SENATE, No. 3944

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 13, 2019

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  CHRISTOPHER "KIP" BATEMAN

District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)

Senator  RICHARD J. CODEY

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes task force to study recycling streams in NJ and challenges faced by local governments in running recycling programs. 

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act establishing the New Jersey Recycling Stream Improvement Task Force. 

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  There is established the New Jersey Recycling Stream Improvement Task Force for the purpose of studying, evaluating, and making recommendations concerning the state of recycling streams in New Jersey in light of changing market conditions, challenges faced by local governments in running recycling programs, and such other related issues as the task force determines necessary. 

     b.    The task force shall consist of nine members as follows:

     (1)  The Commissioner of Environmental Protection, or the commissioner’s designee, who shall serve ex officio;

     (2)  six members, each of whom shall have experience or expertise in the legal, technical, policy, or economic aspects of recycling, to be appointed as follows:  two appointed by the Senate President, two appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly, one appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate, and one appointed by the Minority Leader of the General Assembly;

     (3)  two members, each of whom shall have experience or expertise in local government recycling programs, to be appointed by the Governor.

     c.     Appointments to the task force shall be made no later than 30 days after the effective date of this act.  Vacancies in the membership of the task force shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments. 

     d.    The task force shall organize as soon as practicable, but no later than 30 days following the appointment of its members.  The task force shall choose a chairperson from among its members and may appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the task force.

     e.     Members of the task force shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenditures incurred in the performance of their duties as members of the task force within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the task force for its purposes.

     f.     The Department of Environmental Protection shall provide stenographic, clerical, and other administrative assistants, and such professional staff as the task force requires to carry out its work.  The task force also shall be entitled to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of the employees of any State, county, or municipal department, board, bureau, commission, or agency as it may require and as may be available for its purposes.

     g.    No later than one year after its organization, the task force shall prepare and submit to the Governor and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature, a report containing the findings and recommendations of the task force, including any recommendations for legislative, regulatory, or local government action to improve recycling in New Jersey and address challenges faced by local governments in running recycling programs. 

     h.    The task force shall expire 30 days after issuance of the report pursuant to subsection g. of this section. 

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would establish the New Jersey Recycling Stream Improvement Task Force to study and make recommendations concerning recycling streams in New Jersey and challenges faced by local governments in running recycling programs.

     Up until recently, much of New Jersey’s and other states’ recyclable materials were sent to China, the world’s largest market for recyclables, for processing.  However, China has largely stopped accepting these materials from foreign recycling businesses.  This new policy has disrupted the recycling stream in the State, lead to a spike in recycling costs for residents, and caused paper, plastics, electronics, and other recyclable materials to pile up in warehouses and in landfills.  The State’s recycling industry is not currently equipped to handle the excess of recyclable materials, and recycling facilities in New Jersey do not make enough profit from the recyclable materials they collect, process, and transport.  It is necessary and appropriate for the State to convene a task force to study recycling streams in the State and make recommendations to improve recycling and address issues faced by local governments in running recycling programs.

     The task force would be composed of nine members, including:  (1) the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, or the commissioner’s designee; (2) six members, each of whom would have experience of expertise in the legal technical, policy, or economic aspects of recycling, to be appointed by legislative leadership of both parties; and (3) two members, each of whom would have experience in local government recycling programs, to be appointed by the Governor.  The Department of Environmental protection would provide staffing and administrative support to the task force.  No later than one year after its organization, the task force would be required to submit to the Governor and the Legislature a report containing its findings and recommendations, including any recommendations for legislative, regulatory, or local government action to improve recycling in the State, and address challenges faced by local governments in running recycling programs.