This legislation establishes a goal to reduce, reuse, recycle or compost 85% of the solid waste generated in the state by 2030. New York generates over 12 million tons of trash each year, which costs millions to dispose of. Getting rid of all the trash produced in the state requires it to be shipped often out of state as far as Ohio and South Carolina. The trash is disposed of by being put into landfills, or by being incinerated. Landfills produce high amounts of methane, which is a greenhouse gas, and incineration releases large amounts of carbon dioxide and impacts air quality. The transport of trash to other states generates pollution through tail pipe emissions of heavy duty vehicles.
In order to avoid these negative impacts to our health and environment, it is an important step for the State to commit to significant waste reduction and recycling policy goals. The recycling rate in the State is low, with only 16% of household items getting recycled, and just 20% of food waste. Tackling the solid waste crisis is a necessary step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and keeping harmful chemicals out of our air and water. Diverting 85% of our solid waste from landfills is in alignment with other statewide goals such as the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, and helps push New York State forward as a leader in sustainability.
This legislation amends the Environmental Conservation Law to establish a goal to reduce, reuse, recycle or compost 85% of the solid waste generated in the state by 2030. The Department of Environmental Conservation would work with municipalities to execute this bill.