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.