Road Warrior Newsletter

May 16, 2008


Dear NJGCA Member:


You didn’t read that line wrong.  If Trenton has its way, you may soon become a recycling and collection center.  And, no, you won’t have a choice.

Lawmakers continually look to collect more dollars for State programs and get their names in the headlines.  The latest example is courtesy of Assemblywoman Vanieri-Huttle who feels too many plastic, glass, and aluminum beverage containers end up in landfills rather than in recycling centers.  She may have a point.  

Her solution?  Add a 10¢ deposit on all plastic and glass bottles and aluminum cans less than 24 ounces and a 20¢ deposit on containers over 24 ounces up to 3 liters.  All containers would be collected by retailers or private container redemption centers when consumers turn them in.  Do you have room in your store for hundreds of plastic, aluminum, and glass containers?

The bill, A-121, was discussed before the Assembly Environmental & Solid Waste Committee this week. The opposition was enormous as the program would create a confusing reimbursement system between distributors, retailers, customers, and the State.  If made law, it will drive up prices for you, your suppliers, and your patrons. It all amounts to an additional tax on the public and businesses, plus the added time and inconvenience for consumers to return those bottles to a retail location for the refund.

However, what activists fail to realize is that the plan is not needed.  Environmental supporters would have you believe that we need this because it has been successful in 11 other states. But they overlook the fact that those states do not have a mandatory statewide recycling program as New Jersey does.  Convenience stores and businesses are already paying an expanded recycling tax to help increase recycling efforts; why tax small businesses and consumers twice?

An additional, glaring problem with this bill is that lawmakers projected $40-$50 million in uncollected funds to be generated annually by this plan.  What will happen to this money?  The state will keep 75% for environmental projects.  The other 25% would be proportionately redistributed to retailers and collection centers to help defray their costs – which will barely cover the tab.

It does not take much creativity to imagine how the system could be defrauded or see those funds redirected to the general fund. Do taxpayers and businesses need another Trenton money grab?  In the end, that’s all this proposal may amount to – extra dollars to feed State House coffers.

Click HERE to read a recent NJGCA press release on A-121.

We all want to help the environment, but at what price?  All reasonable environmental policies should be considered, but not one that does nothing more than tax the public and the business community for a duplicate service. We are already over-extended; don’t tax the public twice!

NJGCA will remain on top of this and will aggressively oppose this legislation.  

Thanks for reading.  See you next week!

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director



•Don’t let this happen to you.


•State Jobless Rate Climbs
•Old, mechanical pumps present unique problem to station owners
•Lawmakers seek to implement bottle deposit fee
•Trenton trading Toll-Hikes for Water Tax?


When the market is this competitive, and retailers are getting squeezed, some of you may be tempted to do something foolish to stay ahead and eek out a profit.

Take two recent incidents in Hackensack and Teaneck.  Last week the Bergen Record ran two articles about an owner with two locations who tried to pass off regular gasoline as premium fuel.  The reason he did this was obvious: buy a tank-load at the regular price and charge premium prices for it at the pump to make a quick buck.

The station now faces a fine of up to $1,500 and a possible five-day license suspension for each location.  Was it worth it?

You can read more about these incidents by clicking HERE and HERE

There is no room in this or any business for this kind of dishonesty.  When a retailer – be they a member or not – acts in a deceitful manner, it harms the industry and the Association.

But you don’t have to take my word for it.  As the price of gasoline rises, customers are looking and searching to catch you in the act.  What’s more, the 21 county Divisions of Weights & Measures are all looking too.  They are going to get tougher on 24 hour rules, cash/credit pricing and octane testing.

The only way to avoid these kinds of fines and negative attention is to run a clean operation and avoid any temptation to pull the wool over the eyes of your customers and the State.  Don’t put your entire business in jeopardy just to score a quick profit.


State Jobless Rate Climbs
New Jersey’s unemployment rates increased in April to 5%.  It now matches Federal unemployment rate. 

Old, mechanical pumps present unique problem to station owners
As the price of gasoline inches close to $4.00 a gallon, some stations utilizing old-fashioned mechanical pumps are unable to register prices above $3.99 a gallon. 

Lawmakers seek to implement bottle deposit fee
In an attempt to increase recycling efforts, and citing success in 11 other states, Trenton is investigating the creation of a deposit/refund program on beverage containers.  A similar program was proposed 20 years ago but failed to be realized.

Trenton trading Toll-Hikes for Water Tax?
As Governor Corzine’s controversial toll hike plan failed to meet approval from residents, lawmakers are now considering a tax on water to help raise money for the state budget.

Serving the small businesses that serve the motorist