We don’t know how they do it, but we’ve to thank the state Department of Environmental Protection for keeping track of waste in New Jersey. Apparently, the Garden State generated 22.6 million tons of solid waste in 2016, the latest year for which data is available. That included municipal waste as well as construction debris and other types of non-municipal waste. Of the total collected, 61 percent was recycled (13.9 million tons) and 8.7 million tons disposed of.
Municipal solid waste accounted for a big chunk (9.7 million tons) of the overall amount. Of the municipal waste, 4.26 million tons went for recycling. That put the municipal recycling rate (44 percent) well above the national average (34 percent) but shy of the state’s goal (50 percent). The DEP last month announced $14 million in grants to encourage municipal recycling.