Sussex County - MUA

April 19, 2018
3:37 PM

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Sussex County
School Plastic Film Recycling Challenge - "It's in the Bag!"
November 15, 2017 - April 15, 2018


trex logo

Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority
34 South Route 94
Lafayette, New Jersey 07848
Attn: Reenee Casapulla
973-579-6998 Ext 107



For the fifth year, the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority (SCMUA) in conjunction with local municipalities will take part in a plastic film and bags collection program for participating Sussex County schools. The SCMUA and Municipal Recycling Coordinators strive to reinvigorate school recycling awareness programs, by facilitating these recycling initiatives. The Sussex County School Plastic Film Recycling Challenge - “It’s in the Bag!” is sponsored by the Trex Company, and focuses on collecting clean and dry recyclable plastic film in order to keep it out of landfills; instilling school pride.  Each participating school receives an award made of Trex materials. The Challenge starts November 15, 2017, (America Recycles Day) and ends on April 15, 2018 in honor of Earth Day (Earth Day).


Schools collect the clean and dry plastic film, reported the monthly collection amounts to Trex and delivered the plastic material to participating Trex Retailers.  In Sussex County, those retailers are Stop-N-Shop in Sparta, Weiss Stores in Franklin and Newton, and Acme in Wantage and Vernon. 


The Trex Company, based in Winchester, VA, is the country’s largest manufacturer of wood alternative decking and railing products.  Trex decking boards are made of 95% recycled content recycled plastic film and waste wood shavings.  These raw materials come from recovered plastic grocery bag, plastic film and waste wood fiber from hardwood flooring and cabinet manufacturers.


Trex Community Challenge  -

Local organizations, clubs, Troops and colleges can also participate in the Trex Community Challenge by collecting clean and dry plastic film items, including: 


  • plastic grocery & department store bags              • stretch film (no saran wrap)
  • pellet bags                                                        • water bottle case wrap  
  • newspaper sleeves                                            • toilet paper/paper towel over wrap
  • dry-cleaning bags                                              • bread bag / cereal bags
  • packaging air pillows                                          • LDPE/HDPE film

Each “Team” can collect 500 pounds of plastic film in a 6-month time period and deliver the film to the respective retailer, in order to properly track their progress.  Trex will provide promotional material and recycling collection bins.  Trex will donate a bench made of composite lumber to the community group that completes the Trex Community Challenge.


The 2016-17 Trex Challenge resulted in over 3,698 pounds of plastic film being collected by local schools, once again putting Sussex County on the map with nine of the twenty-three participating schools, and 49% of the total weight collected in New Jersey!


2016 –17 participating Sussex County schools include:

  1. Byram Lakes Elementary School, Byram
  2. Florence M Burd Elementary School, Andover Township
  3. Halsted Middle School, Newton
  4. Long Pond School, Andover Township
  5. Lounsberry Hollow Middle School, Vernon
  6. Ogdensburg School, Ogdensburg
  7. Pope John Regional High School, Sparta
  8. Rainbows of Learning, Frankford
  9. Walnut Ridge Primary School, Vernon



While the Trex School Challenge contest dates are November 15, 2017 – April 15, 2018, anyone can “Do their part” to reduce the amount of plastic film being thrown away by bringing the above listed items to participating retailers every time they shop.  Plastic film “thrown away” in Sussex County ends up in the Landfill.  The average amount of plastic film generated is 30.77 pounds per person, with about 2.7% of total municipal solid waste being landfilled.  A very small percentage is also recycled; in 2012 only 11.5% of plastic film items were recycled (2012 U.S. EPA estimate).  Plastic film that is recycled is made into new products including plastic lumber, piping, automotive, lawn and garden products, crates, buckets and pallets.


To learn more about the importance of recycling plastic film, please visit:

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