New Jersey recognizes Compost Council organizer

Matthew Karmel, who played a key role in forming the New Jersey Composting Council, was honored as a “Rising Star” among recycling leaders by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

DEP this month recognized nine businesses, organizations and individuals at its annual recycling awards program.

An attorney at Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP, Karmel worked diligently to support organic waste recycling efforts in New Jersey, DEP said.

“He has provided pro bono legal representation directed at expanding community composting efforts in the state and played a key role in forming the NJ Composting Council,” DEP said.

Among other recycling award recipients were:

Business – Earth Friendly Products, which kept 98 percent of the waste it generates out of the waste disposal stream in 2020 through numerous recycling and waste reduction initiatives;

Government – Town of Westfield Department of Public Works, which, in addition to its curbside collection program, operates an innovative recycling drop-off center that accepts a wide range of traditional and non-traditional recyclable materials;

Recycling Industry – Mazza Recycling Services Ltd., which recycles glass bottles, metal cans, plastic containers, mixed paper, corrugated cardboard and other materials. In 2020, the company opened a state-of-the-art processing center for comingled curbside recyclable materials at its site and initiated a recycling education program.

In 1987, New Jersey became the first state to enact legislation that requires recycling in residential, commercial and institutional settings. New Jersey achieved an overall recycling rate of 58 percent in 2018, the most recent year for which data is available.

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