Cruz-Perez, Van Drew Bill Highlighting Recycling Achievements Clears Committee

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TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez and Senator Jeff Van Drew highlighting the success of agencies, businesses, individuals and others who go the extra step to advance recycling cleared the Senate Environment and Energy Committee today.

The bill, S-2777, would establish in law a New Jersey Recycling Awards Program. The program would annually recognize outstanding recycling achievements, which may include those made by an institution, such as a pre-school, elementary or secondary school, healthcare facility, or college or university or even an individual or program, which has achieved exemplary results through innovation and persistence.

The individual could be anyone from a small business owner or a teacher, administrator, community or student group, environmental educator or individual student, whose actions have resulted in  increased participation in recycling.

“The importance of recycling cannot be stressed enough, especially as more research comes out about the dangers our environment is facing,” said Senator Cruz-Perez. “It is our hope that by recognizing those who go above and beyond to protect the environment, that we will encourage more companies, organizations and individuals to implement aggressive recycling practices. This will not only benefit  our environment and our planet, but it will help our economy by creating more green jobs.”

“There may be business owners, schools, hospitals, colleges, or individuals in the state that are demonstrating innovation and excellence when it comes to recycling. We should reward their efforts and highlight these practices so they can be duplicated elsewhere in the state,” said Senator Van Drew.

This bill would establish in law the existing awards program. Under the bill, the DEP would establish an application procedure and criteria and guidelines for the eligibility, nomination, and judging of applications for this award, and evaluate applications using performance criteria, including but not limited to: measurable outcomes and documentation; education and outreach; coverage and replicability; leadership and innovation; and exceeding regulatory standards.

The DEP currently offers a New Jersey Recycling Award, coordinated in conjunction with the ANJR, to recognize outstanding recycling achievements.

The DEP would also post the names of the recipients of the New Jersey Recycling Awards prominently on the department’s website, and recognize the recipients through the award of a certificate, a press announcement, or another form of recognition deemed appropriate to highlight the achievements of recipients. The bill would allow the DEP to coordinate with the Association of New Jersey Recyclers, or another recycling organization if appropriate, in recognizing the award recipients.

S-2777 cleared the committee unanimously and will now head to the full Senate for further review.

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