers Continuing Professional Education is Helping Public Employees Serve New Jersey’s Municipalities
By Bill Swayze
Princeton Township Recycling Coordinator Janet Pellichero has a new mantra these days: If it grows, it goes.
The "it" is meat, fish, dairy products, vegetables, houseplants, bread, pasta, sauces, coffee grounds, tea bags, plate scrapings and fruits, including the pits. And where it's going is to the curb, but not in a bag to be dumped in the back of a garbage truck and hauled off to a landfill.
Instead, it’s going to be recycled, starting June 6, when the first curbside organic waste recycling program in New Jersey begins.
Beginning June 6, 2011, Princeton Township Recycling Coordinator Janet Pellichero will oversee the first curbside organic waste recycling program in New Jersey.
“We are thinking outside the can and will make this work. I personally can’t wait to see the trucks roll into town, ” said Pellichero, who attributes her success as the township’s innovative recycling coordinator to the programs she took at Rutgers University’s Office of Continuing Professional Education.
“Rutgers was vital, helping me gain the knowledge and contacts through the courses I took. Rutgers has been just phenomenal, both as an amazing networking tool and to help me keep learning. Without Rutgers, I certainly would not have the confidence and knowledge to do what I am doing, ” Pellichero said.
Pellichero, 46, is among the hundreds of public employees who enroll each year in the university’s continuing professional education training programs to help them help their municipalities whittle expenses, save taxpayer dollars and improve services.
By mid-January, every municipality in New Jersey will be required to have its recycling related reports reviewed, signed and certified by an individual who holds the title of certified recycling professional, or CRP. A CRP has expertise in many facets of solid waste management, including the economics of recycling, promoting and improving local recycling programs and the most cost effective ways to pick up and haul away recyclables.
Rutgers’ Office of Continuing Professional Education provides that knowledge by way of a nine-class, 21-day certification training program for local, county and state employees and private sector workers with no prior recycling experience.