McGraw: Help Create a Greener Glassboro

Features editor Jennifer McGraw discusses the importance of recycling in the Glassboro community. - Photo via

The Glassboro Highway Department is a community outreach organization that serves the small, college town of Glassboro. The purpose of the highway department is to “ensure Glassboro’s streets, sidewalks and highways are safe, clean and attractive.” 

Besides street and highway maintenance, the department also handles snow and leaf removal. Another big part of what the organization handles is the town’s curbside recycling. 

According to the Glassboro Highway Department website, “We collect approximately 5,900 tons of solid waste annually and our residential recycling program diverts more than 2,000 tons annually.”

Since Glassboro is a college town, it’s important to make sure that the town stays beautiful for everyone. A big way that everyone can get involved is by doing their part to properly recycle. 

As a fellow college student, it can be tricky to manage what does and does not get recycled on top of other responsibilities. In a 2019 poll conducted by the Mason-Dixon on behalf of the Carton Council, 92% of college-aged people reported that they recycle. Nearly two-thirds of that percentage, however, do not know what happens after. 

This can cause frustration and confusion, especially in a younger generation that advocates for sustainability. Adding onto that frustration, if someone doesn’t know how to recycle, they may face consequences just because they are unsure. As a college student already paying for their education, it’s too much pressure to focus on paying a fine because they threw a pizza box in their recycling bin.

Persistence is key in learning how to properly recycle for the greater good of the community, state and country. This is why the Glassboro Highway Department is working with the community to help everyone, from student renters to long-term residents, learn how to properly recycle.

Recycling can be extremely confusing and difficult to understand, so I’ve broken down what can and cannot be recycled in the Glassboro community. 

Cardboard, newspapers, junk mail, computer paper, food boxes or any type of paper product can be recycled. Please make sure if you have any paper products that touched food, or had food on it, you clean off the food as best as possible. Food on paper products cannot be recycled.

Cardboard boxes cannot be used as trash receptacles, so keep all of your trash and recyclables in the appropriate containers. 

Glass bottles, water bottles and jars can be recycled, but the caps and rings must be removed before doing so. 

Aluminum, tin beverages and food cans can also be recycled, but make sure that they’re empty before recycling. 

Plastic milk jugs, soda cans and detergent bottles can also be recycled, but they must be properly cleaned and any rings and caps must be removed.

In addition to referring to the list above, Glassboro residents can also download the “Recycle Coach” app on their smartphones. The app has a personalized collection schedule for the area that the user lives in. It also has a search tool for quick access as to what can and cannot be recycled. 

For questions about the recycling policies in Glassboro, call the Glassboro Highway Department team at (856) 881-8422 Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information about the Glassboro community and the different initiatives towards a greener environment, visit the Highway Department’s website.

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