E-Scrap News

Bill to update New Jersey program heads to governor

A bill overhauling New Jersey’s e-scrap law is headed to Gov. Chris Christie, but the recycling industry isn’t sure whether he’ll sign it.

“There is really no way of knowing which way the governor will go,” said Marie Kruzan, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Recyclers (ANJR), one of the bill’s supporters. “We all knew probably the hardest thing is getting it through the governor.”

The bill, Assembly Bill 4763, would reshape the state’s extended producer responsibility law for e-scrap by changing the way manufacturers’ recycling obligations are calculated. The bill allows the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to adjust each manufacturer’s obligation based on the weight actually collected in each program year.

“Current law has had the inadvertent effect of some manufacturers meeting their annual weight-based electronics recycling obligations before the expiration of a calendar year so that many local governments that collect electronic waste have been left to dispose of excess electronic waste at their expense,” a legislative fiscal estimate notes. “If the bill operates as intended, some concerned local governments will experience indeterminate annual cost savings.”

The bill also adds computer printers and fax machines to the list of covered electronics.

The ANJR lobbied legislators to approve the bill. The Assembly on Dec. 17 voted 46-18, with one abstention, to approve the bill. The Senate voted 30-7 to approve it on Jan. 7.

Interests both for and against the bill are now shifting their attention to the governor’s office, Kruzan noted.

Christie has until Jan. 19 to sign the bill or it fails to become law.

This story has been corrected. An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated the bill becomes law if Gov. Christie chooses not to act on it. Because the bill was passed late in the legislative session, no action by the governor would in fact result in a veto.

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