Section: Words and phrases defined
a. The Legislature finds that the collection, disposal and utilization of solid waste is a matter of grave concern to all citizens and is an activity thoroughly affected with the public interest; that the health, safety and welfare of the people of this State require efficient and reasonable solid waste collection and disposal service or efficient utilization of such waste; that the management of solid waste in New Jersey consists largely of piecemeal, uncoordinated activities developed to meet the immediate needs of local governments with little, if any, regard for regional planning and coordination; that local units of government acting on their own, despite the most dedicated and sincere efforts, lack the financial resources, scope of alternatives and expertise to plan, develop and implement efficient and effective solutions to their solid waste problems; and that, for the most part, the solid waste planning and management process is adversely affected by the absence of area-wide structures, the limitations of local initiative, the general inadequacy of State technical assistance, the paucity of State grants for solid waste experimentation, the failure of the State to establish guidelines for the preparation of county and intercounty plans, and the failure to implement county and intercounty solid waste collection, disposal and utilization operations.
b. The Legislature, therefore, declares that it is the policy of this State to
(1) Establish a statutory framework within which all solid waste collection, disposal and utilization activity in this State may be coordinated;
(2) Designate each county in this State and the Hackensack Meadowlands District as a Solid Waste Management District, and provide each county and the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission with the power, singly or jointly with one or more other districts, to develop and implement a comprehensive solid waste management plan which meets the needs of every municipality within each such county and within the Hackensack Meadowlands District;
(3) Provide citizens and municipalities with opportunities to contribute to the development and implementation of solid waste management plans by requiring public hearings prior to their adoption and by the creation of advisory solid waste councils;
(4) Protect the bondholders of the several incinerator authorities, solid waste management authorities, municipal public utility authorities, county improvement authorities, and other public authorities concerned with solid waste management functions and facilities, while coordinating their activities under solid waste management plans;
(5) Expand and strengthen the existing relationships between the solid waste industry, representing the free enterprise system and the public sector, including the State and municipal governments and the districts established by this act, in order that both may most effectively contribute to an efficient and economical solution to the problem of solid waste management and to take into account the long term financial commitments entered into by solid waste facilities and to recognize, through the Public Utilities Commission the added cost of compliance with environmental standards by the provision of equitable rate increases;
(6) Establish a meaningful and responsible role for the State in the solution of solid waste problems by granting the Department of Environmental Protection and the Solid Waste Advisory Council the power, not only to regulate and supervise all solid waste collection and disposal facilities and operations and to register all persons engaged in the collection or disposal of solid waste in this State, but also to develop through a Statewide solid waste management plan objectives, criteria and procedures to assure the orderly preparation and evaluation of the solid waste management plans developed by every solid waste management district, and to approve, modify, or reject such solid waste management plans on the basis of their conformity with such objectives, criteria and procedures, to develop and implement such a plan where none is approved or forthcoming from any solid waste management district, to arbitrate disputes between solid waste management districts in the development and implementation of solid waste management plans, to utilize the funds received by the department from registration fees and such other funds as may be from time to time appropriated to it to support and undertake experimental projects and programs of research and development to determine the most efficient, sanitary and economical ways of collecting, disposing, limiting and utilizing solid waste, to grant funds to the districts for the formulation and development of solid waste management plans, and to take such other actions in accordance with the policies set forth in this act, all in the manner and extent hereinafter provided;
(7) Encourage resource recovery through the development of systems to collect, separate, recycle and recover metals, glass, paper and other materials of value for reuse or for energy production.
c. The Legislature recognizes that solid waste and recycling facilities will be financed through long term borrowing which requires the negotiation of long term contracts with municipalities and other solid waste collectors to guarantee the flow of solid waste to such facilities. The Legislature, however, does not intend to encourage or permit the public entity, or its designees, that holds these contracts to establish or charge rates to municipalities or other solid waste collectors within its jurisdiction which discriminate on the basis of the cost of disposal at a particular facility which has been designated as the place of disposal for the solid waste of such municipality or other solid waste collector pursuant to an approved solid waste management plan for that district.
L.1970, c. 39, s. 2, eff. May 6, 1970. Amended by L.1975, c. 326, s. 3.
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