A Review of New Jersey Recycling Exemptions - Part 1

Written By: Doug Ruhlin | Apr 18, 2014

Time to Read 6 Minutes

We review the first 8 New Jersey recycling exemptions.

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a good friend of mine who owns a small facility in New Jersey, who's covered under a New Jersey recycling exemption. He said he's been hearing through the grapevine that the NJDEP might be ramping up enforcement of recycling regulations soon. He's a pretty smart guy, and has all his paperwork in order, but it got me thinking about some questions and problems some clients of mine have had.

We've found over the years that a lot of folks looking to get into the recycling business in New Jersey don't know about one aspect of the recycling game that can save them a lot of time, money and hassles. I'm referring to recycling exemptions in New Jersey.

New Jersey Recycling Exemptions

Recycling Exemptions in New Jersey

We get a ton of people asking us about New Jersey recycling permits and approvals, but people asking about recycling exemptions in New Jersey are few and far between. I honestly think it's because they're the often underused part of recycling regulations in New Jersey that no one knows about because there's virtually no good information on them besides what you can get from the NJDEP.

It's a shame, since many people only have meager needs, and when they hear about how long it takes to get a New Jersey recycling permit approval and how much a New Jersey recycling permit approval costs, they get turned off and take their business over into Pennsylvania or up into New York. I can't blame them!

Here's where New Jersey recycling exemptions come into play. Simply put, there exemptions to recycling in New Jersey, meaning you can do what you want, without jumping through all the hoops of getting a permit or an approval. With NJ recycling exemptions, you can get your operation up to speed quickly, easily, and cheaply.

The First 8 New Jersey Recycling Exemptions

Here is a short summary of the first 8 of these various New Jersey recycling exemptions:

New Jersey Recycling Exemption #1

Often called the “RAP” (recycled asphalt pavement / product) exemption, or the Manufacturer's exemption, this applies to asphalt millings or shingles and wood from pallets.

Simply put, if you re-use the material back into your manufacturing process, you qualify. This is used by asphalt manufacturers, who make new asphalt partially out of old asphalt, and pallet manufacturers & refurbishers who make new wooden pallets out of old.

This is, in my opinion, one of the most commonly used exemptions.

New Jersey Recycling Exemption #2

This is for recycling material that is generated, processed and reused directly at its location of generation. This is only a usable exemption provided any other required approvals from the County or municipality have been obtained.

For example, if you made asphalt at a plant and it was unacceptable for any reason, you could recycle it right there at the plant with no further permitting required from the NJDEP.

New Jersey Recycling Exemption #3

This is similar to a Class B, just a lot smaller in operation.

This is for recycling tree branches, limbs, trunks and wood chips, provided that less than 7,500 cubic yards are stored on site. So that's one of those restrictions I was referring to. You have to adhere to that limit, or else this exemption isn't usable.

Additionally, materials can't be stored for over a year on-site. And, processing occurs no more than 4 times per year and last no more than 2 weeks at a shot.

Again, one of the most commonly used exemptions, but it has some very strict limitations.

New Jersey Recycling Exemption #4

This is for folks in the tire industry.

Tire retreaders and remolders with less than a two month supply on site can use this exemption.

Pretty self-explanatory, right? You can recycle tires on-site, but can only store less than two months' worth of materials.

New Jersey Recycling Exemption #5

This exemption again applies to folks in the tire recycling industry.

This is limited to tire receipt and transfer facilities that don't process materials, and receive a maximum of 5,000 tires per month.

Storage is limited to one year, and all tires must be stored in totally enclosed structures, roll-off containers (should be covered), or trailers. Tires cannot be stored outdoors in the open.

Again, one of the most commonly used exemptions, but it has some strict limitations.

New Jersey Recycling Exemption #8

Again for folks using tires.

This is for people who want to use tires used for artificial reefs.

I honestly don’t get too much call for this, so I’ll save space and not go into this one. Check the regulations for a full run-down. I could make something up but I don't want to steer you wrong.

New Jersey Recycling Exemption #7

If you're looking at a Class B recycling approval, this may be of help to you instead.

This exemption allows temporary storage of Class B recyclable materials at your site with some restrictions:

  • Materials do not remain on the site longer than 60 days.
  • All materials are stored in a form of container or containment that does not allow for “runoff, leakage or seepage”.
  • No processing of any kind is permitted at all.
  • The material must be transferred to an approved recycling facility within those 60 days.
  • Of course, you'll also need appropriate documentation about the material. Where it came from, how long it was on site, how much of it there was, the contents of the material, and where it went to.

New Jersey Recycling Exemption #8

This exemption covers point source petroleum-contaminated soil reclamation.

If you generate petroleum contaminated soil, and bring in some form of mobile processing equipment to decontaminate the soil at its point of generation, you should be in the clear.

Using a New Jersey Recycling Exemption

If you can fall under any of these 8 NJ recycling exemptions, a fairly quick and easy notification needs to be made to NJDEP of your intent to operate, after which you’re free to operate – but in strict accordance with the conditions of the exemption you’re covered under. And, don’t forget, you must always be in compliance with any other regulations that might apply, such as local zoning regulations.

If you're unsure whether or not you qualify for any of these exemptions, don't guess, find out immediately. Failure to comply with New Jersey recycling regulations can carry a huge liability for you and your operation.

There's more exemptions, which you can read about here:

In the meantime, if we can provide any clarification or answer any questions regarding these exemptions or any other aspect of NJDEP solid waste or recycling permitting, click here to contact us or give us a call at 609-693-8301 to discuss your New Jersey recycling needs.

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