THIS TINTON FALLS BASED RECYCLING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT OPERATION IS INVESTED IN CREATING GREENER PRACTICES FOR NEW JERSEY RESIDENTS
BY JESSICA JONES GORMAN • PHOTOS BY TOM ZAPCIC
In 1986, New Jersey’s recycling rate was virtually nonexistent. With only 10% of the state’s cardboard, paper, metal, aluminum, and plastics being collected and reused, state officials initiated change by mandating greener policies in residential, commercial, and institutional sectors. Now hovering at 60%, with more than half of New Jersey residents complying, those recycling statistics have substantially improved. But Mazza Recycling, which has been providing waste collection and disposal services to Monmouth County for decades, is hoping to push that percentage even higher with the launch of its new state of the art Tinton Falls sorting facility.
“In an effort to eliminate waste and decrease the need for eradicating Earth’s natural resources, we have recently constructed a state of the art single stream sorting facility that uses sizing and optical technology to recycle more materials from the stream,” noted James Mazza, president of Mazza Recycling. “We will produce quality products that will have consistent movement in an increasingly restrictive global market. In addition to the market becoming more restrictive, we noticed a need in our community for a processing plant that can keep up with the environmental demands of the 21st century.”
Pledging to invest $15 million into the future of single stream recycling, Mazza and his cousin, Dominick Mazza, the company’s vice president, traveled the country, touring other leading recycling facilities during their early planning phases.
“This capital investment will allow us to create jobs in our local community and pass on $2 million in savings to Monmouth County municipalities annually,” said Dominick Mazza.
The 70,000 square foot material recovery facility, which opened in September, will utilize state of the art positive sorting technology to recycle single stream, the material residents bring to the curb. The first of its kind on the East Coast and the first facility to recycle residential single stream in Monmouth County, the facility is a major part of Mazza Recycling’s mission to educate local communities on how to recycle, extending the lifecycle of plastics, paper, cardboard, and metal containers in a world undergoing an environmental crisis.
“By increasing the rate of recycling paper and cardboard, this plant will reduce the need to harvest trees,” he continued. “This system will also reduce the need to use up our planet’s remaining natural oil that is used to manufacture new plastic products.”
Regarded as one of the most advanced and diverse recycling and solid waste companies in the state, Mazza Recycling has deep roots in the Garden State community.
“My family has always been involved in the recycling business ever since my grandfather ran a demolition and scrap metal recycling business,” said Mazza. “In the 1980s, my father and uncle expanded the service offerings of that business to recycle wood, concrete, and tires, while still performing demolition throughout the Northeast.”
In 2001, the family built a solid waste transfer station in Tinton Falls with the capacity to recycle 1,100 tons of bulky waste and construction and demolition waste per day.
“James and I grew up watching and working with our fathers, who exemplified hard work. James and I went on to begin Mazza Mulch, Inc. in 2015, and in 2017, we acquired the Tinton Falls and Neptune recycling facilities from my father and uncle. When we began overseeing operations around 2015, we determined there was an opportunity to turn the Tinton Falls facility into a full service recycling center for all the community’s recycling and disposal needs. We began by starting a roll off collection service, providing dumpsters to residents and contractors in Monmouth, Ocean, and Middlesex Counties. We later expanded into front end trash and recycling collection for commercial and industrial clients, which includes compactor solutions. Over the past few years, Mazza Recycling has focused on expanding our capacity to recycle curbside recyclables.”
Family owned and operated, the company is led by a few key family members. The president and VP are assisted by Joseph Mazza, who manages the Neptune scrap recycling facility. James Mazza’s sister Julie also took on a role as a salesperson, and her husband, Michael Softcheck, is the chief mechanic.
“When you expand in any industry, having a strong team is critical,” Mazza said. “While James and I focus on strategy, implementing new technologies and software solutions to continue growth, we developed a strong team of managers and supervisors who we are confident we can rely on to maintain operations.”
Both under 40 years old, the Mazza leaders say they are constantly looking at the recycling industry from an unconventional point of view. By maintaining a staff with experience both within and outside of the recycling industry and placing great emphasis on a family oriented work atmosphere, the duo takes pride in having multiple employees who have reached their 30 year anniversary with the company.
“The Mazza family first came to Monmouth County over 70 years ago, and we have been involved with the community ever since,” Mazza said of his business’ community ties. “We strongly believe in supporting the local police, fire departments, and first responders, as well as several other local charities. We also actively participate in many local community “Touch A Truck” days, parades, and festivals. We are most proud of the Greener Tomorrow Program we recently developed, which is a community wide initiative that seeks to be an advocate and resource for the community to learn about recycling.”
Part of Mazza’s commitment to help educate students, educators, organizations, and businesses by providing programming designed to bring environmental education to surrounding counties, the program offers presentations and on site field trips.
“Longer term, we plan to expand our operations beyond central New Jersey,” Mazza concluded. “We have identified areas in New Jersey and across the country with outdated recycling technology or those who lack recycling facilities all together. These communities are either trucking their recyclables to distant locations to be recycled, which increases emissions and increases cost to the communities, or they are not recycling to their potential. Many are not extracting all the recyclables they can out of the waste stream and therefore are increasing their waste to landfills. It is our goal to find a solution for those problems.”
3230 Shafto Road, Tinton Falls / 732.922.9292 / mazzarecycling.com