Legislators in New Jersey are examining ways to fix the state’s recycling system, where many communities are paying more to recycle than dispose of their trash.
The state seeks to not abandon three decades of recycling mandates but rather to take a new look at how to redevelop recycling markets and create new incentives to revive the sector.
NJ Spotlight reports that a hearing before the legislature’s top environmental committees is expected to lead to new bills to ban single-use plastic bags, straws and polystyrene foam containers, a measure vetoed by Gov. Phil Murphy last year, and to recycle food waste, a bill currently on his desk.
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Some environmental advocates say focus should be on reducing the amount of waste that’s generated.
The state Legislature on Thursday looked to examine ways to fix the state’s recycling system, now in such a crisis that some communities pay more to recycle than to dispose of their garbage.
The collapse of the recycling market — not just here in New Jersey, but across the country — was triggered by the collapse of markets in China and elsewhere in Asia to accept recycled materials. The net result is the erosion of the entire sector, increasing costs to local governments and counties and straining already tight budgets.