Solid Waste and Recycling Enforcement
An effective enforcement program is one of the keys to a successful recycling program. When enforcement efforts are combined with educational and promotional initiatives, recycling programs flourish. All businesses and residents in Bergen County are required to recycle.
Enforcement at the Municipal Level
- Municipalities are required by state law to have a recycling ordinance in place (a local law) that specifies those recyclable materials that must be recycled from the residential, commercial and institutional (schools, hospitals, etc.) sectors. These mandatory designated recyclable materials must be consistent with those materials designated for recycling in the applicable county recycling plan. Municipal ordinances may require the recycling of more materials than that listed in the county recycling plan.
- Municipal recycling ordinances can be enforced by municipal recycling coordinators and local or county health department officials as per the County Environmental Health Act. Click here for a list of of Municipal Recycling Coordinators for Bergen County.
Enforcement at the County Level
- Counties are required by state law to have a county recycling plan in place that specifies, among other things, those recyclable materials that must be recycled from the residential, commercial and institutional (schools, hospitals, etc.) sectors throughout the county. Click here for a list of those materials that must be recycled in Bergen County.
- The Bergen County recycling plan requirements are enforced by the Bergen County Department of Health Services as per the County Environmental Health Act.
- In addition to conducting recycling inspections of residential, commercial and institutional sources of waste at the point of generation, county enforcement staff also conduct inspections of incoming loads of waste at county disposal sites for the presence of recyclable materials.
Enforcement at the State Level
- The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Solid Waste Enforcement Program has historically focused on the regulation of solid waste disposal and recycling facilities, as well as transporters of solid waste. While these areas will remain the major focus of state enforcement efforts, the NJDEP’s Solid Waste Enforcement Program has begun to conduct inspections of commercial entities to determine their compliance with local recycling requirements. Notable among such inspections are the “enforcement sweeps” that were undertaken in 2005.
- The NJDEP’s Solid Waste Enforcement Program is increasing its vigilance at transfer and disposal facilities by ensuring that processes are and remain in place to detect recyclables in incoming loads and undertaking additional investigations of hauling practices involving recyclable bottles, cans and paper.
- The Department has implemented a pilot use of a "Recycling Checklist" during compliance and enforcement inspections performed by programs outside of the Solid Waste Enforcement program, including County Environmental Health Act agencies. This checklist reviews a commercial entity's compliance with the Statewide Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act. Entities found in non-compliance will be referred to appropriate county and municipal recycling coordinators for follow-up and possible enforcement. Click here for the NJDEP enforcement web page.
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