Enforcing Waste Flow
The Hudson County Improvement Authority (HCIA) was organized pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of the Solid Waste Management Act (N.J.S.A. 13:1E-1 et seq.) and exercises essential governmental functions for the public health, benefit and welfare of the citizens of the County. On November 18, 1985, the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders designated the HCIA as the sole agency responsible for the implementation of the Hudson County District Solid Waste Management Plan, as amended from time to time. The HCIA was also designated to plan, acquire, construct, maintain, and operate facilities for the processing and disposal of County solid waste and/or the recovery of recyclable materials.
The HCIA’s Enforcement Division is responsible for ensuring that all solid waste is disposed of properly and in compliance with the state’s solid waste regulations and the county’s solid waste flow control directives. All solid waste generated in Hudson County must be delivered to the facilities designated in the Hudson County Solid Waste Management Plan.
In the past, some haulers, contractors, businesses and individuals have attempted to dispose of solid waste outside of the county’s waste flow rules in order to save money -- but this is illegal. The HCIA’s Enforcement Division has been very aggressive in its pursuit of repeat offenders, imposing increased penalties and impounding vehicles, equipment and property.
Currently, the Enforcement Division is participating in a joint investigation with the Hudson Regional Health Commission, the New Bergen Health Department and the NJDEP in order to force a repeat offender to comply with the rules and regulations.
This year, after a comprehensive review and restructuring of the zone coverage, the Enforcement Division was expanded to assist the needs of the municipalities and their residents. Each day, the HCIA’s staff of 21 enforcement officers document and photograph containers and vehicles that store solid waste located in Hudson County. The enforcement officers are also responsible for documenting the removal date. “Not only do enforcement officers patrol the county during the daytime hours, but we are currently setting up a pilot program for the evening hours,” said Norman M. Guerra, HCIA CEO.
“We cross-reference thousands of documents each month to verify waste flow compliance by haulers and contractors doing business in Hudson County. If they fail to respond, the HCIA issues complaints with fines ranging in the thousands,” Michael A. Holloway, Director of Solid Waste Enforcement stated.
Part of the documentation process includes the inspection of the NJDEP decals, which are required for the transportation and disposal of solid waste in New Jersey and must be affixed to each vehicle. “If our officers find a container without a NJDEP decal, a complaint is filed with the Superior Court of New Jersey,” Holloway said.
With the support of County Executive Thomas A. DeGise, the Board of Chosen Freeholders and the HCIA Board of Commissioners, the HCIA’s Enforcement Division is out there every day saving resident’s tax dollars, and most importantly, protecting the environment for our children.
Not in My Backyard
Often, people think that simply dumping a couple of paint cans or a tire in a vacant lot won’t make a difference in waste management, but it truly does. In fact, this is referred to as illegal dumping and it is against the law.
In Hudson County, these violations usually occur when individuals, haulers, or independent contractors try to save the $800 to $1,000 it would cost them to obtain a waste container. While they may save money, the town and the county incur the unexpected expense of cleaning the site and disposing of the waste properly. Towns are forced to pass these costs on to their residents in increased taxes.
“People who illegally dump solid waste cost you, your municipality and Hudson County a lot of money,” said Frank Pestana, HCIA Chairman.
The HCIA Enforcement Division, in conjunction with the Hudson Regional Health Commission and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), is directed to vigorously track down these offenders. This includes the coordination of investigations and taking full legal recourse including impounding a violator’s vehicle and/or equipment and imposing fines of up to $50,000.
“Many violators drive their trucks filled with solid waste at night looking for the perfect place to dump,” said Norman M. Guerra, HCIA CEO. “They search for dark lots, sites under bridges or other areas where they expect no one to see them.”
Fortunately, the HCIA Enforcement Division keeps a watchful eye to control all dumping activities. You can help by reporting any illegal dumping to Michael A. Holloway, Director of Solid Waste Enforcement at 201-324-6222 ext. 3211.
Remember to do your part as well. If you are renovating your home or apartment, obtain the services of a certified waste disposal company that is approved by the NJDEP. That way you can ensure your waste is disposed of properly.