Swedesboro Reconsiders Getting Involved With The Trex Recycling Challenge

SWEDESBORO – At the May 20 Swedesboro Council meeting, the council voted to reconsider the borough’s previous decision from February to not participate in the Trex recycling challenge proposed by members of the Environmental Commission for Swedesboro and Woolwich.

Carolyn Grasso, a member of the commission, addressed the council and offered an in-depth explanation of what the challenge entails and what the borough would have to do to get involved.

The Trex Recycling Challenge challenges students to collect 1,000 pounds of plastic film, which includes plastic bags and wrap arounds for a case of water, toilet paper, and paper towels.

After 1,000 pounds of plastic film are collected a custom Trex-made bench will be installed in the school who’ve completed the challenge successfully. Stratton School and Harbor School are both involved in the challenge.

Grasso explained that the commission wants to know if the borough will be willing to put a collection box in Borough Hall and leave it there for the summer months to collect plastic film. The commission will do weekly pick-ups of the contents.

The two schools in the district that are involved in this challenge have collection boxes on site. However, when the schools close their doors for summer vacation, having a box in the borough hall will still allow members of Swedesboro to participate in this challenge.

The commission also anticipates that having this box in the borough hall will allow for more members of Swedesboro to participate because it could be a target of foot traffic in the town.

Woolwich is currently participating in the challenge by having a box placed in its municipal building. Grasso shared that as of May 1, 66 pounds of plastic film has been collected through the box in the Woolwich building alone.

After hearing more information from Grasso, Councilman Salvatore Casella proposed a motion to reconsider and the rest of the council voted in favor of reconsidering as well.

Mayor Thomas Fromm reported that two weeks ago, Swedesboro was $175,000 in the hole for unpaid water and sewer bills due to the moratorium that has recently come to an end. The borough is now down to $28,000.

During this process, it was found that some properties have a single shut-off notice or more. In that instance, Mayor Fromm explained that the valve would have been shut off because one person was not in arrears and another person was.

The borough is making note of this and plans to send a letter that says this needs to be split. The timeframe of this will be noted on the letter when it goes out.

Casella also shared that he received a message from Atlantic Electric regarding some programs they offer that can benefit residential customers, multifamily customers, workplace commercials, as well as public charging stations. He is currently trying to get more information to better see how this can benefit Swedesboro and its residents, and possibly get charging stations sooner than later.

In fire news, the Woolwich Fire Company reported that this year they have plans to do 25 fittings for fire hydrants. They plan to do the main corridor of the commercial district all the way up through the center of Kings Highway, then branch out to the Railroad and Franklin Streets to get all the main streets.

Next year, they will move onto secondary streets like Park View. This is a seven year plan, but the fire company hopes to get the 94 hydrants in the borough done before then.

During the public hearing resident Denise Kues voiced her favor for the council’s decision to be open to the possibility of a Cannabis dispensary in Swedesboro. Kues stated, “’It’s beneficial for economics. It’s going to create jobs. It’s going to draw people into the town, and can help people with their sleep and their anxiety. There’s nothing wrong with it.”

Fromm made note that a spot hasn’t been selected yet for a potential dispensary and that a location would be defined through planning and zoning ordinances since there are guidelines and regulations on where it can be placed as in certain distance from schools and churches.

by Asiya Robinson

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