Commercial Recycling Guide

Recycling became mandatory for all New Jersey residents, businesses and institutions on April 20, 1987, when the Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act was signed into Law, N.J.S.A. 13:1E-1et seq.  The passage of this Act established New Jersey as a national leader in recycling, requiring that recyclable materials be separated from the municipal solid waste stream.  The state recycling goal is now 50%.

Who is Required to Recycle?

Everyone!!  Every person, business and institution in NJ must separate recyclables from their trash. Each town has its own, individual recycling program, so be sure to contact your municipal recycling coordinator with any questions regarding your town’s recycling program requirements.

Remember: Mixing recyclables in with your trash is against the law in the State of New Jersey.

What do I  Recycle?

Designated Recyclable Materials for Businesses – The Union County District Solid Waste Management Plan mandates Commercial & Institutional Generators to Source Separate and Recycle the following items from their waste stream:  

  • Aluminum, tin, & steel
  • Asphalt roofing
  • Computers and Peripherals
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Fluorescent bulbs
  • Glass Containers
  • Grass, Brush, Leaves
  • Household Batteries
  • Leaves
  • Mixed Paper
  • Masonry (asphalt, brick, block, concrete)
  • Motor Oil
  • Motor Oil Filters
  • Newspaper
  • Office Paper
  • Plastic Containers (#1 & #2)
  • Vehicle Batteries
  • White Goods (air conditioners, refrigerators)
  • Wood
  • Tires

Why Recycle?

  • Recycling conserves raw materials and reduces environmental stress.
  • Saves money!  Recycling benefits municipalities by providing revenue. A town’s annual recycling grant is based on the amount recycled by everyone!
  • Because it’s the law! Every person, business and institution must separate recyclables from their trash in New Jersey. Each town has its own, individual recycling program, so be sure to contact your municipal recycling coordinator with any questions regarding your town’s recycling program requirements.

Union County Recycling Markets Directory

The Union County Markets Directory provides contact information for recycling companies in and around Union County at which businesses and residents can dispose of recyclable waste. Click here to download.

How to Start a Recycling Program

  1. Designate a recycling program coordinator.
    • Choose someone who is capable and enthusiastic, who has good organizational and communicative skills. He/she should be responsible for analyzing your waste stream, meeting with local and/or county recycling officials, developing a plan to educate staff and employees and monitoring progress.
  2. Determine what you generate that is recyclable.
    • See list of mandated recyclables above.
  3. Determine your options.
    • Review your current waste disposal practices and research your options for the collection and marketing of the recyclable materials you generate. The recycling program coordinator should gather information on collection methods, market requirements, equipment/supply needs, administrative and labor costs, potential revenues and avoided costs. Three possible collection/marketing options are:
      • Collection by municipal recycling program -contact your municipal recycling coordinator to ask if this option is possible.
      • Collection by private hauler -contact your current solid waste hauler to see if they provide recycling services in-addition to their disposal services. If not, contact your municipal or county recycling coordinator for resource information. 
      • Collection by institution/business vehicles-you may have existing equipment and manpower to provide “in house” collection and transportation of recyclable materials to market.
  4. Establish a system.
    • Make arrangements to separate, collect and store recyclable materials.
    • Designate recycling bin locations.
    • Acquire and place properly labeled containers and lids.
    • Designate who will collect and when.
  5. Educate your Employees and Customers!
    • Explain procedures
    • Provide locations of the recycling bins.
    • Make sure custodial staff is educated and consider any special concerns they have.
    • Encourage participation by publicizing with posters and fliers.
    • Have a special recycling event day.
  6. Keep records.
    • Make all recycling efforts count!
    • Annual recycling tonnage amounts must be sent to your municipal recycling coordinator by March 1st of each year.  Click here for annual recycling tonnage report. This is crucial in reaching our  50% recycling goal. Collection receipts, weight slips, hauler/market tonnage reports should be retained and made a part of your records. This will enable calculation of actual costs savings and compliance with local reporting requirements effortless.
  7. Add additional materials.
    • Consider including the following additional mandated recyclable materials into your program; tin/bi-metal cans, scrap metal, white goods appliances, motor oil, construction waste, fluorescent bulbs, untreated wood, yard waste, including cooking oil and tires.
    • Use the Recycling Markets Directory as a point of reference.
  8. Download the Business Recycling Brochure.
    • Coming soon
  9. Don’t Stop Recycling just because you’re not at home!