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Essex County Utilities Authority

A leader in environmentally sound, cost effective, solid waste disposal management

The Essex County Utilities Authority (ECUA) plans for the collection, recycling and disposal of solid waste generated in Essex County.

Photo of Essex Recycling CenterCreated in 1992 by the Essex County Executive and the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the ECUA manages solid waste disposal. Its mission is to plan, develop and implement cost effective solid waste methods emphasizing the recovery of materials and energy, with a minimal impact on the environment.

Serving a county with more than 790,000 residents, the ECUA responds to local waste disposal concerns as well as operational mandates set by State and Federal regulations.

Solid waste in the county can be grouped in two main categories: waste that can be burned in an incinerator (processible) and waste that cannot be burned (non-processible). The ECUA manages the waste flow of both types of waste generated in the County, which amounts to approximately 690,000 tons annually.

390,000 tons of waste is disposed at a resource recovery plant in the City Newark. 130,000 tons of non-processible waste is transported to the NJMC – Keegan Landfill in Kearny New Jersey and 170,000 tons of processible waste goes to a transfer station in Newark

Mission Statement

“To plan, develop and implement cost effective
solid waste management methods
for the County of Essex which emphasize
the recovery of materials and energy
with a minimum impact on the environment.”

The ECUA is governed by a 7-member Board of Commissioners appointed by the County Executive. A diverse and small staff under the direction of an Executive Director facilitates the daily operations of the ECUA and its resources at its headquarters in Newark, New Jersey.

The ECUA works closely with the County Executive and the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders to maximize results and maintain a high level of services to area residents.

The ECUA has been charged with diverse and important duties, which include the following:

  1. Collecting the fees municipalities and private haulers pay to bring waste to designated disposal sites
  2. Establishing guidelines and rules for waste haulers to follow when delivering waste to designated disposal sites and providing for the enforcement of State regulations
  3. Offering special programs for recycling education and Household Hazardous Waste and Computer & Electronics collection and disposal

Recycling CenterA court ruling made it possible for the ECUA to create a market driven system and renegotiate lower tipping fees. All 22 municipalities in Essex County participate in what is now referred to as “ the voluntary contract system.”

The benefits of the voluntary contract system include: long-term disposal rates at significant savings; an environmentally sound disposal option; and overall projected cost savings of $50 million and minimized risks against changing market conditions.

The ECUA provides a high quality of service to the haulers and the ratepayers who participate in the voluntary system through a strong on-on-one customer service program.

The ECUA is also committed to upgrade and improve all of its services with its mission to contribute, every day, to the quality of life in Essex County.

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