How much do New Jersey recycling permits & approvals cost?

Written By: Doug Ruhlin | May 22, 2014

Time to Read 11 Minutes





We explain the costs & prices of New Jersey Recycling Permits & Approvals.

The other week we had a potential recycler call us and start asking about the costs of operating a recycling center in New Jersey. They tried to piece it together in the regulations, and couldn't figure out a few things, so they asked for help.

It's sort of like going to an accountant and saying I don't get taxes, can you explain this for me.

New Jersey's recycling regulations, just like the IRS tax code, can be somewhat tricky to get through. In fact, a lot of folks aren't sure what the price or cost of a New Jersey recycling permit or approval would be, so they turn ro environmental professionals for help.

Understanding New Jersey Recyling Approval Costs

First off, setting up a recycling operation in New Jersey is a daungint task. Starting a recycling business in New Jersey is time consuming, costly, complicated, and unfortunately political.

But let's get something straight here - we're talking about the cost of New Jersey recycling permits, not their little (and cheaper) counterpart, New Jersey recycling exemptions. Those tend to be simple, cheap, and easy to get, while New Jersey recycling permits and approvals are a whole other ball game.

When it comes to the cost of a recycling permit or approval, there's a lot to take in. Let's go over the cost and price factors when it comes to New Jersey recycling permit approvals.

 

NJ Recycling Approval Costs

 

The Cost to Hire a New Jersey Recycling Permit Expert

This is going to depend on a couple of variables, some of which are:

  • The complexity of your proposed recycling facility.
  • The amount of time & work work needed on the local level.
  • The amount of time & work needed on the county level.
  • Additional environmental considerations.

The complexity of your facility is going to depend on what you want to do. If you want to open a small concrete recycling operation, it would be easier than opening a large multi-class recycling facility in New Jersey. If your facility is complex, expect a higher price to hire a consultant. If it's a realtively straightforward, easy operation, your costst should be less.

And this might sound odd, but every county in the state has their own take on the approval process. Simply put, some counties make it really difficult to open up a recycling facility, while others are very ammeniable and helpful during the process. For the harder counties, expect a higher price. For easier counties, expect a lower price. The same goes with your local municipalities. The time & energy needed to get through the local and county level will usually also effect the cost of hiring an expert. The time is such an issue we go over in it two articles, one on how to start a recycling business in New Jersey, and another directly discussing how long it takes to get a recycling approval in New Jersey.

Additionally, if you're working with someone who's an expert and really knows what they're doing, expect to pay a premium. Just like anything else in life, if you want to hire someone who's got experience and knowledge in a particular area, you should expect to pay a premium. So if you're hiring an environmental consultant who's never gone through the New Jersey recycling permit approval process, you should expect lower costs. If you want someone with experience, expect a higher price.

It's like hiring a lawyer or an accountant. Do you want to be their guinea pig, or do you want to hire someone with years of experience?

Unfortunately, the only way you'll be able to figure these variables is by talking to an experienced consultant who's worked in a variety of counties for a variety of recycling facilities.

Also, if you're going to need any other environmental permits, plans, or approvals, that could effect the price of hiring an expert to get your recycling approval for you. If you need anything like a NJPDES stormwater permit for a recycling facility, air permits, SPCC Plans, or anything similar, your consultant may cut you a break on a package deal.

RMA's Consulting Fees to Obtain A New Jersey Recycling Permit Approval

If you were to hire us, we usually charge the following for getting you through the permit approval process from start to finish:

  • Class A Recycling Approvals - $3,000 - $6,000+
  • Class B, C, or D Recycling Approvals - $13,000 - $18,000+
  • Combined Recycling Approvals - $16,000 - $20,000+

Depending on your situation, we would generally charge around $13,000 for getting your facility a recycling approval. If your facility is small and easy, it might be less. If it's more complex, it could be more. It's really going to depend on the particulars of your operation, and the New Jersey Recyclable Material Classes you plan on recycling.

NJDEPS's Recycling Permit Application Fees

The final step of getting your recycling approval is to submit an application to the NJDEP for review. They determine whether or not you're good to go and will either issue you an approval or send you packing. With this comes a fee, also known as the application fee. This application fee happens once, only when you submit your application at the end of the process. That's it.

This fee depends on what class of material you're recycling, which we outline below.

New Jersey Recycling Approval Annual Costs

This is where things get ugly. I'm going to preface this by saying this is excessive, expensive, and is the #1 factor in keeping recycling businesses out of New Jersey.

There are two fees that occur every year you're in business. One fee is the "annual fee" which is literally just a fee you pay the NJDEP for being in business. That's it. It's a fee you just pay to the NJDEP because you're using a recycling permit, and you're in business.

The other fee is your "inspection fee". Every year you're going to have to pay an inspection fee to the NJDEP because your facility will be inspected on a monthly basis by a regulator to ensure you're adhering to your approval.

That's right, every month. This is beyond overkill! I could see once a quarter, but every month is insane. There is abosolutely zero reason for this. And, the inspection fees aren't cheap!

In reality, they're both annual fees payed to the NJDEP every year, year after year, and I combine them when I'm talking to folks looking into recycling in New Jersey. Whether you're open 1 day a year, or every day a year, you need to pay them a fee just for the pleasure of doing business in the great state of New Jersey...

Again, this is going to depend on what class of material you're recycling, which is outlined below.

Recycling Approval Renewals, Modifications, and Transfer Costs

First off, your New Jersey recycling approval is good for 5 years. At the end of 5 years, you either renew your approval, or it ends. If you want to renew your approval there's a fee associated with doing so. It's like your annual car registration fee. Even if nothing's changed, you still have to pay up.

And then there's modificitaions which happen in case you need to... modify your recycling approval! For example, if you moved a diesel fuel tank from one side of the yard to the other, that wouldn't require a modification. But, if you were completely altering how your yard was laid out, and the size and shape of your recycled material stockpiles or bins, or were planning on changing an aspect of your recycling operation (the amount of material you want to recycle, for instance) then you would need to file for a modification. Of course, modifications cost money!

And finally, if you're going to sell your recycling approval to another business, the NJDEP charges you a fee.

Of course, all these costs are dependent on what class of material you're recycling.

Associated Environmental Costs

So if you're running a recycling operation, and operating under a New Jersey recycling approval doled out by the NJDEP, you now know you're going to see regulators on a monthly basis.

This means if your facility needs any other environmental permits or approvals, you're going to need to get them.

For example, if you're crushing concrete, you're most likely going to need an air permit. If you have a couple of oil or petroleum tanks on-site, then you're going to need an SPCC Plan.

Even more cumbersome are New Jersey stormwater permits. Your facility is going to need to be covered under a NJPDES stormwater permit. In fact, certain recycling centers have specific stormwater permits, such as:

These stormwater permits are going to require (at the very least) monitoring and testing and annual stormwater training. If you need an environmental consultant to get the permit for you, you're going to have costs related to hiring an expert. If you have to modify your site in any manner (like creating or modifying stormwater outfall locations), you're going to pay for that as well.

Depending on your needs, associated environmental costs could be cheap, and a one time thing, or could be a monthly, quarterly, or annual on-going cost to your business.

New Jersey Recycling Approval Costs

 

New Jersey Recycling Approval Costs & Classes of Recyclable Materials

Now that you know how much recycling permit approval costs are dependent on the class of recyclable materials, let's look at each class of material and the costs surrounding them.

Class A Recycling Approval Costs

Guess what, there are none! The NJDEP doesn't really have anything to do with Class A facilities, meaning you don't have to pay them any money. Simple enough!

Class B Recycling Permit Approval Costs

One-Time Application Costs
  • Limited Recycling Approvals - $2,400
  • General Recycling Approvals - $5,281
Reoccurring Annual Fees
  • Annual fee - $4,724
  • Inspection fee - $9,130
  • Total yearly fees - $13,854
Additional Fees
  • Recycling Approval Renewals - $960
  • Modifications - $2,400
  • Transfer of Ownership - $1,440
  • $700 per month inspection fees applies only for limited approvals (this is in leiu of an annual inspection fee and only applies to limited approvals)

Class C Recycling Permit Approval Costs

One-Time Application Fees
  • General Recycling Approvals - $11,582
Reoccurring Annual Fees
  • Annual fee - $7,928
  • Inspection fee - $9,130
  • Total yearly fees - $17,058
Additional Fees
  • Renewals - $4,826
  • Modifications - $4,826
  • Transfer of Ownership - $3,378

Class D Recycling Permit Approval Costs

One-Time Application Fees
  • Used Oil Recycling Facilities - $15,700
  • All other Class D Facilities - $5,233
Reoccurring Annual Fees
  • Annual fee - $7,106
  • Inspection fee - $12,175
  • Total yearly fees - $19,281
Additional Fees
  • Renewals - $3,140
  • Modifications - $3,140
  • Transfer of Ownership - $2,093

Multi-Class Recycling Facilities in New Jersey

This is where things can get tricky since combining recycling approvals in the state can get confusing, especially when it comes to the cost.

Class B & C Recycling Permit Approval Costs

One-Time Application Fees
  • General Recycling Approvals - $14,223
Reoccurring Annual Fees
  • Annual Fees - $8,792
  • Inspection fee - $9,130
  • Total yearly fees - $17,922
Additional Fees
  • Renewals - $5,306
  • Modifications - $4,826 (or higher, subject to NJDEP discretion)
  • Transfer of Ownership - $3,378 (or higher, subject to NJDEP discretion)

Class B & D Recycling Permit Approval Costs

One-Time Application Fees

  • General Recycling Approvals - $18,341
Reoccurring Annual Fees
  • Annual Fees - $7,970
  • Inspection fee - $12,175
  • Total yearly fees - $20,145
Additional Fees
  • Renewals - $3,620
  • Modifications - $3,140 (or higher, subject to NJDEP discretion)
  • Transfer of Ownership - $2,093 (or higher, subject to NJDEP discretion)

Class C & D Recycling Permit Approval Costs

One-Time Application Fees
  • General Recycling Approvals - $21,491
Reoccurring Annual Fees
  • Annual Fees - $10,808
  • Inspection fee - $12,175
  • Total yearly fees - $22,983
Additional Fees
  • Renewals - $6,396
  • Modifications - $4,826 (or higher, subject to NJDEP discretion)
  • Transfer of Ownership - $3,378 (or higher, subject to NJDEP discretion)

Class B, C, & D Recycling Permit Approval Costs

One-Time Application Fees
  • General Recycling Approvals - $24,132
Reoccurring Annual Fees
  • Annual Fees - $11,672
  • Inspection fee - $12,175
  • Total yearly fees - $23,847
Additional Fees
  • Renewals - $6,876
  • Modifications - $4,826 (or higher, subject to NJDEP discretion)
  • Transfer of Ownership - $3,378 (or higher, subject to NJDEP discretion)

 

New Jersey Recycling Center Approval Costs

 

New Jersey Recycling Permit Approval Costs Are Extreme

Pretty darn pricey, right? Operating a recycling center in New Jersey isn't cheap or easy. As you can see, the fees alone warrant some serious attention. This is a significant chunk of change to consider, and factoring it into your operating costs is absolutely necessary if you want to run a financially successful operation. We're all in business to make money, right?

I absolutely don't agree with the costs associated with New Jersey recycling approvals. It seems anti-business. It doesn't make sense to have such high fees associated with an activity like recycling. I don't get it, but that's unfortunately the way it is.

If you need help obtaining a recycling approval or anything else related to your company's environmental program, and need the help of an environmental consulting firm with a proven track record, reach out. Even if we can't help, we’ll do our best to steer you in the right direction. Feel free to contact us at info@rmagreen.com, click here to contact us, or give us a call anytime at 888-RMA-0230 to learn how we can help your operation deal with environmental regulations and recycling approvals in New Jersey.

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