Department of Environmental Conservation

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Composting and Organics Recycling for Municipalities

Local Solid Waste Management Plan

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) who are responsible for developing and implementing their local solid waste management plan. Organics management should play a key role in managing organic materials within the boundaries of the planning unit. Planning units can

  • Manage an organics recycling facility (composting, anaerobic digestion, land application, etc.)
  • Develop food scraps drop off spots
  • Provide residential organics collection
  • Host home composting workshops
  • Host backyard composting bin sales
  • Provide outreach and education material on reducing wasted food at home and home composting

Starting and Managing an Organics Recycling Facility

Municipalities across New York State manage organic materials such as yard trimmings, food scraps, biosolids, etc. via composting, land application and anaerobic digestion.

Organics Recycling Facilities & Regulations

Funding Opportunities

Municipal Waste Reduction and Recycling (MWRR) State Assistance Program

The MWRR program is a state assistance program for waste reduction, recycling and household hazardous waste (HHW). Funding is provided on a 50% reimbursement rate for eligible costs. Organics management projects are eligible under this state assistance program.

Climate Smart Communities Grant Program

The Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Grant program provides 50/50 matching grants to cities, towns, villages and counties of New York State and boroughs of New York City for eligible climate adaption and mitigation projects. The 2019 Request for Applications has opened. Applications are due July 26, 2019 4:00 p.m.

Various project types are eligible including the reduction of organic waste. These projects divert food waste and other organic material from landfills where it produces methane. Projects include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Construction or installation of equipment to facilitate acceptance of food waste at existing anaerobic digesters at wastewater treatment facilities or existing composting facilities.
  • Implementation or piloting of a food waste pick-up service for residents and/or commercial establishments, prior to delivery to an organics recycling facility.
  • Implementation of food donation and food-waste collection in municipal buildings.
  • Implementation of onsite composting or anaerobic digestion at municipal facilities.

Read the full 2019 Request for Applications (PDF, 596 KB)

NYS P2I Community Grants Program

Funding available for community organizations, municipal departments, and other public sector and not-for-profit entities for projects that raise awareness and understanding of pollution prevention practices and lead to implementation at the local level. View past Community Grants Projects (link leaving DEC website).

Note: This grant opportunity closed May 31, 2019. This is an annual grant program and will reopen next year.

Municipal Funding for Food Scraps Reduction, Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling

The goal of this funding program is to assist municipalities in creating and expanding programs to reduce wasted food, donate wholesome food and recycle food scraps (composting, anaerobic digestion, etc.)

Note: This grant opportunity is now closed. Awards have not been announced, we are currently evaluating and processing applications. All applicants will be notified as to the outcome of their grant proposal.

Stay Connected

Solid Waste & Recycling Newsletter

Sign up for DECDelivers Solid Waste and Recycling topic to stay up to date with news, regulatory requirements and changes, funding opportunities, and upcoming events in the materials management industry.

Annual Conferences

Professional Materials Management Organizations

  • New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3) (leaving DEC website) is a professional organization of materials management professionals dedicated to providing statewide leadership on waste reduction, reuse and recycling issues and practices to improve the environment. The Organics Council, a subgroup of NYSAR3, are committed to reducing wasted food, recovering edible food and diverting food scraps, yard trimmings, manure, and other organic materials from the waste stream through sustainable materials management strategies. They meet regularly through teleconference to share news and resources, plan workshops, conferences and much more.
  • New York Solid Waste Association of North America - NY (SWANA-NY) (leaving DEC website) is an organization of solid waste professionals committed to environmental stewardship and the advancement of sustainable environmental technology.
  • New York State Association for Solid Waste Management (NYSASWM) (leaving DEC website) is an organization of NYS solid waste professionals addressing issues that affect solid waste management in New York State as well as issues at the federal level.
  • United States Composting Council (USCC) (leaving DEC website) is a national organization of compost manufacturers, compost marketers, equipment manufacturers, academic institutions, public agencies, nonprofit groups, and consulting/engineering firms dedicated to the development, expansion and promotion of the composting industry.