The New Jersey Senate passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset,Hunterdon,Middlesex,Mercer) to significantly expand recycling efforts by requiring electronic manufactures to provide convenient collection of covered electronics in municipalities and at statewide entities across New Jersey.
Bateman’s bill updates existing electronic recycling law that currently requires manufacturers to provide a free and convenient electronic waste recycling program for covered electronics. The bill would extend the recycling program to statewide entities, such as school districts, with electronic manufacturers covering the cost of collecting and recycling their market share of covered products.
“In our most densely populated state, it is imperative that we fearlessly face the mounting challenge to reduce the tens of millions of tons of solid waste discarded in New Jersey each year,” Bateman said. “This updated legislation will generate significant cost savings at a local level, by ensuring that electronic manufacturers stay committed to providing free and convenient opportunities for recycling in communities across the state.”
Current law would also be updated to include printers and fax machines in the recycling programs, a landmark move that recognizes the need to reduce the more than 24 million hard copy devices that go unrecycled each year nationwide.
The bill also requires each manufacturer to recycle their “market share” in weight of covered electronics instead of the “return share,” ensuring that the DEP has an accurate and transparent account of the actual amount of recycled electronics collected each year. Any manufacturer who fails to meet these recycling obligations would be subject to a fine issued by the DEP.
The bill would also streamline the DEP’s planning and reporting process, requiring an annual report with a complete listing of recyclers, collection locations and site operators, as well the amount of material by weight collected each site. Manufacturers and collection sites would also submit similar semiannual reports.
“Failing to recycle toxic materials and large bulk electronics poses a serious threat to the environment, as well as the public health and safety of residents across our state,” Bateman added. “We have a responsibility to safeguard clean air, pristine waterways, and open spaces for generations of New Jerseyans to come. Implementing innovative and efficient updates to this invaluable recycling program will cement our legacy as a national leader in environmental protection and ensure New Jersey lives up to its prestigious moniker: “The Garden State.”