(TRENTON) – Illegal dumping of construction debris, old furniture, broken appliances, and other forms of garbage has been a major issue in New Jersey for which taxpayers often have to pay. To ensure that land is protected from illegal disposing of waste, Assembly Democrats Bill Moen (D-Camden, Gloucester), Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Essex), and Benjie Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic) sponsor a measure passed by the full Assembly on Monday 76-0 and the Senate 39-0 that would increase the penalties for transporting or disposing of solid waste in excess of 0.148 cubic yards of solids or 30 gallons of liquids onto land that is not designated as a solid waste facility.
The bill (A-5663) would double the current maximum fines to $5,000 for a first offense, $10,000 for a second offense, and $20,000 for subsequent offenses. Any individual who unlawfully disposes of the waste would be liable for the damages and would also be responsible to pay the costs for a local government cleanup unit.
Over the years, waste has been left in places such as State parks and forests, empty lots, railroad property, and sidewalks. It greatly pollutes our environment and poses many physical hazards in our neighborhoods. In Camden alone, taxpayers spend more than $4 million each year just to deal with the effects of illegal dumping.
Upon Assembly approval of the measure, Assembly members Moen, Pintor Marin, and Wimberly issued the following joint statement:
“Taxpayers should not be burdened with paying for the blatant disregard of those who illegally use land as their personal waste facilities. In the past, the fines have not been major enough and we must do more to deter people from illegal dumping.
“No one should have to look outside of their home and see mounds of garbage. Our children should not have to play in parks filled with waste that could physically harm them. This bill is a necessary step toward protecting our communities, and ensuring that they are safe and clean.”