Trash This Illegal Behavior

You likely consider yourself a law-abiding citizen. You don’t steal. You don’t drive drunk. But there is one law that almost 40% of Jerseyans break on a regular basis. Worse, they are committing it right in their very home. And you might be too.

In 1987, New Jersey made recycling mandatory statewide (N.J.A.C. 7:26A-1) . Since then, according to the Asbury Park Press, 62% of Jersey residents recycle – far above the national average of 34%. However, that means about 38% break the law by not recycling.

Knowing what can and can’t be recycled – and well as what is picked up on what days and how to sort it – can be very confusing and it’s understandable that some of us get mixed up. You may accidentally (or intentionally) throw out things you know you can be recycled or toss something in the recycling bin that shouldn’t be there. When that happens, or if you simply don’t care and refuse to recycle at all, what are the consequences?

The answer isn’t so clear. While the law was passed at the state level, enforcement is left up to the counties and municipalities. As such, penalties vary from region to region. For example, in Jersey City fines for not recycling start at $100 per day for the first three offenses but can go as high as $2,000 depending on the severity of the issue and the judge’s discretion. Fines for not recycling in Sussex County are around $1,000. The Borough of Edgewater levies a penalty of $250 to $1,000 per day.

The good news is that not recycling is a civil offense that does not have a jail sentence attached to it. The bad news is that, as mentioned above, fines can be levied on a per-day basis and sometimes can increase based on the quantity of recyclables put in the general trash. As such, the cost can add up fast.

If you or a loved one has been cited for a criminal offense in New Jersey, consult with an attorney to discuss your legal options. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law are skilled criminal defense attorneys with experience helping people in similar situations. Email Rosenblum Law or call 888-815-3649 today for a free consultation about your case.


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