New Yorkers for Zero Waste - Platform

See the full PDF here.

We call on the Governor, the NYS DEC and the NY State Legislature to support a new, sustainable direction for reducing waste, recovering resources and growing jobs as well as obtaining other benefits for New Yorkers by doing the following:

  • Establish a moratorium on construction of all new waste incinerators or combustors as well as expansions of existing incinerators. This would include newer, commercially unproven thermal technologies such as gasification, pyrolysis and plasma arc.
  • Ban waste haulers and municipalities from sending recyclable materials for disposal, and instead require recyclables to be source separated and transported to recycling processing facilities.
  • Halt all increases in capacity at the state’s largest landfills.
  • Require all local solid waste planning units and haulers sending garbage for disposal to demonstrate the presence of adequate programs of waste reduction, recycling and composting in the service area.
  • Rapidly implement organics collection programs and develop the needed composting and anaerobic digestion infrastructure. Ban yard trimmings from disposal now and ensure the ban's enforcement. Establish a statewide ban on the disposal of food scraps by 2013.
  • Require all communities to adopt incentive/disincentive programs, such as Pay-As-You-Throw, which are proven to increase diversion rates.
  • Adopt Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation (also known as product stewardship) to engage manufacturers and importers in the design of products and packaging to reduce waste and toxicity and remove the burden from government and taxpayers. Producers of products and packaging must be part of the solution. Ten to fifteen percent of the waste stream should be reduced through EPR measures.
  • Regulate solid waste generated by all sectors – residential, commercial, institutional and industrial. Bring waste haulers and transporters under the jurisdiction of the DEC through licensing, requiring reporting of all waste and recyclable collections and disposal, and providing for oversight and compliance.
  • Require local solid waste planning units to prepare implementation plans that increase waste reduction and diversion and decrease disposal. State and local plans must decrease disposal by 50% by 2015, and 85% by 2020 for all waste streams. The implementation plans must be enforceable by DEC.
  • Ensure accurate measurements of diversion and waste quantities in order to measure progress toward goals. Plan to reassess goals and progress and adjust programs under a revised 2020 statewide plan.
  • Ensure that Zero Waste Programs and their greenhouse gas benefits become a substantial part of the new state Climate Action Plan and its implementation.
  • Establish a secure funding stream to fund more sustainable solid waste programs over the long term and achieve job benefits and needed greenhouse gas emission reductions. Licensing fees, facility permit fees and surcharges on disposal should all be used to provide dedicated funding. A surcharge of at least $20 per ton of MSW generated could provide $5 per ton to the state for solid waste activities and $15 to local planning units to support needed recycling and composting facilities as well as educational programs.


1 EPA's WARM Model.
2 A recent EPA report found that non-food products are associated with 37 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Joshuah Stolaroff, PhD worked on the EPA report and subsequently extended the analysis to include products produced abroad and consumed in the US. This white paper states total GHG emissions of products and packaging is 44%. Both reports can be accessed at
3 IPCC, 4th Assessment Report.
4 Ibid., Working Group III, Mitigation, 10.4.2.