April 25, 2024

City of Hoboken announces finalization of Zero Waste Plan during Earth Week

The City of Hoboken today announced the finalized Zero Waste Plan, in alignment with its ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability and climate action. The milestone marks a significant step forward in Hoboken's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and combat climate change as part of the City’s ambitious Climate Action Plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and net-zero energy by 2030.

"The finalized Zero Waste Plan represents an important moment in our city's journey towards environmental stewardship,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “By implementing innovative waste management strategies, we are not only reducing our ecological footprint but also enhancing the quality of life for all residents. I look forward to collaborating with residents, businesses, and stakeholders to move forward with this ambitious plan to create a more sustainable future.”

Waste management plays a crucial role in Hoboken's overall greenhouse gas emissions profile, constituting approximately 9 percent of the city's emissions. The Zero Waste initiative, launched in 2022, aims to reduce waste, expand reuse and repair programs, and improve recycling and composting efforts to manage discarded materials and resources more holistically.

The Zero Waste Plan, crafted by City consultant Eunomia, evaluated current waste management practices, identified potential efficiencies, and seeks to increase diversion rates, decrease GHG emissions, and ultimately reduce costs for the City.

Through waste audits, consultants discovered that over 21,936 tons of recyclable material was still present in the waste stream and that organics, particularly food scraps, constituted approximately 45 percent of the overall waste collected.

To address this issue and increase efficiencies, the Zero Waste Plan includes 18 action items broken into short-term and long-term goals. These initiatives range from expanding educational outreach to establishing waste requirements for future large building developments, developing networks to connect food donors with recipients, and establishing furniture donation services, among others.

Currently, the City collects waste for household, commercial, and institutional properties a like three times per week citywide, and six days per week in the limited business area, with no fees or varying collection requirements for commercial properties or businesses. Commingled recycling is collected once per week citywide, as is paper recycling. The City collects paper recycling six times per week in the limited business area.

The City also offers a free residential compost drop-off program for organic recycling, which began with one drop-off site in 2019 and now includes 12 sites across the city. In 2023, the city diverted approximately 145 tons of food scraps from landfills through the program.

For more information on Hoboken's waste collection services and the Zero Waste initiative, please visit www.hobokennj.gov/waste and www.hobokennj.gov/resources/zero-waste-initiative, respectively.