BORDENTOWN, N.J. - For those pizza nights at the house, one South Jersey town has a solution for what you can do with that empty pizza box.
Bordentown has started a pizza box recycling program and it’s gaining a lot of attention as they team up with local farmers by filling a pizza collection bin, instead of landfills. “Project Pizza Box” is the first of its kind in the state.
“Judging from how fast this fills up, a lot of people eat a lot of pizza. We are the pizza belt of New Jersey. I just thought it would be good to have something better to do with pizza boxes then just throw them in the trash,” said Jeff Tober, who started the project.
Tober says the bin fills up to the brim every ten days located near the Farmer’s Market. Local farmers take turns emptying the collection site near Highway 206 and Crosswicks Street, then they recycle them into their crops.
Jessica Brandeisky from Fernbrook Farms says the process for pizza box recycling involves laying the boxes down flat and covering them with leaf waste and seeds. She says that the field will soon become full of cherry tomatoes.
“They slowly break down over time. They put carbon back into the soil. They also feed our earthworms,” said Brandeisky, “If everyone does a little bit, we can make a big difference.”
But with the drop-off box, there are some rules to follow. There’s no waste allowed inside the box and to make sure that when you are donating it, you clean out the box entirely.
Kathy Elliot-Shaw, a co-chair of the Bordentown City Green Team says that her family drops off a box every week.
“Friday nights, because we are so close to Trenton, home of the tomato pie. It’s pizza night for everyone,” says Elliot-Shaw.
Last year, farmers used around 4,000 pizza boxes from the program. This year, they are hoping for more.
“Project Pizza Box” partners with local farmers, the Bordentown Environment Commission plus the City Green Team and their goal is to achieve a sustainable solution to trash problems. The program runs from April to October during the growing season.
“So we go through a lot,” said Brandeisky, “We can use a lot. So people should keep eating pizza.”
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