Somerset County Reminds Businesses & Institutions That ‘Recycling Is the Law’
Recycling has been mandatory in New Jersey for over 25 years. Somerset County officials are reminding businesses and institutions that this law applies to them as well as to residents.
The Somerset County Department of Public Works is sending a letter to approximately 10,000 businesses and institutions about reporting recycling tonnage. The letter will serve as a reminder that recycling in New Jersey is required under state Department of Environmental Protection recycling regulations. Also, businesses and institutions in all 21 Somerset County towns are asked to submit 2012 recycling tonnage reports to the county Division of Solid Waste Management by March 1. The mailing includes a recycling tonnage report form, a list of municipal recycling coordinators, a business recycling brochure and a website for additional information.
In 1987, then-Governor Thomas Kean signed the Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act. This law requires New Jersey residents, businesses, institutions and commercial establishments to separate recyclable material from regular trash. While recycling alone cannot solve New Jersey's garbage problem, recycling programs are having a significant effect on reducing the volume of waste going to landfills.
It is up to businesses and institutions to establish recycling systems within their organizations. They are responsible for the separation and proper disposal of mandatory recyclable materials. Newspapers, corrugated cardboard, chip board, mixed paper, glass containers, aluminum containers, steel and tin cans, plastic bottles, motor oil, anti-freeze, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, tires and yard waste are among the items that must be separated from regular trash and disposed of properly.
County officials hope the letter will help bolster the rates of business and institutional reporting. An increase in reported recycling tonnage will lead to higher recycling tonnage grant amounts.
Business, commercial and institutional generators of recycling include but are not limited to retail, wholesale, restaurants, taverns, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, institutions, warehouses, construction sites, factories and offices buildings.
Businesses and institutions that are just starting to set up a recycling system should contact the Somerset County Recycling Division at 732-469-3363 for recycling collection information and their municipal recycling coordinator for recommendations on how to set up a system. Businesses and institutions also should establish policies and educate their employees or customers about recycling.
A brochure, "Recycling: A Guide for Somerset County Businesses, Institutions & Industries," is on the county's website at www.co.somerset.nj.us/recycle/business.html The guide provides information about recycling and telephone numbers for municipal recycling coordinators. Also on the webpage is a report, titled, "The Economic Benefits of Recycling - WasteWise Case Studies from the Private and Public Sectors."