The Solid Waste Program of the Middlesex County Environmental Health Division (MCEHD) is authorized by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to enforce state solid waste regulations in Middlesex County. This enforcement authority was established by an interagency agreement entered into in April of 1983, pursuant to the County Environmental Health Act (CEHA).
The program conducts daily routine inspections at the Middlesex County Landfill, as well as inspecting transfer stations, recycling facilities, Class A recycling centers, compost sites, and farmland mulching operations. These facilities are inspected for compliance with regulations set forth in the State Solid Waste and Recycling codes (NJAC 7:26 and 7:26A respectively), and for site specific conditions established in their Solid Waste Facility Permits and Recycling Center approvals.
In addition, inspectors respond to complaints of illegal dumping and off-site odors from solid waste and recycling facilities. Other alleged violations reported by citizens or referred by other agencies are also handled by the inspectors. Also, based on inspections of incoming loads conducted by Middlesex County Utilities Authority personnel, the Program undertakes enforcement action against solid waste haulers who falsely report the point of origin of waste disposed of at the Middlesex County Landfill. In 2008 the Program expanded its inspections of solid waste vehicles and containers to ensure that waste haulers comply with all decaling and labeling requirements as required by State code.
The Program also conducts inspections at municipal drop-off sites where residents can dispose of their waste and recyclables. These sites are checked to ensure that they are neatly maintained and do not pose an environmental hazard.
When an inspection or investigation discloses a violation, a Notice of Violation and Penalty Assessment may be issued. Generally, an initial Notice of Violation specifies a compliance date by which the violation must be corrected, or if additional violations occur, Penalty Assessments may be issued. Penalties are calculated based on regulations set forth in NJAC 7:26.
As a result of the 1997 deregulation of state waste flow rules by the courts, Middlesex County amended its Solid Waste Management Plan to facilitate tracking of waste generated in the County. Effective January 1, 1997, solid waste haulers that dispose of Middlesex County waste at sites other than the Middlesex County Landfill are required to report waste tonnages disposed of to the Middlesex County Utilities Authority, and must submit a per ton fee (currently $5.47/ton). Enforcement efforts by the Program have achieved significant compliance with the plan amendment.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
• Compost Facility: A facility for collecting organic materials such as leaves and lawn clippings. The organic materials are then layered into piles to allow them to decompose with air and water into a material called humus. NJAC: New Jersey Administrative Code
• Follow-up Inspections: Secondary inspections following primary inspections; generally used to ascertain compliance.
• Generator Inspection: An inspection that takes place at a residence, company, or institution which generates solid waste.
• NJDEP: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
• NJDEQ: (NJDEP), Division of Environmental Quality.
• Notice of Violation (NOV): MCPHD formal Notice of Violation issued to a person responsible for a violation of a solid waste rule, regulation or code.
• Penalty Assessment (PA): A MCPHD administrative penalty assessed for a violation of the Solid Waste Management Act (NJAC 7:26) or any other solid waste statute enforced by MCPHD.
• Recycling Facilities: Facilities where the process of removing from the waste stream those materials and products that can be reused in their original form or reconstituted in other products, takes place.
• Solid Waste: Any garbage, refuse, trash, dry sludge, or material that is discarded or abandoned and is intended for disposal.
• Transfer Stations: A midpoint where smaller garbage trucks may bring garbage to be compacted and placed into large vehicles to be taken to landfills.
• Waste flow Inspections: Inspection of incoming solid waste, at a landfill, to ascertain if any out-of-county solid waste is being brought illegally to Middlesex County facilities.
Waste Stream: A general term used to describe all the solid waste generated in a certain area, location, or facility.