Proposed Expansion Of New Jersey Class B Recycling Regulations

July 11, 2017
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Bill Calls for Further Regulation of New Jersey Class B Recycling Services 

New Jersey lawmakers are considering legislation that would subject businesses engaging in soil and debris recycling services to the same regulation and oversight that applies to the solid waste industry.

Proposed Expansion Of New Jersey Class B Recycling Regulations

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The bill, Senate Bill Number 2306, would also expand the definition of “key employees” that must submit to background checks to include sales persons, consultants, and brokers.

A-901 Licensing

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 13:1E-126, any business that collects, transports or disposes of solid or hazardous waste in New Jersey must obtain and maintain an A-901 license, which requires detailed disclosures by the business and key employees during the application process. Owners, managers, officers and other “key employees” must submit to a fingerprint check, and undergo a background investigation. The primary goal of the A-901 licensing program is to keep organized crime and other criminal elements out of the state’s solid waste industry.

Senate Bill Number 2306 amends the existing law to expand the requirement for background checks to a broader range of persons involved in the solid waste industry. As amended, the definition of “key employee” would include “any family member of an officer, director, partner, or key employee, employed by the applicant or permittee; or any broker, consultant or sales person employed by, or who do business with, the applicant, permittee, or licensee, with respect to the solid waste, hazardous waste, or recycling operations of the business concern.” 

Licensing Requirements for Soil and Debris Recycling Facilities

Senate Bill Number 2306 also purports to address the lack of licensing requirements and regulatory standards for individuals and entities engaged in most forms of recycling. As initially drafted, the legislation would have subjected the entire recycling industry to the same regulation and oversight as the solid waste industry. However, it was most recently amended to include only individuals or business concerns who engage in soil and debris recycling services. 

Pursuant to the bill, soil and debris recycling services include the recycling of: (1) source-separated, non-putrescible, waste material resulting from construction, remodeling, repair, and demolition operations on houses, commercial buildings, pavements and other structures; (2) source-separated, non-putrescible waste concrete, asphalt, brick, block, asphalt-based roofing, scrap wood, and wood waste; and (3) soil. 

The proposed legislation would prohibit the issuance of an A-901 license to persons debarred from operating in other states. It would also ban individuals otherwise deemed unsuitable for the solid waste or recycling industries, convicted felons, and others of questionable character from holding an indirect, non-licensed stake in a solid waste or recycling business.

Expanded Information Sharing

The bill would consolidate A-901 responsibilities within the Office of the Attorney General. Currently, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Office of the Attorney General share the regulatory burden. It would also require the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of the Treasury, and the Attorney General to take steps to establish a records management system that will make it more efficient to collect, store, and share information on the solid waste and recycling industries, as well as their current and prospective license and permit holders. The bill would require the Attorney General to establish a reciprocal information exchange system with the State of New York and other states in the region to facilitate information sharing on the solid waste and recycling industries. 

Finally, the bill would require the Department of Treasury to establish a centralized list in of individuals and corporate entities who have been debarred by various State agencies from participation in a number of regulated industries apart from solid waste and recycling, such as construction, the casino gaming industry, and transportation. As noted in the statement accompanying the bill, this requirement will “ensure that the status of persons and businesses deemed unfit to work under one agency’s purview is made known to all other appropriate agencies.”

We encourage readers to stay tuned for updates regarding S2306, and to contact experienced counsel to determine how the new requirements of this proposed bill may impact your business. If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact me, Dan McKillop, at 201-806-3364.