Posted on: March 11, 2016

Freeholders Urge State Senators To Pass Common Sense Electronic Waste Management Reform

Freeholder O'Brien

Burlington County Freeholder Mary Ann O’Brien announced today that the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders has renewed their calls for common sense reforms to the statewide Electronic Waste Management Act. This act addresses the recycling of covered electronic devices such as televisions and computer monitors.

“This act was designed to provide our residents with free and convenient recycling programs,” said Freeholder O’Brien, “instead deficiencies in the law have allowed skyrocketing costs to strangle these programs and left local taxpayers with the bill.”

“Late last year this Board supported common sense reforms to this Act, reforms that were ultimately approved in both houses of the State Legislature with bipartisan support,” added O’Brien. “Unfortunately, that legislation was pocket vetoed by Governor Christie.”

In order to become law, the legislation must now be reintroduced and pass both houses of the Legislature before once again coming before Governor Christie to sign. The Senate is set to vote on the legislation on Monday, March 14th.

“In just the few months since these reforms were first voted on in the Senate, more and more towns have been forced to abandon their e-waste recycling programs,” continued O’Brien, “In Burlington County alone, of the 20 municipal e-waste programs that were open two years ago, only eight remain open as free programs today. This means that more than 70% of Burlington County households will soon be faced with no option for the free and convenient recycling of their televisions or computers; a service they’ve already paid for with the purchase of that equipment.”

The largest township forced to abandon their program thus far has been Willingboro Township, home to over 30,000 residents, which had collected over 150,000 pounds of recyclables through their program each year.

“Already our office has received calls from residents asking where to take their recyclable equipment, unfortunately we have few answers and even those remaining options are dwindling,” explained O’Brien. “As predicted, we have also begun to find abandoned TV’s on the side of our roads and in our waterways.”

“The frustrating reality is that this was a totally avoidable public safety and environmental crisis,” added Freeholder O’Brien. “When rising costs made it difficult for the County and our municipalities to secure a vendor to provide free recycling as prescribed by law, we warned the State that local programs would be forced to shut down and urged them to act. As those programs began to fold, we warned the State that televisions and computers would soon be left on the sides of our roads and in our wooded areas and again we urged them to act. Now, as more and more of this equipment lies decomposing as toxic waste, we need our State representatives to hear us and to do something. We need all of our Senators to vote for Senate Bill S981 on Monday.”

“I want to applaud Senator Dawn Addiego for her leadership as a co-sponsor of this important bi-partisan legislation. I hope that Senator Diane Allen and all those who voted against this bill last year will take the time to better understand this issue and join Senator Addiego in supporting these common sense reforms,” concluded Freeholder O’Brien. “We need our residents to join us in this effort by contacting our representatives and urging them to vote YES on S981.”

How to contact your legislators:
NJ 7th District Legislators - Beverly City, Bordentown, Bordentown Twp., Burlington City, Burlington Twp., Cinnaminson, Delanco, Delran, Edgewater Park, Fieldsboro, Florence, Moorestown, Mount Laurel, Palmyra, Riverside, Riverton and Willingboro

Senator Diane Allen - 856-314-8835 Email: senallen@njleg.org
Assemblyman Herb Conaway – 856-461-3997 Email: asmconaway@njleg.org
Assemblyman Troy Singleton – 856-234-2790 Email: asmsingleton@njleg.org

NJ 8th District Legislators (all of whom have supported this important legislation!):
Eastampton, Evesham, Hainesport, Lumberton, Mansfield, Medford Lakes, Medford Twp.,
Mount Holly, Pemberton Borough; Pemberton Twp., Shamong, Southampton, Springfield, Westampton and Woodland.

Senator Dawn Marie Addiego
609-654-1498 Email: senaddiego@njleg.org

Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg
609-654-1498 Email: AswRodriguezGregg@njleg.org

Assemblyman Joe Howarth
609-654-1498 Email: asmhowarth@njleg.org

Governor’s Office:
Governor Chris Christie: 609-292-6000

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