A new probe by the State Commission of Investigations in New Jersey claims the cities recycling industry remains tainted by organized crime.
The investigators claim the new probe has uncovered sections of the waste disposal profession “that have been subverted into an underground economy that profits from the improper disposal of contaminated soil and construction debris,” according to a philly.com report. These organized crime elements are making a lot of money through the illegal dumping of contaminated materials near homes and waterways with the aid of what the commission calls illegal “dirt brokers”.
According to reports possible links to Cosa Nostra families in New York and the Philadelphia mafia has been discovered. The Bonanno crime family and the Lucchese crime family of the New York mafia have both been linked to individuals and companies believed to be profiting from this illegal dumping taking advantage of weaknesses in New Jersey’s regulation of the recycling industry. A commission exposed the role of organized crime in the solid-waste industry in New Jersey just five years ago and this investigation is believed to be a spin-off of that 2011 report.
The scheme has led to this contaminated material being dumped throughout the state over the last few years according to the investigation. A hearing was held by the commission into these weaknesses in New Jersey’s regulation of the recycling industry that have allowed these criminal elements including the mob to thrive as part of its investigation. Commission spokeswoman Kathy Hennessy Riley said the most recent investigation has already uncovered illegal dumping that caused “serious environmental damage and endangered public health.” and the fact-finding process is still ongoing.