Understanding multi-class recycling center approvals in New Jersey.

Written By: Doug Ruhlin | May 18, 2016

Time to Read 6 Minutes

How you can recycle multiple classes of materials at one facility with a multi-class recycling center approval in New Jersey.

Recycling in New Jersey is no joke. From the time it takes to get an approval or permit in New Jersey, to the costs of just owning & operating a recycling facility, getting into the recycling game isn't for the faint of heart. That applies even more so if you're looking to open a recycling center in New Jersey that takes in many different forms of recyclable material.

If you don't already know, getting a New Jersey recycling approval is a long, complicated and costly process. A lot of folks want to cover their bases and make sure they can bring in enough material to make some money doing this. As much as I like the idea of folks recycling just to help the planet, at the end of the day, if we're not making money off this venture, it's probably not going to last.

So, in some instances, we get asked by a prospective recycler what’s involved with getting a New Jersey recycling approval. A lot of times they’ll tell us they plan on “starting slow” and want to recycle one or two types of materials and expand within the future. There's no problem there, especially if they're within the same class of recyclable material.

It's when they want to open a multi-class recycling center in New Jersey that things can get a little tricky.


Multiple New Jersey Recycling Center Approvals


Recycling different classes of material in New Jersey.

Let's get back to the basics and go over the different classes of recyclable material in New Jersey. They are...

Class A Recyclable Materials

These are what you would normally associate with normal recyclables you'd see at the curb in front of someone's house. Things like cans, bottles, plastics, paper, cardboard, etc. Just an FYI, whether it's pre-consumer or post-consumer material doesn't matter here.

Class A materials also cover metal recycling in New Jersey. This is a complicated and convoluted subject since the regulations are very, very confusing. The NJDEP has different explanations for scrapyards, junkyards, metal recyclers, and auto recyclers,, and none of the definitions make any sense. If you're in the metal recycling business in any way, shape, or form, contact an expert for some guidance on the subject.

Class B Recyclable Materials

These are materials that are usually associated with construction activities. Things like concrete, asphalt, unpainted or untreated wood, tires, tree & brush debris, leaves (not for composting), asphalt shingles, and non-hazardous petroleum contaminated soil fall under this class of recyclable material.

Class C Recyclable Materials

This is an easy one to remember. C is for composting. This class of recyclable material covers composted materials like leaves, grass, and other organic materials.

Class D Recyclable Materials

Class D materials is sort of a catch-all category. It covers a lot of things, like electronics, used oil, batteries, paint, etc.

Using multiple recycling permits & approvals in New Jersey.

Since folks want to know if they can combine approvals, the answer flat out is yes. Yes, you can recycle different classes of materials in New Jersey with a multi-class recycling center approval.

If you wanted to open a facility that was a Class B & C Recycling Center, you certainly could.

Just so you know, you aren't going to get multiple recycling center approvals. You can get one multi-class recycling center approval that covers the full range of materials you'd like to recycle. You get it all in one approval, all in one place, at one time. Your multi-class recycling center approval is going to have the same rules & regulations to follow as if you had each approval on their own.

And that makes the most sense for someone trying to get into the business in a big way. We go through this long, laborious and expensive permitting process for a recycling facility, so why not get it all done at once? Trust me, from my experience, it’ll pay off in the long run.

It's as easy as you'd expect (meaning it's not easy). If you don't know how long it takes to get a recycling center approval in New Jersey click that link to find out. You go through the same multi-step approval process, it generally takes around the same amount of time, and aside from some technical details along the way, it's not that dissimilar from the process of getting a single approval.

Here's the bad news.

Your fees charged by the NJDEP annually are cumulative. Meaning, you'll pay a combined fee for each type of material Class you’re recycling. This can get expensive! Let's cover the cost real quick:


 Multiple Class New Jersey Recycling Approval


Multi-Class Recycling Facility Fees in New Jersey

As you can probably guess, nothing in New Jersey is cheap. Case in point with getting a multi-class recycling approval in New Jersey...

Class B & C Recycling Center Fees

  • One-Time Application Fee - $14,223
  • Annual Fee - $8,792
  • Annual Inspection Fee - $9,130
  • Total yearly fees - $17,922

Class B & D Recycling Center Fees

  • One-Time Application Fee - $18,341
  • Annual Fee - $7,970
  • Annual Inspection Fee - $12,175
  • Total yearly fees - $20,145

Class C & D Recycling Center Fees

  • One-Time Application Fee - $21,491
  • Annual Fee - $10,808
  • Annual Inspection Fee - $12,175
  • Total yearly fees - $22,983

Class B, C, & D Recycling Center Fees

  • One-Time Application Fee - $24,132
  • Annual Fee - $11,672
  • Annual Inspection Fee - $12,175
  • Total yearly fees - $23,847

As you can see, the price of opening up and running a multi-class recycling center in New Jersey isn't cheap. If you were going to open a Class B & D recycling facility, you'd need almost $40,000 to shell out to the NJDEP in the first year alone! We fully go over New Jersey recycling center approval costs & pricing in another article which dives into every aspect of the process.

What about combining recycling exemptions, approvals, or permits in New Jersey?

A lot of folks will ask us about combining an approval with an exemption. I'll make this answer short and sweet.

You can't combine any exemption with any approval. Period end of story. You either are using exemptions, or you're operating under a recycling approval. You can't combine them at all.

Why use multiple New Jersey recycling permits or approvals?

Yes, it's expensive, and yes it will be slightly more cumbersome than getting just one approval, but it does make a lot more sense to just get it taken care of right off the bat. You'll save money in the long run by reducing the overall permitting process, and you can get up and running with your full operation sooner rather than putting it off into the future. Just make sure you have a solid game plan and have enough cash to keep yourself afloat that first year.

To learn more about recycling in New Jersey, click here to contact us online or give our office a call at 609-693-8301 to learn more about recycling centers in New Jersey.

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