PRINCETON — Changes are coming to the recycling program in Princeton.
April 30 will be the last day recyclables will be accepted at the center on Euclid Avenue. After that date, all recyclables will need to be taken to the Republic Services garbage and recycling site at 1530 Peggy Lane.
There will be no change to curbside collections.
Residents can begin taking recyclables to the new location on Peggy Lane on Monday, April 2.
Last year, the city sold its garbage transfer station to Republic Services. Since then, the business has added several buildings at the site to enhance operations and employee engagements for both the garbage and recycling programs.
While it was announced last June the recycling plant on Euclid Avenue would close down by the end of last year, the drop-off location has remained opened.
Princeton City Manager Rachel Skaggs said there was never a rush to make the change, but it made sense to eventually have all waste streams concentrated in one location.
“We first wanted Republic to take the time they needed to get acclimated to their new property and make operational upgrades as they saw fit with the changes to their operation. Now, they are ready to move forward with accepting recyclables,” Skaggs said.
The new location on Peggy Lane will have more regulations to cut down on the abuse experienced over the years at the Euclid Avenue site.
Princeton residents will be able to take advantage of the service for free, and non-Princeton residents will be charged a nominal fee. A ton of recyclables would cost $15. A proof of residency will be required, such as a driver’s license. The facility will also have hours of operation.
The recycling center will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturdays. It will be closed on Sundays.
Skaggs said the city has seen a tremendous amount of illegal dumping at the current site on Euclid Avenue, which was a big reason for the changes.
“Every time someone dumps something illegally there, the city has to pay to dispose of everything at the recycling center as garbage instead of recycling, and those fees add up,” she said.
The city tracks about one person illegally dumping each week, and 95 percent of the time the individuals are not Princeton residents, she said.
Skaggs said if illegal dumping occurs at the new recycling site, city codes will prevail, and offenders will be subject to fines and arrests.
The city will continue to allow residents to dump yard waste at the site on Euclid Avenue at no cost. City officials plan to review the repairs needed to the current recycling plant center and decide what it can be used for in the future.
“The city of Princeton pleads for cooperation and patience among its citizens during the transition period and beyond. This is a significant change to the routine of many people, but it is a necessary change,” Skaggs said.
“Drop-off of recyclables at the new site is just a bit farther than Euclid Avenue, but the results will allow the city to control hauling costs for its users. Once people get used to the new system, we are sure they will find it just as convenient as before,” she said.