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Recycling and Composting
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Composting also including Product Stewardship
At home, work and school, New Yorkers generate a lot of trash – and it’s a mixed bag. We are making too much trash – over 4.5 pounds per person per day in NYS! We need to get out of the habit of throwing trash into one receptacle with cans, bottles, paper, garbage, banana peels, etc., all mixed together. Many of the items we are throwing away can be reused, recycled or composted, such as paper, glass, aluminum, metals as well as potato and carrot peels.
New York has approximately 30 landfills accepting approximately 6 million tons per year waste from across the entire state. We also send 2.5 million tons to Waste-To-Energy (WTE) facilities and export 6.1 million tons to neighboring states, in 2008.
What Should We Really Do With Our Trash? For starters…
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Compost!
As much as possible
It is just a matter of learning new habits. Reduction, reuse, recycling and composting our trash will benefit all of us, our communities and our environment. Besides, it is the law!!!!!!
Solid Waste Management Act of 1988
In the Solid Waste Management Act of 1988, the Legislature established our
State Solid Waste Management Policy
. The following are the solid waste management priorities in New York State:
(a) first, to reduce the amount of solid waste generated;
(b) second, to reuse material for the purpose for which it was originally intended or to recycle material that cannot be reused;
(c) third, to recover, in an environmentally acceptable manner, energy from solid waste that can not be economically and technically reused or recycled; and
(d) fourth, to dispose of solid waste that is not being reused, recycled or from which energy is not being recovered, by land burial or other methods approved by the department (from New York State Environmental Conservation Law 27-0106.1).
Waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting has great benefits including:
reducing the ultimate volume of waste requiring disposal in landfills and WTE facilities;
fostering an environmental ethic among citizens;
increased carbon sequestration; and
conservation of natural resources.
Product Stewardship, is a new policy program now available to states and localities to further reduce our trash and costs related to its management. Product Stewardship, also known as extended producer responsibility, extends the role and responsibility of the manufacturer (also known the producer or brand owner) of a product or package to cover the entire life cycle, including ultimate disposition of that product or package at the end of its useful life.
Product Stewardship has many benefits including saving to local government. Financial benefits take two forms: direct cost savings and no-cost expanded service.
The Empire State Development (ESD) serves as the repository for recycling market information for the State. They maintain an interactive, on-line database to help users locate outlets for materials that can be reused, recycled or composted. The database also provides exposure to recycling and reuse businesses and helps end markets for recovered materials in and around New York State access the raw materials they need for production. Link to database is located on the right under offsite links.
More about Recycling and Composting: