New Jersey may require background checks for recycling haulers

Lee Seglem testifies at Senate Environment Committee hearing (Phil Gregory / WHYY)

Lee Seglem testifies at Senate Environment Committee hearing (Phil Gregory / WHYY)

New Jersey lawmakers are considering some new regulations in response to a state commission’s findings that organized crime has infiltrated the state’s recycling industry.

Lee Seglem is acting executive director of the State Commission of Investigation. He says the stringent oversight imposed on the solid waste industry should also apply to the recycling business and background checks should be required for key employees, sales representatives, brokers, and consultants.

“This hands-off regulatory construct has not kept pace with changing economic trends and the opportunities they provide for criminally tainted business interests.”

Frank Brill represents the Association of New Jersey Recyclers. He opposes requiring background checks for everyone in the recycling business.

“It costs a lot of money to go through this process. Do you really want to impose this on counties, municipalities, people doing electronic recycling, people doing food waste recycling? This is absurd.”

Brill says illegal dumping can be prosecuted under current laws.


Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.