Solid Waste Management and Illegal Dumping

The Somerset County Department of Health ensures that the collection, transportation, and disposal of solid waste is done in an environmentally safe manner and in compliance with NJDEP regulations & the County's Solid Waste Management Plan. To accomplish this, inspectors will:

  • Conduct routine inspections of facilities that collect solid waste and evaluate recycling practices at commercial establishments

  • Monitor the safety and integrity of transportation vehicles that are used to move materials

    If you find waste that has been illegally dumped, please contact your local health department.  If the waste is found in a lake, river, stream, within a state park, or on state property, please click here and follow the instructions provided by NJDEP.

    If you observe someone illegally dumping waste, please call your local police department.

    Recycling Exemptions

    Somerset County Department of Health reviews applications for Notifications of Exempt Recycling Activities and inspect facilities where waste materials are separated and can be processed to be reintroduced to the economic mainstream or are approved for "beneficial use".  A facility means any place, equipment or plant designed and/or operated for the purpose of recycling or reclamation, as defined above, to collect, store, process or to redistribute separated waste so as to return the material to market.

    EXEMPTION # - DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPT ACTIVITIES

    1. Manufacturers, for the receipt, storage or processing of source-separated materials, including asphalt manufacturing plants and pallet manufacturers or refurbishers.

    2. Recycling of source separated recyclable materials which are generated, processed, and reused as a product exclusively at the point of generation.  Petroleum contaminated soils are prohibited and materials may not be received from off-site.

    3. Recycling of tree branches, limbs, trunks, brush and/or wood chips derived from tree parts.

    4. Retreading and/or remolding of tires.

    5.  Receipt of less than 5,000 tires per month.  No processing of any kind can take place.

    6. Scrap tires are received, stored, and processed into artificial reef units for use in artificial reef projects approved by the Department.

    7. Receipt of source-separated Class B recyclable materials with the exception of scrap tires, leaves, non-container plastic materials, and petroleum contaminated soil for temporary storage.

    8. Processing of petroleum contaminated soil at the point of generation using mobile recycling equipment.

    9. Receipt, storage, processing, and transfer of non-container plastics.

    10. Land clearing activities, whereby on-site trees and tree parts are uprooted, processed into wood chips at the point of generation, and utilized as a product (on site or off site)

    11. Receipt, storage, processing, and transfer of source-separated textiles.

    12. Leaf mulching on land deemed actively devoted to agricultural or horticultural use.  Layered leaves must be incorporated into the soil by the next tillage season.

    13. Receipt of yard trimmings for composting.  No more than 10,000 yd3 of yard trimmings can be received per year.  Inclusion in solid waste management plan of the solid waste management district within which the facility is to be located is mandatory prior to operation.

    14. Collection, consolidation, and transfer of universal waste for recycling, treatment, or disposal and/or Class D recyclables for recycling, managed by small quantity handlers.

    15. Collection, consolidation, and transfer of universal waste for recycling, treatment, or disposal and/or Class D recyclables for recycling, managed by large quantity handlers.

    16. Transportation of universal waste for recycling, treatment, or disposal and/or Class D recyclables for recycling, managed by universal waste transporters.

    17. Collection, consolidation, and transfer of source-separated Class D recyclables for recycling.

    18. Receipt of yard trimmings for composting where the finished compost product is applied on site on land deemed actively devoted to agricultural or horticultural use or on mined lands being restored under an approved restoration plan.

    19. Leaf transfer facility.  No more than 1,000 yd3 of leaves can be received per day.

    20.  Receipt, storage, processing, and transfer of source-separated concrete, asphalt, brick, and block.  Contractor must be the sole generator and sole end user of the material.  Sale of the material is strictly prohibited.  Click here for additional information.

    21. Recycling of source-separated Class C recyclable materials that are generated and processed on site into a product for sale and/or use off site.

    22. Receipt of less than 3,000 yd3 of leaves per year and/or 1,000 yd3 of grass clippings per year at a site for transfer.

    23. Receipt of farm feedstocks on a farm for composting where <10,000 yd3 are received per year.

    24. Receipt and storage of architectural salvage items at a commercial enterprise.

    This list of descriptions is only a summary of existing recycling exemptions.  The complete text and all operational requirements currently in effect, can be found at N.J.A.C. 7:26A-1.4 et seq.

    Demo Checks Paperwork and Requirements

    Somerset County Department of Health conducts generator recycling compliance inspections to ensure compliance with New Jersey's Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act (N.J.S.A 13:1E-99 et seq.). The goal of this regulation is to reduce the solid waste collected by source separating the materials or removing the designated recyclable materials from the waste stream. As required by the Somerset County Waste Management Plan, a Notification of Construction or Demolition Activities Form must be submitted to the Somerset County Department of Health within 48 hours of receiving a municipal permit for construction or demolition activities that will require more than 21 cubic yards of waste materials collected and removed.

    Household Hazardous Waste Day

    The Somerset County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program gives residents and farmers a legal and cost-free way to dispose of unwanted household items that cannot be disposed of in the regular trash.  This drop-off opportunity is for residents only.

    Tires - First Saturday of the Month Drop-Off Events

    Resident of Somerset County can drop off up to 8 tires, with or without rims the first Saturday of the month at the Somerset County Recycling Center located at 40 Polhemus Lane in Bridgewater from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Other items that are accepted at these events are scrap metal, used motor oil, oil filters, microwave ovens, antifreeze, and curbside recycling materials.

    E- waste

    Somerset County residents can recycle electronics free of charge on designated Saturdays  and weekdays.

    Weekday drop-offs: Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North County Public Works Facility, 411 Chimney Rock Road - north of Route 22 - Building B, Bridgewater, NJ 08807 and the South County Public Works Garage, 410 Roycefield Road, Hillsborough, NJ 08844

    The following materials are accepted: computers (desktops and laptops), monitors (cathode-ray tube and flat panel), televisions (cathode-ray tube and flat panel), copiers, digital cameras, DVD players, e-book readers, fax machines, MP3 players, personal digital assistants (PDAs), printers, stereos, radio equipment, VCRs, audio visual equipment, typewriters, camcorders, telephones, cellular phones, circuit boards, modems, telephone mainframes, keyboards, mice, scanners, cables, wiring, power supplies, mainframe equipment and controllers.

    NO batteries are accepted. Household batteries (AA, AAA, D, C and 9 volt) may be disposed in the regular trash. Lithium and rechargeable batteries can be brought to scheduled Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) drop-off events