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Large generators of food waste (52 tons/year or higher) will be required to recycle their food waste by NJ State Law.

What is food waste?

The law defines food waste as food processing vegetative waste, food processing residue generated from processing and packaging operations, overripe produce, trimmings from food, food product over-runs from food processing, soiled and unrecyclable paper generated from food processing, and used cooking fats, oil, and grease. Plate waste and food donated by the establishment is not considered food waste and shall not be included when estimating or measuring the amount of food waste generated.

How do I know if my business is required to recycle food waste?

Is my business one of these categories?
Commercial food wholesaler, distributor, industrial food processor, supermarket, resort, conference center, banquet hall, restaurant, educational or religious institution, military installation, prison, hospital, medical facility, or casino.
Do you generate 52 tons/year or more?
Visit for guidance on how to determine how much you generate.
Are you within 25 road miles of one of the two Class C recycling facilities in New Jersey?
Waste Management CORe®, 847 Flora St., Elizabeth, NJ 07201
Trenton Renewable Power, 1600 Lamberton Road, Trenton NJ 08611
Will it cost more than 10% over the current transportation plus disposal price to recycle your food waste?
If it does, you are exempt from the recycling requirements.

I’m a large generator, what are my options?
  1. Recycle your food waste at one of the above 2 Class C recycling facilities.  Click here​ for contact information.
  2. Contact your regular garbage or recycling hauler to see if they can transport your material to a food waste recycling facility in or out of New Jersey.
  3. Compost your food waste onsite. There are options for recycling food waste onsite, but there are also specific regulations that must be followed.  Contact Solid Waste Management at or 732-745-4170 for more information on these regulations. Also see page 24 of this guide for examples.  (Note the guide references higher education facilities but the same onsite systems can be used at businesses).  
  4. Reduce the amount of food waste your business generates so that you generate less than 52 tons per year.  Visit this website​ for suggestions.

Interested in learning how you can implement prevention, donation, diversion and recycling programs at your business?  Sign up for this FREE workshop from the New Jersey Composting Council and Center for EcoTechnology on October 13, 2021 from 1pm - 2:30pm.  Click here for registration.

Visit the NJDEP’s website for more information.


Solid Waste Management
13-15 Kennedy Blvd.
East Brunswick, NJ 08816
Phone: 732-745-4170
Fax: 732-296-6566​
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