Gov. Hochul Signs Legislation to Reduce and Manage Waste

Press release from governor.ny.gov.

Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation requiring that local solid waste management plans make efforts to increase waste diversion, including by recycling and composting, and encouraging the elimination of the use of certain single-use plastic items at State University of New York and City University of New York campuses.

“With the fate of the planet at stake, New York must continue to lead the way in the global fight against the climate crisis,” said Governor Hochul. “This package of legislation will make sure New Yorkers are recycling, composting and phasing out wasteful plastic products, putting our state on the path to a cleaner, greener future.”

Legislation S.6334/A.5605 requires local waste management plans to include methods to increase waste diversion. As we look to combat climate change, recycling and composting will become invaluable tools that will allow New York State to keep waste out of landfills.

Senator Rachel May said, “Far too much waste that could be recycled or composted ends up in landfills. New York has made significant progress in reducing the amount of waste we generate, but we can still do more. This legislation asks municipalities to be sure they consider how to increase recycling and composting as they manage solid waste. Here in Onondaga County, we constructed a state-of-the-art food scrap and yard waste composting facility, and it has been a great success. I thank Governor Hochul for signing this bill, and look forward to seeing municipalities make advancements in keeping waste out of landfills.”

Assemblymember Harvey Epstein said, “Diverting compostables and recyclables out of our waste stream is a key part of reducing greenhouse gas emissions—with our legislation, we’re asking localities around the state to prepare a plan for how to accomplish this. Lowering these harmful gases is vital to ensure we meet the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. I’m proud to work with Senator May and Governor Hochul to fight against climate change from the local level on up.”

Legislation S.6815/A.7564 works toward eliminating single-use plastics on SUNY and CUNY campuses by requiring school trustees to collaborate with students, faculty, and staff. This will lessen plastic waste from negatively impacting the environment.

Senator Brian Kavanagh said, “Turning the tide of plastic pollution starts with putting an end to single-use plastic items whenever and wherever we can. By enlisting our SUNY and CUNY campuses in this effort, this law will bring about a significant reduction in our reliance on plastics, while engaging students and faculty in the sustainable practices that we need to adopt across all sectors of our society to make New York a greener, healthier state. I want to thank Governor Hochul for signing this key piece of legislation and Assemblymember Pat Burke for championing the bill in the Assembly.”

Assemblymember Patrick Burke said, “We are well on our way to eliminating single use plastics in this country and in this state. I thank Governor Hochul for signing this legislation and my Senate co-sponsor Brian Kavanagh for joining me in this ambitious endeavor.”

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “I commend Governor Hochul for signing these measures into law to enhance solid waste management practices at the local level and help reduce and remove single-use plastics and other excess waste fueling the climate crisis. These smart new laws complement New York State’s comprehensive strategy to reduce waste, promote sustainability, and combat climate change on all fronts.”

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, “We must be better stewards of our environment and our SUNY students and staff are deeply committed to environmental sustainability, including building on our successful waste reduction and recycling efforts on our campuses. This new law provides yet another opportunity for our SUNY campuses to lead by working together to make the elimination of plastic waste a reality. We thank the Governor and legislative members who helped make this new policy a reality.”

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, “CUNY has an obligation to enforce policies and practices that will reduce unnecessary waste and make the world a cleaner, healthier place to live. This legislation, which aims to eliminate single-use plastics on our campuses, is going to have a measurable impact. Thanks to Governor Hochul for addressing this issue and for putting her faith in CUNY to work with students, faculty and staff to effect positive change for the environment. CUNY is more than ready to step up and do what’s needed to ensure a healthier future for New Yorkers.”