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News & Information

Recycling – It's the Law

Release Date: March 24, 2008
As part of its role, the Sussex County Division of Health will be performing Recycling Audits of commercial businesses, schools and housing complexes.

Recycling – It's the Law

Find Your Local Recycling Schedule

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.

Your Responsibility

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 trash.

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.

recycling logo 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.

Why Recycle?

- 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.

Why Recycle?

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):

• Newspaper
• 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
• Tires
• 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 Division of Health 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.