What is required to obtain a Class B Recycling Permit in New Jersey?

Written By: Doug Ruhlin | Mar 24, 2014

Time to Read 6 Minutes

We detail what's needed to get a Class B Recycling Approval in New Jersey.

A lot of folks these days are looking at opening up Class B Recycling Centers in New Jersey. Whether it's a rebounding economy, a renewed interest in recycling, or the cost of waste hauling is getting too high, it seems that a lot of organizations, from the sole propritor to multi-nationals, are looking into Class B Recycling Facilties in New Jersey.

The problem is, it's a tough thing to do. From the amount of time it takes, to the costs involved, it's not nearly as quick or easy as anyone would expect. But for those truly interested, and who can meet the challenge of the New Jersey recycling approval process, it's a pretty good market to be in.

What is required to get a Class B Recycling Permit in New Jersey?

Class B Recycling Permits in New Jersey

There's a few things you'll need to understand in order to figure out if this is for you or not.

Class B Recyclable Materials in New Jersey Explained

If you're new to the Garden State, you may not be aware that recyclable materials are broken down into 4 seperate categories called Class A, B, C, and D.

Simply put, Class B recyclable materials in New Jersey are often considdered construction debris related materials. That's not entirely accurate, since there's other material that's not construction related, but the majority of this class falls under that categroy.

Here's the complete list of what Class B materials in New Jersey are:

  • Concrete & concrete materials (such as pipes, brick, or blocks)
  • Asphalt
  • Asphalt shingles
  • Unpainted & untreated wood materials
  • Tree parts (limbs, branches, trunks, etc.)
  • Leaves (uncomposted)
  • Used Tires
  • Petroleum contaminated soil
  • Waste materials from construction and demolition activities

See what I mean? A lot of the material is tied to construction and demolition activities, to the point there's even a blanket consideration for waste materials from C & D activities.

Another thing to considder is that Class B recyclable materials are initially "source-separated" meaning that the material is separated at the point of generation, not the recycling site. That makes a huge difference! If you're planning on taking it all in at your site and seperating it, you start to fall under very different regulations which are extremely difficult to deal with.

Class B Recycling Approvals Take Awhile

Remember I said things can take a long time? Long story short, you're going to need approval from 3 seperate entities:

  • Your local govermnet - You're going to need some form of approval for the recycling operation from the host municipality. Ideally, this is something short and sweet such as a letter of approval, but sometimes can be a bit more. Local zoning and local support are really important on this step.
  • Your county - You need submit a fairly complex application to the County, which is formalized by a vote of the County Board of Freeholders. At this step, the “need” for the recycling facility within the county is very important, as well as the degree of local and county support.
  • The NJDEP - Your last recycling approval comes from the NJDEP, after submittal of a detailed application. This step tends to be the most technical, but in most cases if you get to this point, you’re going to be approved.

This process can take anywhere from around a year to over 2 years, so get ready to wait. We detail the entire process here in how long does it take to get a New Jersey recycling approval?

Class B Recycling Permits Aren't Cheap

I'm not talking about what we charge, I'm talking about what you'll pay to the NJDEP to run your business. Like I said above, it's expensive to be in this business. Here's how Class B costs break down:

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)

I know what you're thinking, this is insane. Well, you're right, but be glad you're not recycling other material. Class C, D, and combined approvals are considerably more expensive. Check out our New Jersey Recycling Approval Cost Guide to learn more.

Class B Recycling Approvals Aren't a Guarantee

This process is not a given. Just because you follow these steps towards getting a Class B recycling permit doesn’t mean you’ll get it.

There are a lot of pitfalls along the way, including local community and political opposition, competitor opposition, other regulations (like Pinelands regulations), and more. I've seen folks rejected over the most benign things! From county freeholders throwing their political weight around to prevent a "recycling center" from opening up in their town, to competition convincing the county that they didn't need another recycling center.

That would be like if McDonalds convinced your township that they supplied all the burgers anyone could ever need, and Burger King shouldn't be allowed to open up there. No joke! I don't understand how it's legal, or right, but hey, welcome to New Jersey...

Your best bet, and I'm not just saying this because it's what I do, is to hire a professional. Choose someone who knows the regulations, knows the business you're looking to get into, and can give you honest advice about your recycling operation. If you set out on your own, there's a very real chance that you won't get a recycling approval in New Jersey. Hiring an environmental professional to help you with New Jersey recycling approvals will save you time and money.

What is required to get a Class B Recycling Permit in New Jersey?

Class B Recycling Approval Information

You can see that this can be a very intimidating, expensive, and time-consuming process. But for those with the fortitude and wherewithal, the rewards can be great. A Class B Recycling operation in New Jersey can be a gold mine, assuming you go through the proper channels and follow the rules.

To learn more about New Jersey recycling permits & approvals, click here to contact us or give us a call anytime at 609-693-8301 to talk to NJ recycling permit experts.

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