Recycling has slipped in New Jersey, even as the world has become more environmentally conscious.

Nearly 25 years ago, the state became the first to require residents to recycle. But participation has slipped.

In 1995, 45 percent of the waste picked up by municipal collectors was headed for recycling. By 2009, it was down to 37 percent -- juts barely ahead of the national rate of 34 percent.

Advocates tell The Philadelphia Inquirer  they hope a tax on trash dumping, which was reinstated in 2008 after being eliminated a dozen years earlier, will help encourage recycling.

They also have high hopes for a new wave of recycling programs that do not require people to separate bottles and paper.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)