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New Jersey Recycling Program Overview

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Sustainable Waste Management (DSWM)
Bureau of Recycling & Planning
P.O. Box 414, Trenton, NJ 08625 - 0414
Tel: (609) 984-3438; Fax: (609) 633-1112

Economic Benefits of Recycling

NERC Board Member Representative
Erin Jensen
Environmental Specialist
Division of Sustainable Waste Management (DSWM).
Bureau of Planning and Licensing

Program Contacts

General Information

Business Assistance Guide

Solid Waste Facilities

Compost Information

State Recycling Organizations


The Bureau of Recycling & Planning sits in the Solid and Hazardous Waste Program (SHWP) under the blanket of the Environmental Regulation, in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The DEP strives to preserve, sustain, protect and enhance the environment to ensure the integration of high environmental quality, public health and economic vitality. The mission can only be accomplished in partnership with the general public, business, the environmental community, and all levels of government.

To protect public health, preserve the environment, and enhance the quality of life in New Jersey, the SHWP dedicates its efforts to environmentally sound and cost effective management of solid and hazardous wastes and recyclable materials. The Bureau of Recycling and Planning provides leadership, planning, educational, financial, and technical assistance to enable the public and business communities to manage their waste responsibly. In addition, the Recycling Unit develops and coordinates numerous recycling market development initiatives and programs. Working cooperatively with county recycling coordinators, the Unit provides guidance, financial incentives, and technical assistance in establishing and promoting programs to educate or provide services, to the communities. 

Ongoing Programs

SOURCE REDUCTION (SF): This program is designed to promote a multi-level awareness of source reduction. Emphasis is on education in the community and the business sector.

WASTE OIL (SF): The unit provides basic information to callers and serves as the link between the callers and the counties. Waste Oil questions are screened and referred to the specific DEP program (e.g. Permitting, Enforcement, etc.) for response. The unit develops and distributes material to direct DIYs to proper collection points.

PLASTIC (DL): The Department works in conjunction with Rutgers University and local governments and businesses to promote and identify specific programs to increase supply and demand for each resin type.

PRODUCT STEWARDSHIP (DL): The unit works to decrease health and environmental impacts of consumer products (electronics, etc.) throughout its life-cycle.

MERCURY (DL): The Bureau provides basic information regarding the proper recycling/handling/clean-up of spent mercury and mercury-containing products. 

TOXIC PACKAGING (DL): The Department links up with the Northeast Recycling Council to promote consistency, environmental awareness, and compliance with regulations in recycling issues. The unit works closely with the Toxic Packaging Clearing House to insure that heavy metals are eliminated from materials used in the packaging process.

AMERICA RECYCLES DAY (VK): November 15 has been designated the day of national celebration for recycling. Check the DEP website for activities.

RECYCLING AWARDS (VK): In conjunction with the Association of New Jersey Recyclers the unit monitors recycling activities within the state and honors individuals, communities, and businesses for jobs well done.

COLLEGES/UNIVERSITIES: Each college and university, within the state, is obliged to recycle. The unit supervises their activities and offers assistance and suggestions for improvement. A directory is being prepared.

SCHOOLS (SF): The Unit provides the technical support necessary to run cost-efficient school recycling programs. The schools are encouraged to teach and practice sound recycling techniques and strategies. On-site visits are part of this aspect of the DEP Recycling Program.

MARKET DEVELOPMENT (GW): The unit works with the public and private sector to identify or expand uses for recycled materials. The unit assists businesses that want to locate, expand, or form a joint recycling business in New Jersey. Within the state procurement system, the unit has the responsibility, as outlined in Executive Order 91, to monitor state agency procurement for recycled content vs. non-recycled content products.

NEW JERSEY WASTE WISE BUSINESS NETWORK (SR): WasteWise is a free, voluntary program established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to promote waste reduction, recycling, and recycled product procurement. The New Jersey WasteWise Business Network is an organization devoted to spreading the WasteWise message to businesses, local governments, and other organizations in New Jersey. The Bureau of Recycling and Planning coordinates the activities of the Network in conjunction with the Network's Governing Board. The Network will focus on the business sector; however, membership is open to all organizations. General membership meetings are held twice per year. "The New Jersey WasteWise Bulletin" newsletter is published on a quarterly basis.

"GREEN" BUILDING (SR): Through various initiatives, the Bureau promotes the use of recycled building products and materials, source reduction techniques, and other "green" building practices to the architectural and building community. Among other things, a recycled building products brochure was produced in 2002. A guide to preserving trees during site development was also produced. In addition, the Bureau has coordinated and held a "green" building conference and trade show every two years since 1994.

CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION WASTE RECYCLING (SR): The Bureau provides information about C & D waste recycling to the regulated community and general public. Among other things, the Bureau works to promote the recycling of this material and the use of recycled products generated by C & D waste recyclers.

SCRAP TIRE RECYCLING (SR): The Bureau provides information about scrap tire recycling to the regulated community and general public. Among other things, the Bureau works to promote the recycling of this material and the use of recycled products generated by scrap tire recyclers.

NJDOT LIAISON (SR): The Bureau works with the NJ Department of Transportation in order to promote the use of recycled products and materials in DOT road construction and maintenance projects. Demonstration projects and revised DOT specifications have resulted from this endeavor.

SMALL BUSINESSES AND MULTI-FAMILY RECYCLING (SF): The unit works closely with county coordinators to increase recycling among small businesses and multi-family dwellings. A recycling presentation is being developed for Chambers of Commerce and Small Business Associations. Guidelines will be included on the state's recycling web page.