The Department of Environmental Protection project is called “Here Today, Here Tomorrow, Recycled,” and is intended for grades one through six, according to Bridget O’Connor, MUA recycling coordinator.
She said the mulch has been packed in a dozen banker’s boxes â€” each the size of a small re-frigerator â€” and probably will be delivered to the DEP this week.
The DEP project is coordinated with the state Department of Education’s Core Curriculum Standards.
Computer mouse pads with the Web address for “Here Today” will be mailed to schools. The first 1,000 teachers who use a lesson from the guide and send an evaluation to the DEP will re-ceive a classroom-ready activity kit, “Recycled in New Jersey,” as a thank you.
The MUA’s mulch will be a featured project in the kit and the MUA will be on a map show-ing locations in New Jersey where waste is recycled into new products.
Other products to be featured, she said, include tissues made from recycled paper and pulled wire from recycled steel cans.
She described the MUA’s mulch production this way:
The MUA accepts damaged wood pallets from businesses in southern Jersey at a reduced fee of $10 a ton compared to the landfill fee of $60 a ton. One local firm, Robinson Pallet, supplies many of the pallets.
They are put though a grinder and then a colorant is added, dripping down as the mulch passes beneath it on a conveyor belt.
Last year, the MUA received 3,447 tons of pallets and sold 17,302 cubic yards of mulch to residents and businesses.
The price is $26.50 per cubic yard; it drops to $18.50 if one buys more than 80 cubic yards.
The MUA also used 9,822 cubic yards of mulch in its wastewater division as a bulking agent in the final processing of the compost from its wastewater plants, she said.
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