Back to Article List
Recycling – It's the Law
Release Date: March 24, 2008
As part of its role, the Sussex County Department of Environmental and Public Health Services will be performing Recycling Audits of commercial businesses, schools and housing complexes.
Recycling – It
Recycling – It's the Law
On April 20, 1987, Governor Thomas Kean signed the Mandatory source Separation
and Recycling Act. This law requires everyone to separate recyclable materials
from regular trash. Each municipality was obligated to recycle 25% of its solid
waste. In November of 1990, Governor James Florio accepted a report by the NJ
Solid Waste Task Force, which called for a goal of 60% to be recycled by 1995.
Residential recycling programs have been effective in helping the County work
toward achieving a 60% goal, but our residents cannot do it alone. Businesses
and institutions need to recycle too.
As the owner, operator or manager of a business/commercial establishment you
must ensure that a recycling system is in place. That system needs to provide
for the separation of mandatory recyclable trash and for the proper recycling of
those materials. You, not your hauler, are responsible for separating mandatory
materials and keeping them out of any refuse containers holding non-recyclable
If you are a property owner and relying on your tenant to manage recycling, this
agreement should be in writing.
If you are a tenant and relying on your landlord to manage recycling, this
agreement should also be in writing.
The need and incentive to recycle continues to grow, year after year. The next sections will describe reasons to recycle, what must be recycled, and how it can be done.
- It Saves Natural Resources. By making products from recycled materials instead
of virgin materials, we conserve increasingly scarce supplies of raw materials.
- It Saves Energy. It usually takes less energy to make recycled products.
Recycled aluminum, for example, takes 95% less energy than making new aluminum
from bauxite ore.
- It Protects and Preserves Our Clean Air and Water. In most cases, making
products from recycled material creates less air and water pollution than making
products from virgin materials.
- Disposal Costs. Your disposal costs may be stabilized or reduced by decreasing
the amount of trash sent for disposal.
- Disposal Capacity. Recycled materials don't go into landfills or incinerators.
- Profit. Your business may profit from selling recyclables.
- It's the Law. The Sussex County Solid Waste Management Plan requires certain
materials be kept separate from garbage in order to be recycled.
To comply with State, County and local laws, businesses, institutions,
government or commercial establishments are required to separate the following
materials that are generated at our location(s):
• Glass Containers
• Aluminum Containers (non-foil)
• Corrugated Cardboard
• Steel and Tin Cans
• Plastic Bottles (coded PETE 1 or HDPE 2)
• Mixed Paper (high grade, junk mail, and office paper)
• Motor Oil
• Batteries & Florescent Light Bulbs
• Yard Waste (leaves, brush, stumps, logs and tree parts)
Recycling Public Service Announcement
Recycling (March, 2008)
It starts with you! This short film stars 3rd graders from the Lafayette School. If you didn't know before what you can recycle, you'll know now!
1. Contact your trash hauler for recycling information and associated costs.
2. If needed, contact your Municipal Recycling Coordinator for assistance in
setting up a recycling system.
3. Establish recycling policies at your business/commercial establishment.
4. Educate your employees and your customers on how they should participate
(create posters, memos, etc.)
Recyclables should be temporarily stored in a clearly marked container. Each
container should be large enough to hold the material you generate without
overflow and must be free of non-recyclable trash.
A solid waste hauler and a recycling collection firm may collect your
recyclables where available. If you generate a significant amount of
recyclables, you should investigate marketing your materials directly in order
to minimize costs and maximize revenue from the sale of materials.
As part of its role, the Sussex County Department of Environmental and Public
Health Services will be performing Recycling Audits of commercial businesses,
schools and housing complexes. Inspectors, while performing other routine
investigations, will review the recycling requirements of the State Law and the
County Solid Waste Management Plan with these various facilities. Those found in
compliance will be rewarded with Certificates of Appreciation. Facilities
lacking recycling programs will be given a Grace Period to achieve compliance.
Regretfully, those who choose to ignore the requirements or are repeat offenders
will be issued monetary penalties.
Violations of the recycling requirements may result in fines. Recycling in the
State of New Jersey is mandatory. Businesses, institutions and industries that
are not in compliance with the regulations can be assessed monetary penalties,
starting at $1,000, for each day a violation continues. The scale of fines is
established pursuant to the NJ Solid Waste Management Act.
Avoid these fines by properly establishing a recycling program for your business
or commercial establishment. Proper recycling requires some effort on your part,
but the results will benefit you, your community and our environment.
THE FUTURE HEALTH OF THE PLANET DEPENDS ON YOU