- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recently vetoed two pieces of recycling-based legislation: Senate Bill 1420 would have required paint producers to collect and recycle architectural paint leveraging fees charged to paint purchasers, while Assembly Bill 4763 would have updated the state's struggling e-waste program by changing how manufacturers' recycling obligations are determined to base them on the weight of electronic material collected.
- The vetoed paint legislation was similar to laws in eight states and Washington DC that direct PaintCare, a stewardship group, to oversee collections and recycling. This veto shocked the Association of New Jersey Recyclers (ANJR), who thought the support of the industry would carry the bill through.
- The veto of the e-waste recycling bill also came as a shock to ANJR, as local governments have been losing e-waste collection capabilities. Regarding the veto, Jim Entwistle, president of New Jersey-based Newtech Recycling said, "There's no question that this is a devastating blow to e-waste recycling in the state of New Jersey."
The recycling industry has responded with dismay to the two vetoes. And Christie's deputy press secretary, Joelle Farrell, said the governor's office is not commenting on Christie's reasoning for vetoing the bills.
The American Coatings Association believes PaintCare’s contribution would be critical in New Jersey, where only five of the 21 counties accept latex paint for recycling, which is 80% of the paint sold, according to an ACA press release. PaintCare has set up stewardship programs in several states, moving several of them closer to their recycling goals.
However retailers opposed the paint bill, claiming it would carry a hidden tax as it would not show on sales receipts.
Regarding the e-cycling veto, the state’s local governments have had to put e-scrap collection to the wayside after manufacturers reached their recycling targets before the end of the year and stopped paying recycling companies to handle material. The legislation would have addressed the financial hurdle subsequently put before local governments.
"We're not surprised, but we're terribly disappointed," said ANJR Executive Director Marie Kruzan to Resource Recycling. "Frequently, to make change you have to have things fall apart. Because right now, the person we need to get it, didn't get it."