Collingswood, New Jersey

Toilets Are Not Trashcans - wipes and other materials causing serious issues to municipal infrastructure

This notice courtesy of the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority. The only thing that can and should be flushed is toilet paper (even if it says "flushable."). Read more:

When you flush your toilet or pour something down the drain of your sink or tub, what you send away disappears from sight and mind. But it’s only begun its journey to the CCMUA’s wastewater treatment plant in Camden, and beyond. If it’s a harmful chemical, it may disrupt the treatment process, or some of it may not be removed, and will pass through into the Delaware River. If it’s a solid, greasy, or sticky material that isn’t designed to pass through the sewer system, it may not even make it to the plant. That can result in a clog somewhere along the line, and back sewage up into the streets, into your house, or into streets and homes in neighborhoods miles away elsewhere in the county as it travels toward the treatment plant. Clogs from these materials can also happen at the plant itself, creating problems for the whole system.

By giving a little thought to what goes down the toilet and drain, and by disposing of materials properly, you can save yourself from some repair bills; save the environment from unnecessary pollutants; and reduce potential damage to  the public wastewater treatment system whose costs end up being charged back to the users—including you.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should do it. You could claim that anything that fits through the hole at the bottom of the toilet bowl is “flushable,” technically. Parents of young children may have experienced keys, golf balls, toys, or clothing go down. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to be carried through the complicated network of pipes (potentially many miles) until they reach the wastewater treatment plant at the end of the line. Toilet paper is manufactured to disintegrate quickly in water. Paper tissues and towels, sanitary products, and diapers are not. Material can get caught at a sharp turn, or snag on the pipe lining, or tangle with other debris and make a bigger mess that impedes the flow in the pipe and cause partial or complete blockage and backups. The problems can be even bigger as material tries to pass through pumps or other machinery in its travels, and it stops or even damages equipment. Even material that starts out as liquid fats, oils, and greases (“FOG” in the industry lingo) can solidify and clog up the system.

So just because something can disappear down the toilet with a flush, that doesn’t mean you should put it there.

These days, the biggest offender is personal hygiene materials advertised as “flushable” baby or adult wipes. Sure, it’s physically possible to flush them down and out of sight, but once sent on their way through the sewers, “flushable” wipes can do a tremendous amount of damage! Rather than disintegrate, they manage to attach to other material and grow into agglomerations that the sewer systems are not designed to handle. You may have seen the headlines from London over the last few years, where what they call “fatbergs” of fat, wipes, waste, and other items were cleaned out of the London sewer system. The separate instances were described as “the size of a bus,” “the size of a 747,” and “40-metre long fatberg.” The problem has been covered by the New York Times, Washington Post, the major media networks, and the major national wastewater treatment organizations have instituted campaigns to raise awareness of this real problem. The general rule to follow is “don’t flush any personal hygiene products other than toilet paper.”

Drugs and Medications
The US Food and Drug Administration states that disposal by flushing down the toilet is not advised for most drugs because of concerns that trace amounts of drugs can end up in the water supply and in rivers and lakes. That means potentially into the food chain, and ultimately into you and me. Not only humans can be affected. For example, a recent study found that fish whose brains held trace amounts of human anti-anxiety drugs were less effective at seeking shelter from predators. Antibiotic waste, which is associated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, is also a problem in the wild. The best solution is to bring unwanted pharmaceuticals to a designated drug collection drop off point. Alternatively, you may discard some drugs in household trash after first making them difficult to recover by children, pets, or others seeking drugs. You can do this by first mixing pills or tablets with coffee grounds, kitty litter, dirt, or sawdust, then placing them in a non-leaking container such as a sealable plastic bag before placing them in the regular trash. But they may eventually land up in a landfill and return to the environment anyway. So it’s best to bring them to bring the unwanted drugs to an approved collection point.

New Jersey’s Project Medicine Drop Program (800-242-5846) has placed secured drop boxes in the headquarters of local police departments. Consumers from anywhere in New Jersey can visit these boxes seven days a week, to drop off unneeded and expired medications and keep them away from those at risk of abusing them.                         

The Camden County Board of Freeholders’ Addiction Awareness Task Force aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs. No longer needed or outdated prescription drugs in homes are the same drugs that have unfortunately become the target of theft and misuse, oftentimes by people who have access to the residence. America’s 12 to 17 year olds have made prescription drugs the number one substance of abuse for their age group, and much of that supply is coming from the medicine cabinets of their parents, grandparents, and friends.  Help us end medicine abuse by disposing of unneeded prescription drugs at a drug drop box near you.  The web site list local police departments that provide drop boxes for unneeded or expired drugs: 

To learn more about the problem, visit the CCMUA’s education web page,

RICK SPRINGFIELD Concert postponed due to illness

The Rick Springfield concert originally scheduled for Sunday, November 27, 2016 has been postponed due to illness.

The concert will be held on Sunday, February 12, 2017.  All 11/27/16 tickets will be honored. 

Colls Elementary Students Caroling

Students from Collingswood Elementary Schools will be singing on the steps of the Zane School at the Millenium Clock on the following schedule, weather permitting:

Fri., December 16 @ 1pm - Zane North
Mon., December 19 @ 9:30am - Mark Newbie
Tues., December 20 @ 10am - Sharp
Wed., December 21 @ 10am - Tatem  
Thurs., December 22 @ 10am - Garfield

Order your 2016 Collingswood Holiday Ornament!

The 2016 Collingswood Holiday Ornament is ready to be ordered.
This year’s theme is “Santa Comes to Town”.

Download the 2016 order form here.

This is the 21st year for the Collingswood Holiday Ornament.

We also have a limited supply of past ornaments available.

You can download the order form here.

Order forms are also available at Collingswood Borough Hall, 678 Haddon Avenue.

Ornaments will be ready for pick up in mid-December Dig This, 717 Haddon Avenue

West side water tank repairs and updates

The elevated water tank at the end of Comly Ave. is currently being drained for repairs and painting. During the repairs, residents in the immediate vicinity may see some discolored water. The discolored water is caused by the reversal of flow in the mains and is not any kind of health hazard. The work will continue for the next couple of weeks. Feel free to contact Water Department Superintendent Thomas McCarthy  856-854-2332 with any questions. 

Ed McCloskey honored as a Community Champion

Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley and Commissioners Joan Leonard and Mike Hall honored our town’s first Community Champion at the November commission meeting. Resident Ed McCloskey was presented with the award for his exceptional dedication and personal efforts to care for Knight Park.

The Collingswood Community Champion Awards provide formal recognition to those who have dedicated their time, talent and resources to making Collingswood the best it can be and improving the quality of life of their fellow citizens. Ed has dedicated hours of volunteer time to care for the park; weeding, cleaning, painting and repairs and generally maintaining its beauty and picking up the duties of caring for this public space when needed.

 “Ed asks no recognition or payment for this. He just sees something that he can help with and he goes out and does it. He is the definition of a Community Champion. We’re so happy we can recognize his efforts,” said Commissioner Joan Leonard.

 “It’s a pleasure. I’ve been here my whole life and a lot of people before me have taken care of Knight Park and it’s just my time to step in and do what I can,” said McCloskey at the award presentation.

Do you know someone that gives back to Collingswood? A resident that gives tirelessly to others? Nominate them here!

Rob Lewandowski to be appointed as interim Commissioner

With the announcement of Commissioner Mike Hall’s retirement effective at the December 5 regular Commission meeting, Borough officials have announced they will appoint Robert Lewandowski to fill the vacant seat for the remainder of the term which ends on May 9, 2017.

Lewandowski will serve as interim Commissioner and Director of Public Works, Parks and Recreation alongside current Commissioners Joan Leonard and Mayor Jim Maley. According to New Jersey municipal regulations, a Commissioner position that is made vacant after September 1 prior to an upcoming election can be filled by appointment.

Lewandowski, a Collingswood resident since 2002, brings more than twenty years of public service at multiple levels of government to the role of interim Commissioner. He holds a Masters of Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently the Communications Director for the NJ Laborers’–Employers’ Cooperation and Education Trust. Locally, Lewandowski is a Collingswood Board of Education member, formerly served as vice-chair of the Collingswood Planning Board, coached Collingswood Recreational Soccer, volunteers as a main organizer of Collingswood’s Pop Up Gala and has a long history of volunteerism at numerous community events. He also chaired the Collingswood Education Foundation and previously worked as assistant to the Mayor of Cherry Hill Township.

“My thanks to Mayor Maley and Commissioner Leonard for giving me the opportunity to serve, but most importantly, my thanks to the 14,000 Collingswood residents who make our community such a special place.  We all have choices about how we spend our time and energy,” said Lewandowski. “Outside of being with my family, the chance to serve Collingswood - its residents and businesses - is exactly how I want to spend my time and energy. I promise to do my very best. “

“It’s easy to see why Rob is a natural fit,” said Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley. “He has a lot of experience in local government, he’s passionate about Collingswood and he’s very connected to the community.”

“Rob has significant skills and experience to help lead Collingswood,” said Commissioner Joan Leonard. “We’re excited to have him on board. He brings a fresh viewpoint and a lot of new ideas to the Borough.”

Rob, a United States Navy Veteran, and his wife Barbara Katz-Lewandowski are parents of three children, Ryan, Katie, and Nicole, all enrolled in Collingswood Public Schools. He mentioned he is honored to follow Mike Hall as a Commissioner.

“I’d like to acknowledge and salute the hard work and contributions of Commissioner Mike Hall. As a firefighter, community volunteer, and commissioner, Mike has dedicated his life to public service and I am very grateful for all he has done to make Collingswood a better place.”

Lewandowski will be sworn in at a special Commission meeting on December 19.


Community Chorus performs free, Dec 13

The Collingswood Community Chorus, under the direction of Bryan Gross, returns for their annual holiday show on Tuesday, December 13 beginning at 7:30pm.

This program is loaded with traditionally favorite songs, recently introduced tunes, new music and new arrangements of old familiar carols. And YES, it's FREE!

Be their guest at the Scottish Rite Auditorium, 315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood, NJ 08107 beginning at 7:15pm. While donations are gladly accepted, this is a free event! 

Knight Park clean up event, Nov 12

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Improving our spaces: A volunteer clean up event is planned for Saturday November 12 from 9am until noon. Hands are needed to perk up the park. Tasks include turning over soil and adding compost, installing and maintaining shrubs, leaf raking and pavilion sweeping, etc. Kids ages 12 and over are welcome. Please help us green up our beloved park.

RSVP to Commissioner Leonard at to volunteer.

Want to help? Bring: Gardening gloves, rakes, shovels, spade shovel and if possible leaf blower. Meet at the Pavilion at Knight Park.

Proud Neighbors Pot Luck Supper

 Proud Neighbors of Collingswood Pot Luck Supper

Friday, November 11, 7pm

125 Harvard Avenue

Find out more about Proud Neighbors of Collingswood, the 501 (c) (3) public charity that is celebrating its 33rd anniversary of volunteer service by striving to share ideas on restoration and preservation and working to maintain the historic character of Collingswood. 

Enjoy an evening with neighbors.  Please bring a "covered dish" to share!   Bring your ideas for prospective 2017 House tour or garden sites.  Free and open to the public. Tell a friend.  Invite a neighbor.

Proud Neighbors volunteers organize the annual porch brunch, house tour, yard sale fundraisers and founded our famous Farmers’ market.  We have fun & get things done!  Proud Neighbors welcomes new neighbors to the community.    



By E-mail to

By phone to Marlene at 609-707-3684 or Gayle at 856-854-8891 


site by spark:.