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Relaxing New Jersey Regulation of Composting at a Community Garden

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Presentation by Matthew Karmel of Riker Danzig

Published in: Law
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Relaxing New Jersey Regulation of Composting at a Community Garden

  1. 1. Nothing in these materials should be relied upon as legal advice in any particular matter. ©RDSHP2018 Relaxing New Jersey Regulation of Composting at a Community Garden Matthew A. Karmel, Esq.
  2. 2. Nothing in these materials should be relied upon as legal advice in any particular matter. ©RDSHP2018 • Recycling activities in New Jersey, including composting activities, generally require a permit from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) pursuant to the Solid Waste Management Act, N.J.S.A. 13:1E-1 et seq. • The process for obtaining a solid waste permit is time- consuming and costly, and the compliance requirements associated with such permits can be similarly burdensome for small scale composting activities. Background
  3. 3. Nothing in these materials should be relied upon as legal advice in any particular matter. ©RDSHP2018 • New Jersey does not regulate “backyard composting” on a residential property without a solid waste permit from the State. (Local governments may regulate backyard composting.) • While New Jersey does regulated composting at a community garden, the regulations implementing the Solid Waste Management Act contain an exemption from the permitting requirement if the composting activity involves materials generated and recycled on-site. N.J.A.C. 7:26A-1.4(a). • This exemption allows community gardens to compost food waste generated on-site, but does not allow food waste from the community to be returned to the compost pile at the community garden without a permit. “Backyard Composting” and Community Gardens
  4. 4. Nothing in these materials should be relied upon as legal advice in any particular matter. ©RDSHP2018 • The NJDEP and other governmental agencies have a procedure that allows members of the public to suggest a change to existing regulations. • This formal process is called filing a petition for rulemaking and is governed by N.J.A.C. 7:1D-1.1 and the Administrative Procedure Act. • We represent Planting Seeds of Hope, which is preparing a petition for rulemaking to allow food waste generated within the community to be composted at a community garden. Changing the Rules
  5. 5. Nothing in these materials should be relied upon as legal advice in any particular matter. ©RDSHP2018 • The proposed exemption would allow a small area of a community garden to be utilized for composting of food waste generated off-site. • The composting activity would still be subject to regulation and inspection by the NJDEP and local governments to ensure that the activity is conducted in an appropriate manner. • This proposal is an early part of the ongoing dialogue in New Jersey regarding food waste reduction. Proposed Exemption
  6. 6. Nothing in these materials should be relied upon as legal advice in any particular matter. ©RDSHP2018 • Local Government Approvals • Air Permitting • Sale and/or Distribution of Compost Other Issues for Community Gardens

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