The Senate Environment Committee approved legislation sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman that would establish a council to make recommendations for the future of recycling in New Jersey.
The Recycling Market Development Council would be created by Sen. Bateman’s legislation to analyze the market and make recommendations for the future of recycling in New Jersey. (SenateNJ.com)
The bill (S3939/S3944) would establish a Recycling Market Development Council to analyze the market for recycling and consider strategies to increase the use of collected recyclables in the manufacture of new products.
“There have been significant changes in the recycling market around the globe, and the impact is being felt here throughout our counties and towns,” said Bateman (R-16). “The public has been so effective and committed to recycling that supply now exceeds demand. The imbalance results in warehouses overflowing with paper, cans, bottles and plastic. Eventually, material once saved from landfills eventually ends up going there anyway. We need to find a solution.”
China has been the world’s largest market for recycling, and until recently, much of the state’s material was shipped there. However, the Chinese have dramatically limited the amount of foreign recyclables they will accept.
“Recycling is only sustainable if there is a market for it and it can generate enough money to cover the costs of collection and processing. Local governments are struggling to maintain recycling without the outside revenue,” Bateman said. “We need to take a close look at recycling streams and consider options to salvage this crucial environmental program.”
The Recycling Market Development Council established by Bateman’s bill would operate within the State Department of Environmental Protection.
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