With the passing of the 2019-20 budget, New York State gained two new environmental laws related to materials management. One targets large generators of food scraps and the other bans single-use plastic carryout bags.

Organics Legislation

New York joins five other states that require large generators to divert food scraps from disposal. The other states are California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont. It will also encourage the development of additional infrastructure for organics recycling processing in the State.

Who?

Large generators of food scraps (more than two tons per week on average).

What?

Large generators of food scraps must:

  • Separate and donate edible food
  • Separate and recycle all remaining food scraps if within 25 miles of an organics recycler with the capacity to accept the material

When?

  • Effective January 1, 2022

What else?

  • Generators may petition the Department for a one-year waiver due to undue hardship.

NYSDEC shall:

  • Promulgate regulations
  • Publish educational materials and best management practices
  • Annually assess the capacity of each organics recycler and notify designated food scraps generators if they are required to comply
  • Report annually to the Governor on the overall efforts and results of the program

Exclusions:

  • Food scraps generators located in a city with a population of one million or more which has a local law, ordinance or regulation in place which requires the diversion of edible food and food scraps from disposal. (NYC)
  • Food scraps generators that have all their food scraps processed in a mixed solid waste composting or mixed solid waste anaerobic digestion facility.
  • Hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities
  • K-12 schools
From https://nerc.org/news-and-updates/nerc-bulletin/may-2019#nymaterialsmanagementlegislation.
For questions regarding the organics legislation, e-mail: organicrecycling@dec.ny.gov.

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