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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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news releases

May 18, 2005

Contact: Fred Mumford
(609) 984-1795


(05/62) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced the start of a series of public meetings to comment on a new solid waste management plan for New Jersey that focuses on boosting municipal recycling rates.

"To invigorate New Jersey's recycling program, we intend to bring the discussion to all parts of the state for new ideas," said Commissioner Campbell. "Outreach to county and local recycling leaders is vital to help recycling regain a prominent role in our everyday lives."

DEP solid waste and recycling officials will meet with municipal and county solid waste managers, elected officials, environmental commission members, recycling coordinators, school board representatives and the general public. The meetings began today with the first session for Middlesex and Union counties. Also, this week sessions will be held for Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Hudson counties and the New Jersey Meadowlands. A schedule is attached and more dates will be scheduled.

Two public hearings also will be held as the plan moves along to final adoption, which is scheduled for fall 2005. The plan update can be viewed on or downloaded from the Department's Web site at

As part of the formal public comment period on the plan, the first public hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 2 at the Rutgers University EcoComplex, 1200 Florence-Columbus Road, Bordentown. (Directions to the EcoComplex can be found at The second hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 7 at the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, One DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst. (Directions to the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission can be found at

Written and e-mail comments on the plan may be submitted by July 15, 2005 to the addresses listed below. At the conclusion of the public comment period, DEP will review and prepare a summary of the comments and provide responses to them along with a final plan.

Commissioner Campbell released a draft update to the state solid waste management plan in March 2005 at the Association for New Jersey Recyclers annual meeting. Due to court-related changes in waste disposal and decreased compliance with municipal recycling, Commissioner Campbell proposed specific measures to better manage the state's 20 million tons of waste generated each year, with a priority on waste reduction and recycling.

In order to meet the state's goal of recycling 50 percent of the municipal solid waste stream, an additional 1.7 million tons of material must be recycled based on current statewide rates. The draft state plan quantifies this estimate not only on a statewide basis, but also by what is required from each county. The plan also includes an estimate of the statewide increase needed in terms of tonnage by material, such as newspaper, corrugated cardboard and food waste.

All 21 counties will be required to update their solid waste management plans to reflect the new initiatives in the state plan. Each county will have to adopt a new plan within 270 days of formal adoption of the statewide solid waste management plan. The county plans will have to identify local strategies to achieve the recycling tonnage target identified for each county. Also, the county plans will need to include methods for public promotion of new opportunities and methods for enforcing local recycling mandates.

Putting a comprehensive enforcement program in place will be essential to meeting the recycling goals. The county plan updates will identify the county and/or municipal programs responsible for enforcement of the recycling mandates, specify the minimum number of recycling inspections that will be undertaken annually and detail penalties to be imposed for non-compliance.

The new plan aims to expand recycling opportunities for various materials at schools, multi-family housing complexes, and small- and medium-sized businesses.

In 2003, New Jersey generated 19.9 million tons of solid waste, which includes construction debris and scrap iron. Of that total, 10.4 million tons or 52 percent was recycled with 9.5 million tons sent for disposal. Of the 9.5 million tons disposed, 1.5 million or 8 percent of the total waste generated went to resource recovery facilities, 3.8 million or 20 percent was disposed at landfills located in New Jersey and 3.7 million or 19 percent was sent for out-of-state disposal. The municipal solid waste stream recycling rate stood at 32 percent, down from a high of 45 percent in 1995.

A list of the meetings and hearings follows:

Solid Waste Management Plan Meeting Schedule

18-May-05 Middlesex and Union counties -- 10:00 AM
Fire Academy Amphitheater, Sayreville
19-May-05 Passaic County -- 10:00 AM
Passaic County Administration Building, 401 Grand Street, Paterson
20-May-05 NJMC and Bergen, Essex and Hudson counties -- 10:00 AM
Meadowlands Auditorium
23-May-05 Somerset County - 10:00 AM
Administration Building, 20 Grove Street, Somerville
24-May-05 Warren County -- 7:30 PM
Frelinghuysen Twp. School, 780 Rt. 94, Johnsonburg
24-May-05 Morris County -- 2:00 PM
MCMUA's Administrative Office, 300 Mendham Rd., Morris Twp.
8-Jun-05 Salem County - time and location to be announced
9-Jun-05 Burlington County - 10:00 AM and 6:30 PM
Rutgers EcoComplex
21-Jun-05 Monmouth County - 9:30 AM
County Reclamation Center, Tinton Falls
8-Jul-05 Ocean County - 9:30 AM
Ocean County Administration Bldg 101 Hooper Avenue, Toms River


Written and e-mail comments on the Plan update may be submitted by July 15, 2005 to the following address:

Robert Goodwin
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Site Remediation and Waste Management
Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste
Bureau of Recycling and Planning
P.O. Box 414
Trenton, NJ 08625

Or email to:




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Last Updated: May 18, 2005