Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a bill to establish a council to make recommendations for the future of recycling that will operate within the State Department of Environmental Protection.
“There have been significant changes in the global recycling market, and the impact is being felt throughout our counties and towns,” said Sen. Kip Bateman, R-16th District, who sponsored Senate Bill 3939/Senate Bill 3944. “Local governments are struggling to maintain recycling without outside revenue. The public has embraced recycling so effectively that supply now exceeds demand. The imbalance results in warehouses overflowing with paper, cans, bottles and plastic, and the excess ends up going to the landfill.”
According to Bateman, the council created under the new law will analyze the market for recycling and consider strategies to increase the use of collected recyclables in the manufacturing of new products.
“Recycling can only be sustainable when there is a market for material and it can generate enough money to cover the costs of collection and processing,” said Bateman. “We need to take a close look at recycling streams and consider options to resuscitate this crucial environmental program. This council may be our best chance to find a solution.”