A glance at some of the most recent recycling and organics regulations from various states is provided below.
It’s crucial to understand your state’s recycling laws in order to make the most of any sustainable waste management opportunities they provide, as well as ensure that your business and home remain compliant. Recycling laws are constantly evolving.
A glance at some of the most recent recycling and organics legislation from different states is provided below.
Beginning January 2022, California’s SB 1383, the Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy, requires all businesses and residents to separate organics and recyclables from general trash. The new law focuses on reducing climate-warming pollutants by diverting biodegradable waste from landfills.
By 2025, California’s new recycling law seeks to reduce organic waste disposal by 75% and recover 20% of surplus edible food.
California, already a leader in plastic recycling legislation, just signed the Plastic Pollution Prevention and Packaging Producer Responsibility Act (S.B. 54).
Beginning in January of 2020, Californians will be prohibited from using plastic straws, drinking cups, and other single-use food ware at certain restaurants. Additionally, businesses will be required to recycle at least 65% of their used plastic materials by 2032, up from the current 30% requirement. Starting in January of 2019, Californians will no longer be permitted to buy any sort of plastic material not eligible for recycling or composting.
Starting in 2027, the California Plastic Pollution Mitigation Fund will receive a $500 million yearly surcharge from Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs), which represent the producers of plastic packaging and single-use food service ware. This is part of a wave of legislation focusing on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
New Hampshire passed S.B. 367 in June 2022 to create a more circular economy for plastics. This new recycling law will classify ‘advanced recycling technologies’ as manufacturing operations rather than solid waste disposal, which will improve facility investments, according to the legislation.
Because of more advanced recycling processes, it is now possible to recycle a wider variety of plastics, including some that are mixed or soiled. What is more, the plastics that are produced are reportedly of higher quality, allowing them to be used in a variety of industries. On the other hand, there is much controversy regarding the energy usage and toxic emissions of new recycling technologies, which detractors say are more harmful than helpful.
As of March 2022, Oregon became the fourth state to establish a mattress recycling program. By 2024, the program will be operational, and all mattress producers will be required to establish and maintain a recycling program, supervised by the state.
A mattress made from steel, foam, fiber, and wood can be diverted from landfills to recycling plants through an EPR law.
Beginning in July 2022, the Maine Recycling Law, which was enacted at the end of 2021, requires producers of packaged goods to pay for their recycling. This Extended Producer Responsibility Program for Packaging shifts the financial burden of recycling from Maine taxpayers to the producers, simultaneously motivating those producers to produce less packaging.
Unlike other recycling laws, Maine’s new recycling law does not require specific packaging materials to ensure easy recycling, rather relying on the self-inflicted economic penalty if producers use hazardous or difficult-to-process materials in their products.
New York’s Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law was signed into law in 2019 but only went into effect in January 2022. In accordance with this new recycling law, any business that generates more than two tons of food waste per week must donate any surplus edible food and recycle any leftover food scraps if they are within 25 miles of an organics recycler.
The rules on food waste governing New York City businesses have not been enforced during the coronavirus outbreak, but fines will be reintroduced at the end of July 2022. However, this is not a new recycling law for NYC, which has had its own city-level law on food waste for some time.
Schools, hospitals, adult care facilities, and farms are all exempt from the new NYS legislation.
Delaware recently expanded on the 2019 law banning plastic carryout bags by implementing a new recycling law starting on July 1, 2022. Retail stores in the state are now prohibited from handing out plastic bags at checkouts.
This law was passed in order to reduce the detrimental impact that plastic-film products have on recycling efforts in the state.
SB 1764, which was signed into law in June 2022, established a financial assistance program for purchasing power at municipally-owned solid waste combustion facilities. In addition, the law may offer grants for waste-to-energy facilities to expand their capacity.
Despite being a better option than traditional incineration, waste-to-energy is still a highly contentious issue, with no place in a truly green economy.
Missouri recently enacted a new law that allows for “advanced recycling” of plastics by reducing the state’s hazardous waste rules. The new law prohibits the Missouri Department of Natural Resources from establishing any hazardous waste rules that go beyond those of the federal Environmental Protection Agency. A chemical recycling facility (referred to as an advanced recycling facility) no longer requires a permit as a result of the law.
environmentalists generally regard this as a step in the wrong direction.
Is there a need for better recycling legislation at the state level?
In general, recent recycling-related legislation has been a step in the right direction. CA’s new organics and plastic recycling laws are by far the most progressive legislation to have been enacted in recent months, while the ‘advanced recycling’ legislation in several states has been highly controversial.
Also, Plastic reusable containers should be replaced with Silicon ones as it is proven that Silicon reusable containers are better than plastic ones.