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Comprehensive Recycling Analysis (CRA)

A Comprehensive Recycling Analysis (CRA) is a document intended to help a municipality develop and implement a sound, long-term, recyclables recovery program. CRAs are written for municipalities that are not affiliated with a solid waste planning unit. Municipalities that are affiliated with a planning unit can plan for their waste management with a Local Solid Waste Management Plan.

A CRA should reflect the unique characteristics, opportunities, and challenges of the municipality or municipalities writing it to help the state achieve the goals set forth in the state solid waste management plan. The document must cover a 10-year planning period while following the solid waste management hierarchy (link leaves DEC's website).

Components of a CRA

The required components of a CRA are described in 6 NYCRR Part 360.11 (link leaves DEC's website) and are presented in the sections below. The Department has prepared a CRA Outline (PDF, 219 KB) to help municipalities during the development of the CRA; however, municipalities can adjust the format to create a final document that best represents their individual waste management system.

Chapter 1. Identification of recyclables in the waste stream

This section should identify:

  • All the types of recyclables in the waste stream, including recyclables for which recovery may not be feasible at the time the CRA is written
  • The types of solid waste present in the overall waste stream
  • Projections for the MSW generated over the 10-year planning period that consider changes in waste generation due to population change, seasonal fluctuation, and other factors unique to the municipality or municipalities.

Chapter 2. Evaluation of existing efforts to recover recyclables

This section should evaluate the current recycling program in the municipality including:

  • Descriptions of all existing efforts to recover recyclables (municipal, private, commercial, institution, and industrial)
  • Summary of past efforts to enforce local disposal and recycling laws
  • Identification of financial incentives, such as volume-based pricing
  • Summary of the municipality's current recycling market agreements
  • Description of any applicable local transporter licensing requirements
  • Summary of any data gaps found during the process of evaluating the current system

Chapter 3. Identification of available and potential markets for recovered recyclables

This section provides a review of potential markets for recovered recyclables including:

  • Review of the information currently available on potential recycling markets
  • Identification of local and regional markets contacted by the municipality
  • A description of the quality requirements and pricing structures of potential markets
  • Identification of the types of processing required to assure markets will accept recyclables recovered by the municipality

Chapter 4. Description of the existing administrative and financial structure

This section focuses on the inner workings of the municipalities, specifically their organization and finances, and should include the following components:

  • An organizational chart showing the staff or entities responsible for solid waste management
  • The financial structure of the municipality, including costs, revenues, and funding mechanisms
  • Descriptions of all local laws and policies related to solid waste management

Chapter 5. Identification of alternative source separation or recyclables recovery programs considered

In this section, the municipality considers source separation or recyclables recovery programs that could reduce the amount of waste the municipality sends to disposal. There are many different programs that could achieve this goal, but the municipality should start by considering the following:

  • Waste reduction programs
  • Reuse programs
  • Recyclables recovery programs for paper, metal, glass, plastic, and textiles
  • Organics recover programs for food scraps and yard trimmings
  • Programs to develop or improve local and regional markets for recyclables
  • Enforcement programs
  • Incentive-based pricing
  • Education and outreach
  • Data collection and evaluation efforts
  • Local hauler licensing programs
  • Flow control and districting potential
  • C&D debris reduction
  • Private sector management and coordination opportunities

Chapter 6. Evaluation of alternatives

The municipality must evaluate each of the alternatives specified above on their administrative and technical impacts as well as on their jurisdictional impacts as follows:

Administrative and Technical impacts

  • Estimated effect of the alternative on the waste stream
  • Types and sizes of facilities or programs needed to implement the alternative
  • Cost data
  • Effects on natural resource conservation, energy production, and employment

Jurisdictional impacts

  • Interest in participation by neighboring jurisdictions
  • Alternatives that would become available if neighboring jurisdictions participated
  • Comments and recommendations received from neighboring jurisdictions
  • Environmental justice impacts within the municipality

Chapter 7. Selected alternatives and recyclables recovery program identification

Once the alternatives have been evaluated, the municipality must select new programs to incorporate into their solid waste management system and/or improvements to the current programs in their system. This section should include:

  • The alternatives selected by the municipality and why those alternatives were chosen
  • A description of the steps that will be taken by the municipality to adopt the chosen alternatives
  • The expected impacts of the chosen alternatives
  • Identification of any administrative, contractual, or financial requirements of the chosen alternatives
  • Identification of any new laws or policies that will be enacted
  • A description of any public relations or education programs that will be undertaken

Chapter 8. Implementation schedule

The municipality will create an implementation schedule that covers the course of the 10-year planning period. This schedule will layout the dates by which each selected alternative will be implemented. In the case of alternatives which require multiple steps, each step must be planned for in the implementation schedule. Additionally, the municipalities must set goals to achieve progressively decreasing amounts of MSW being sent to disposal or thermal treatment.

Chapter 9. Projections for MSW generation

In this final section of the CRA, the municipality estimates the quantity and composition of MSW generated in each year of the planning period and must include projections for waste generated over the 10-year planning period. The projections should take into account the projected population of the municipality and the implementation schedule and should consider changes in waste generation due to population change, seasonal fluctuation, and other factors unique to the municipality or municipalities. These projections can be based on data from the municipality, the Department, or a combination thereof.

CRA Annual Reports

Each year, the municipality must submit an annual report to the Department no later than May 1st. This annual report must include waste recovery data and discuss the progress made on the implementation schedule.

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