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Division of Taxation

Recycling Tax

New Jersey imposes a Recycling Tax on solid waste facilities and solid waste collectors based on the amount of solid waste transported or accepted for disposal. The Recycling Tax is levied at a rate of $3.00 per ton of solid waste in transactions involving certain individuals or entities.

The Recycling Tax applies to the following individuals or entities:

  • Solid waste facility owners and operators are subject to tax based on the amount of solid waste accepted for disposal. A solid waste facility includes transfer stations, incinerators, resource recovery facilities, sanitary landfill facilities, and other facilities registered, licensed, or permitted as a solid waste facility by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Owners or operators of railroad transfer stations or other facilities designed exclusively to transport waste on railroads are not subject to the Recycling Tax.

  • Solid waste collectors are subject to tax based on the amount of solid waste collected for transshipment or direct shipment to an out-of-State disposal facility. A solid waste collector is a person who collects solid waste. A collector may be registered operating in any municipality where the municipal government operates a municipal service system for solid waste collection as set forth in the law.

All solid waste facility owners, operators, and solid waste collectors must register for the Recycling Tax. If you need to register your business or need to add the Recycling Tax eligibility to your account, you can do so online with the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services.

Taxpayers should file and pay the Recycling Tax electronically, on a quarterly basis, by the 20th day of the month following the end of each quarter.

For the purposes of this tax, solid waste is limited to:

  • Type 10 Municipal Waste
  • Type 13 Bulky Waste
  • Type 13C Construction and Demolition Waste
  • Type 25 Animal and Food Processing Waste
  • Type 23 Vegetative Waste
  • Type 27 Dry Industrial Waste
  • Type 27A Asbestos-Containing Waste

For the purposes of the Recycling Tax, Type 12 Dry Sewage Sludge is not solid waste. Regulated medical waste is also not subject to the Recycling Tax.

Details on the solid waste types listed above are available from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Recycling Centers—The definition for a recycling center, whether Class A, B, C, or D, specifically excludes it from being considered a solid waste facility. In general, a recycling center is a facility designed and operated solely for receiving, storing, processing or transferring source separated recyclable materials (Class A, B, C, or D, recyclable material). Recycling centers do not include recycling depots, manufacturers, or scrap processing facilities.

While owners and operators of solid waste facilities and solid waste collectors are ordinarily subject to the tax, special rules providing a Recycling Tax exemption are available for the disposal of:

  • Ash residue resulting from the incineration of solid waste at a resource recovery facility that is accepted by a sanitary landfill facility. Residue is the solid waste generated when using post-consumer material to manufacture a recycled product;
  • Type 13C Construction and Demolition waste accepted at a material recovery facility when the facility meets or exceeds recycling materials extraction rates as established by the Department of Environmental Protection;
  • Residue resulting from the operations of a scrap processing facility that is a commercial industrial facility designed and operated for receiving, storing, processing and transferring source-separated, non-putrescible (non-spoiling or decaying) ferrous and nonferrous metal purchased by the owner or operator of the facility. The metals are processed by mechanical means and are offered for resale;
  • Residue generated as a result of the use of post-consumer waste material in the manufacture of a recycled product which constitutes at least 75% of total annual sales dollar volume of the products manufactured by a manufacturer in this State;
  • Solid waste originating from out-of-State or in-State sources under a contract with a solid waste facility awarded prior to December 31, 2007, if the contract does not include a change-in-law or similar mechanism by which the Recycling Tax imposed may be passed through as a fee or surcharge on the rate and charges set forth in the contract.

Is a Materials Recovery Facility or a Resource Recovery Facility a Solid Waste Facility?
A materials recovery and a resource recovery facility are types of solid waste facilities.

  • A materials recovery facility is a transfer station or other authorized solid waste facility at which non-source separated nonhazardous solid waste is received for onsite processing and separation utilizing manual or mechanical methods to recover recyclable materials prior to the disposal of the residual solid waste at an authorized solid waste facility.
  • A resource recovery facility is a solid waste facility constructed and operated for the incineration of solid waste for energy production and recovery of metals or for the collection, separation, recycling, and recovery of metals, glass, paper, and other materials for reuse. A mechanized composting facility is also considered a resource recovery facility.

The Recycling Tax on solid waste generally applies to all types of solid waste facilities.

Must a Second Solid Waste Facility Pay the Tax When a Transfer Station Accepts Solid Waste, Pays the Recycling Tax, and Forwards the Waste to a Subsequent Facility?
New Jersey does not impose additional tax on solid waste transported from a New Jersey transfer station when the owner or operator of the transfer station is subject to the tax and the collector transports the solid waste to a New Jersey solid waste facility for disposal.

Does the Tax Apply if a Solid Waste Collector or Hauler Only Takes Waste to a New Jersey Facility or Recycling Center?
The tax applies when a collector or hauler takes the solid waste to a New Jersey rail yard facility or directly out of New Jersey for disposal. Companies located or operating in New Jersey still have an obligation to register their business. Solid waste collectors also register with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Can a Subject Solid Waste Facility or Solid Waste Collector Pass-Through Costs of the Tax to Customers?
The law allows for the pass-through of the tax obligation from subject taxpayers to their customers in amounts equal to the tax obligation. The pass-through is available from solid waste facilities to solid waste collector customers at the time of the solid waste transfer. A pass-through is also available from solid waste collectors to solid waste generator customers.

Subject taxpayers may represent the pass-through of the obligation on their invoices or statement by electing any of the following methods authorized by the Act:

  • Including the amount of Recycling Tax due as a separate line item on every customer bill or statement; or
  • Including the amount of the Recycling Tax due as a fee or surcharge on any amount collected under a contract awarded pursuant to the "Local Public Contracts Law"(N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq.) or any other law for the provision of solid waste collection or solid waste disposal services; or
  • Imposing an automatic surcharge on any tariff established pursuant to law for the solid waste disposal or transfer operations of the solid waste facility.

If you have additional questions, contact the following resources for assistance:

Business or tax registration issues: The Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services at 609-292-9292.

Solid waste or recycling concerns and authorizations, recycling extraction-rate questions: The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection at 609-292-7081.

Applicable Laws and Rules

N.J.A.C. 7:26-1 et seq., N.J.A.C. 7:26A-1 et seq. N.J.S.A. 13:1E-96.2-96.7, N.J.S.A. 13:1E-1 et seq., N.J.S.A. 40:66-1-12. N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq., N.J.A.C. 5:34-1 et seq., N.J.A.C. 5:30-5.1 et seq., N.J.A.C. 5:30-11.1 et seq.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 10/24/23