Republican Council Candidate Questions TV Ad

Erica Weissmann asked township officials about an ad promoting the imminent single-stream recycling program during Monday's Council meeting.


A Republican candidate for Council on Monday questioned the value of the township's television advertising campaign to promote its new single-stream recycling program.

The new program, which aims to make recycling easier for residents, is slated to begin in November.

GOP candidate Erica Weissmann began her query during Monday's Township Council meeting by asking how much the commercials cost. She saw one of the commercials over the weekend.

The TV ad campaign will cost the township a total of $88,796, according to Business Administrator Tom Cardis. That money comes from the New Jersey Municipal Recycling Tonnage Grants program.

"The trust fund that Tom referred to has been in existence for a long time and the township has never used it. Its purpose is to increase recycling, so we're going to use it, because we're going to increase recycling in this town," Mayor David Mayer said.

The ads will run locally on Comcast Cable through Oct. 4 on 20 channels, including A&E, ESPN, Fox News, Lifetime, MSNBC, NFL Network and TNT, Cardis said.

The transition to single-stream recycling will reduce the township's tipping fees for non-recyclable waste and generate additional recycling revenue by fostering greater compliance, according to township officials.

"That's what the message of the commercial isó(single-stream recycling is) to not only improve our recycling numbers and draw attention to that, which is good for the environment, but it's also good financially for the town," the mayor added.

The township will deliver some 20,000 single-stream recycling canisters to homes across the township beginning in November.

Weissmann questioned whether the township wouldn't have been better served getting the message out to township residents through in-house means, including the seasonal newsletter.

"I think with the same message communicated in the newsletter and if we're making personal deliveries, couldn't we have saved that money and not done this type of advertising?" she asked.

The township will pay $24,996 for the commercial air time, $49,500 for production of two TV ads and two Internet ads, and $14,300 for a companion marketing campaign that includes mailers and fliers, Cardis said.

The production contract is with Camden-based Blue Sky Power, which crafted the township's energy master plan and has been brought on as a consultant on green initiatives in the township.