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The Garbage Truck Does Not Stop at This Holmdel House

Thanks to diligent recycling, Scott Goldstein has no need for trash pickup. He tells how he does it at the Citizens for Informed Land Use meeting tonight.

About a year ago, the Goldstein family of Holmdel cancelled their garbage pickup, saving themselves about $400 a year.

"With all the recycling and composting we were doing, I started to realize there was no garbage," said Scott Goldstein, 56, a retired Wall Street worker who lives on East Lawn Drive, off Route 34. "I'm not generating the garbage anymore."

Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Goldstein will detail his "extreme" recycling habits in a free presentation at the monthly meeting of the Citizens for Informed Land Use (CILU) at the Senior / Community Center. He is one of the featured speakers who will address questions about recycling, such as "Is recycling worthwhile? What can be recycled? What happens to the things we put out at the curb every two weeks?"

Joining Goldstein on a panel will be Barbara Kovelesky, Holmdel Recycling Coordinator who will explain changes to the Holmdel recycling program, and Janet Jackel, who will report on the Holmdel Green Team's trip to JFD Recycling in Farmingdale, where Holmdel's recycled materials go.

Goldstein's change of habits were inspired by the realization that the Willow Brook runs through his backyard, and that it is linked to the Swimming River Reservoir, which is part of the local drinking water supply. He understood how important an individual's efforts to protect the natural environment can be to the entire community, he said.

After many months of learning how to sort the trash of everyday life, the Goldsteins were able to give up on the twice-a-week 96 gallon trash pickups, and now the family of four instead fills four bins filled with clear plastics, colored plastics, papers and metal recyclables. Kitchen scraps, newspapers and woody brush go into the compost pile, and the compost in turn feeds an organic garden.

He keeps bins and bags in his garage, where he sorts his family's spent light bulbs, plastic grocery bags, candy wrappers, styrofoam and water bottle caps. He has a solution to every piece of refuse.

Goldstein, who is a member of the township Green Team and member of the Township Committee's financial sub-committee think tank, says that Holmdel should cancel its brush and leaf pickup and encourage composting in a central location. "They would save money, time, equipment and manpower," he said. The composted material could be offered back to the community for use in gardens, he says.

Shannon K. Winning May 14, 2012 at 02:39 PM
This is so inspiring and fascinating. Every time I fill up my garbage can I feel a pang of guilt. Come to Oceanport Scott, and share your knowledge!
Sandra May 14, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Interesting! I'd love to see a follow-up article on how he does it – and the answers to the recycling questions posed – please?
Nick J. May 14, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Extreme is the right word when describing what this family does. I'm all for recycling, but this is a little too much....perhaps it should be the basis for a reality TV show. And cancel the leaf and brush pick-up???? As I recall, it costs the Town $60,000 or about $12 a home. Unless Scott wants to come by my house to pick my leaves, it would cost me a lot more than $12 bucks to have my landscaper take it away. No thanks Scott. I wonder what he does with stuff that would normally go to the large item drop-off?
Jeff Rossi May 15, 2012 at 12:09 AM
I compost, but there's other food that you can't put in the composter - where's that go? (maybe that's where the dog comes in). Would have loved to attended tonight but couldn't. Would love more details in a followup.
Scott Goldstein May 15, 2012 at 05:57 AM
The dog eats vegetable peelings from carrots, cucumbers, potato skins, turnips, parsnips, straw berry tops, watermelon (red with a little white part), ground up egg shells, and flax seed meal. Dogs should not eat grapes (raisins or extract) onion, green onion, leeks or garlic. Chocolate is also poisonous to dogs. The family doesn't want me to feed her meaty bones but that is contrary to "Give a dog a Bone" which advocates uncooked meaty bones and with at least one Veterinary we checked with. So what is left is Meats, fats, dairy, nuts or bones. They are placed in plastic bags in the garbage which is brought to Monmouth County reclamation center. So far it has cost me a total of 73 Cents to dispose of my garbage. Other items which went to DPW's large item drop off included a couch, basketball set up, lawn furniture, Disk brakes and pads, old garden hoses, assorted metal items and tempered glass. At the next large item drop off, I will be disposing of a Jacuzzi. I have reduced my 104 p/u of garbage to about 6 per year
Jeff R May 15, 2012 at 11:53 AM
That's great Scott - thanks for the details. I don't have a dog, but from the looks of it, his treats can also be composted. I imagine non-recyclable/compostable materials you accumulate during the winter months are just stock-piled until the large item drop off starts in the spring.
bud May 15, 2012 at 09:00 PM
My racoons will eat more than your dog! They will even eat your DOG!!!! My dog used to like to eat rubber gloves!!! She lived to be 15 years old!

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