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Chairwoman Pinkin and Vice Chairwoman Lopez Release Statements Following Joint Meeting of Legislature’s Environment Committees on Recycling

Following the joint meeting held Thursday by the Senate and Assembly Environment Committees to hear testimony from advocates and stakeholders about the state of New Jersey’s recycling market, Chairwoman Nancy Pinkin (D-Middlesex) and Vice Chairwoman Yvonne Lopez (D-Middlesex) of the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee released the following statements:

Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin (D-Middlesex): “The level of waste we as Americans generate continues to grow. That, combined with China’s restriction on imports of recyclable materials last year, has resulted in mounting economic pressures across the United States. We are facing a complicated set of factors that have increased the overall cost of recycling and put into question our standing waste management practices. New Jersey’s residents and businesses deserve environmentally responsible solutions that can work to reduce waste and expand market demand for recyclables. With the information gathered from stakeholder testimony, New Jersey will be able to start thinking strategically about this issue and can work to develop a plan that addresses it at every step.”

Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D-Middlesex): “The cost of hauling away recyclables has grown exponentially because we don’t have the specialized mechanisms to deal with the amount of waste we create. Having the right incentives and programs to shift consumption behaviors in an economic system that thrives on our throwaway culture will be paramount. And forging the path forward will require the leadership and innovation of industry and environmental experts like those heard from today. We don’t just owe it to the future generations anymore. We owe it to ourselves, our families and our communities to be more socially and environmentally responsible right now, in the present.”