Department of Environmental Conservation

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Composting and Organics Recycling for Municipalities

State and federal law gives localities the responsibility for planning and implementing materials management strategies. Each municipality and county in New York State is required to be part of a solid waste management planning unit. Most planning units are single counties, but some are as small as one town, especially on Long Island, while more rural planning units sometimes contain multiple counties.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible to provide education and assistance to planning units and municipalities for materials management planning and implementation, to regulate materials management, and to create a State Materials Management Plan (formerly called a solid waste management plan). The State Plan, Beyond Waste, focuses on the top of the materials management strategy, reduction, reuse and recycling. There is a strong emphasis in the State Plan on organics management. The State Plan guides planning units in the development of their local solid waste management plans.

Encouraging Home Composting

Research shows that providing compost bins and education on bin use increases the probability that residents will compost at home. Communities have had success offering discounted bins to residents through a one day truck sale combining discounted bins and education about the bin on the same day. Home composting posters and pamphlets are available for distribution to educate residents about composting.

Professional Materials Management Organizations

NYSAR3 (leaving DEC's Website) is New York's statewide professional organization dedicated to waste reduction, reuse and recycling. One of the most active subgroups is the Organics Council. Organics Council (leaving DEC's Website) members meet regularly via teleconference to plan workshops and conferences; discuss organics recycling infrastructure development; develop markets for compost, and other products; and discuss legislative initiatives.

Other professional materials management organizations are the New York Solid Waste Association of North America and the SWANA-NY (leaving DEC's Website) and the New York State Association for Solid Waste Management NYSASWM (leaving DEC's Website). Organics management is often a topic at their trainings and workshops.

State Assistance Grants

NYSDEC administers a Municipal Waste Reduction and Recycling State Assistance Program for municipalities that provides up to 50 percent of the eligible costs of waste reduction and recycling projects including capital cost and outreach and education projects.