Collin Goldbach with MUA Assistant Operations Manager
Mike Nunn and Freeholder Deborah Smith, at the July 11
Morris County Board of Freeholders meeting where he
displayed one of the boxes and received an award from
By Julie Ross
Many individuals do not know how to discard old and worn American flags. Chatham resident and Eagle Scout Collin Goldbach, a rising senior at Chatham High School, wants to change all that.
Goldbach, a member of Scout Troop 121, recently worked in coordination with the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) to design and build four bright red American flag disposal boxes that can now be found at key points in Morris County. Two of the boxes are located at MUA transfer stations: Parsippany, at 1100 Edwards Rd.; and in Mt. Olive, at 168 Goldmine Rd. A third box has been placed in the lobby of the county’s Administration and Records Building at 10 Court Street in Morristown; and a fourth, in Dover at an MUA facility in the Dover National Guard Armory, 476 Clinton Ave.
Goldbach aspires to serve in the U.S. military following his graduation from high school. As someone with these career goals, he said, he believes it is “extremely important” to treat every American flag with respect not only when it is in active use, but also when it has become worn, faded, torn, or soiled and should be replaced with a new flag. This was the impetus for creating the boxes.
Simply throwing away an American flag is illegal; U.S. Flag Codes state that an American flag in poor condition should be destroyed “with dignity, preferably by burning.” The boxes, according to Goldbach, will make it more convenient to comply with the Flag Codes. Any flag placed in the boxes will be passed on to one of Morris County’s American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) posts,
where veterans and members will hold a special ceremony as they properly dispose of it.
On July 11, Goldbach displayed one of the boxes to attendees of a meeting of the Morris County Board of Freeholders. There, Freeholder Director Doug Cabana awarded him a county certificate for his efforts and his Eagle Scout status.
“This project is yet another example of the great talent and initiative we find in young people across Morris County, and especially in the scouting community,”
Cabana said. “The Board of Freeholders regularly meets and honors Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who undertake terrific community projects that make our county a better place to live. Collin’s project is one more example of that scouting spirit.”
Cabana added that along with fellow Board of Freeholders members, he hopes to see more projects and initiatives of this type by youngsters from Chatham, as well as from other towns.
“In late June, we had a young man come to the Freeholder meeting to detail the work he did at St. Peter’s Orphanage in Denville to ensure that the boys who live there have a pleasant, safe area in which to swim,” he said. “Another Scout targeted the Stony Brook Community Garden in Hanover Township, and focused on making it easier for disabled or injured residents to participate in gardening.
These are incredible projects that scouts around this county are undertaking all the time.”