Camp Merritt


was originally called camp Tenafly because all communications and early negotiations concerning the camp's construction were dated from Tenafly and the site was then referred to as Tenafly. It was later named in honor of Major General Wesley Merritt, an 1860 graduate of West Point, whose military fame began as a Union Army Cavalry Officer at the 1865 surrender of southern forces that ended the Civil War at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia. As a Major General he commanded the Philippine Expedition in 1896 and was the first Governor General of the islands.

The approximate cost of construction was $11 million dollars. The camp covered an area of 770 acres and contained well over 1,300 buildings. A total of 1, 088, 081 solders passed through Camp Merritt's gates. The cost of Camp Merritt was, therefore, about $10 per man.

The capacity of the camp was 2,000 officers and 40,000 enlisted men. All troop movements were conducted between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. These facts are from the Bergen County Office of Cultural and Historic Affairs (355 Main Street, Hackensack, N.J., October 1979) and "The Merritt Dispatch" dated May 30, 1919, page 19.

Grant and Knickerbocker on August 21, 1917Looking North

The camp was opened in 1917, its 770 acres of land extending through Dumont, Cresskill, Bergenfield, Tenafly, Haworth and Demarest. It became the main "Replacement Depot" for troops from all over the nation headed for France. "The Western Front" where 4,734,991 Americans fought in the World War. More than 1,000,000 U.S. solders passed through Camp Merritt, bound directly to the Transshipment Terminal in Hoboken.

The center of Camp Merritt was at the intersection of Knickerbocker Rd. and Madison Ave., the site of monument and circle today. The view in the above photograph is looking south on Knickerbocker Rd. as it appeared on May 30, 1919. ( see "Camp Merritt" by Howard W. Rose, 1984. pg 32. )

Watercolor view of Monument Circle looking north along Knickerbocker Rd.

The Camp was closed in 1919, decommissioned at the end of the war. By 1921, the whole Camp was gone, most of it destroyed by three unexplained fires, which consumed hundreds of buildings at a time.

 Of the Camp's original buildings, only a few remain standing today. One of the survivors is on the southeast corner of Grant Ave and Knickerbocker Road. Back in the 50's it was the "Burn's Inn", then it became "Tattered Toms", and today it is "The Hungry Peddler" ... the grounds still belong to the Burns brothers who reside in New England.



Shown above is the South East corner of Knickerbocker Rd. and Grant Ave. The Cresskill Service Station is owned and operated by Fred and Kamil, two very friendly and more than capable auto mechanics. The building on the right is the present day Hungry Peddler, one of the few original Camp Merritt structures in the area that is still intact. If you are in the neighborhood and want to experience the atmosphere of a World War I Camp Merritt barracks, visit the Hungry Peddler. While a few structural changes have been made over the years, the atmosphere of an Army Barricks from W. W. I still lingers. P.S. the food served at the Hungry Peddler is very good. Both the Cresskill Service Station and the Hungry Peddler are on the property of the Burns Family (see map above).

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Recycling Center

The Recycling Center located at 325 Piermont Road, is open Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 3:00pm, and Saturday from 9:00am to 3:00pm. This center is for residents only. Commercial vehicles are not permitted at the recycling center at any time.


Please note that we will no longer be collecting "alkaline batteries" at the DPW for recycling.

If you wish to continue recycling batteries click here for a list of dropoff sites.

The collection of recyclables will take place on Monday & Thursday. It must be placed curbside before 7:00am. Each street in town has been assigned a day for pick-up. Commingle and Newspapers will be picked up on alternating weeks. Please click here for your assigned day. Commingled which includes glass, aluminum, tin, and plastic containers, must be placed in barrels. Paper and cardboard must be tied and bundled, or placed in paper bags.

Grass and Garden debris will be collected curbside on Wednesdays, March through November. It must be placed in barrels no larger than 30 gallons (DO NOT USE PLASTIC BAGS). Branches must be less than four feet in length, tied in bundles, and placed at the curb.             

Christmas trees will be recycled on Wednesdays during the month of January. Please have your trees at the curb by 7:00am. Please be sure to remove all decorations and lights before placing at the curb.      

Materials accepted at the Recycling Center are: 

  • Paper, including newspaper, junk mail, catalogs, magazines, telephone books and paperback book 
  • Cardboard, including corrugated and chipboard. Please flatten cardboard boxes to maximize space in container.
  • Leaves, brush and branches
  • Car batteries. 
  • Vehicle motor oil
  • Tires (auto only)
  • Scrap metal  

Non-acceptable Material:

Construction material will not be accepted at the recycling center. Construction material includes lumber, windows, doors, roofing, siding, and wooden fence. Rock, concrete, stone, asphalt, propane tanks and furniture are also not accepted. You must use a private contractor to dispose of these materials. Consult the Yellow Pages under “Rubbish and Garbage Removal”.

Hazardous waste items such as oil base paints, solvents and thinners, gasoline, antifreeze, chemicals, pesticides and herbicides are not accepted at the Recycling Center. These items can be disposed of on the Hazardous Waste Collections Days sponsored each year by the Bergen County Utilities Authority.


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