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Model Local Recycling Laws

Local Solid Waste Management Planning

NYS Recycling Mandate

Municipalities in New York State are required to enact local recycling laws under General Municipal Law § 120-aa ("GML § 120-aa"). All municipalities in the state adopt a local law or ordinance, by no later than September 1, 1992, requiring that solid waste be separated into recyclable, reusable or other components.

New York State Source Separation/Recycling Law (GML 120-aa)

Source separation and segregation of recyclable or reusable materials.

1. The legislature hereby finds that it is in the public interest, in order to further the purposes of the state policy on solid waste management articulated in section 27-0106 of the environmental conservation law, for a municipality to adopt a local law or ordinance to require the source separation and segregation of recyclable or reusable materials from solid waste.

2. a. Pursuant to the authority of this section, no later than September first, nineteen hundred ninety-two, a municipality shall adopt such a local law or ordinance to require that solid waste which has been left for collection or which is delivered by the generator of such waste to a solid waste management facility, shall be separated into recyclable, reusable or other components for which economic markets for alternate uses exist. For purposes of this section, the term "economic markets" refers to instances in which the full avoided costs of proper collection, transportation and disposal of source separated materials are equal to or greater than the cost of collection, transportation and sale of said material less the amount received from the sale of said material.

b. For purposes of this section, "components" shall include paper, glass, metals, plastics, garden and yard waste, and may include other elements of solid waste.

c. Prior to exercising the authority of this section to enact such a local law or ordinance, the municipality shall hold a public hearing relating to its proposed provisions and shall give due consideration to existing source separation, recycling and other resource recovery activities in the area, to the adequacy of markets for separated materials, and to any additional effort and expense to be incurred by residents in meeting the proposed separation requirements. The authority provided in this section shall be in addition to and without limitation upon the authority vested in municipalities under any other statute.

d. In fulfillment of the provisions of this section a municipality may use public lands or buildings or private lands or buildings, open to the public, upon written consent of the owner, as a recycling center or depot for the storage of recyclable materials. The Office of General Services and any other agency, authority or commission holding title to lands or buildings in the name of the people of the state shall fully cooperate with any person acting under the authority of this section to establish a recycling program, provided that such use is not inconsistent with the principle purpose of such lands or buildings, subject to local zoning restrictions.

Model Local Laws and Ordinances

Every municipality in the State is required to have a solid waste law that requires recycling. A municipality can either enact its own law or participate in another municipality's law, such as a Town subject to a law passed at the County level.

Below are a number of links to local laws enacted by municipalities around the State who have active recycling and solid waste management systems.

City of Albany, Albany County (PDF) (33 kB)

Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County (PDF) (2.4 mB)

Broome County (PDF) (145 kB)

Franklin County (PDF) (1.2 mB)

Town of Hempstead, Nassau County (PDF) (985 kB)

Town of Islip, Suffolk County (PDF) (871 kB)

Monroe County (PDF) (550 kB)

New York City (PDF) (1.9 mB)

Oneida and Herkimer Counties (PDF) (942 kB)

Onondaga County (PDF) (1.35 mB)

Oswego County (PDF) (154 kB)

Westchester County (PDF) (1.1 mB)


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