Since 1992, policies and programs have captured and diverted more than 320 million tons of recyclable materials from disposal.
State Department of Environmental Conservation announced that Sept.1, 2017, marked the 25th anniversary of New York's statewide adoption of local recycling laws.
Since 1992, policies and programs have captured and diverted more than 320 million tons of recyclable materials from disposal, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced in a press release. This resulted in an estimated net emission reduction of 1 billion metric tons of CO2 — the equivalent of taking 211 million cars off the road for one year.
The New York State Solid Waste Management Act of 1988, signed into law by Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, required municipalities to adopt local laws or ordinances requiring the separation and segregation of recyclable or reusable materials from solid waste by no later than September 1, 1992.
In addition, since its inception in 1994, New York's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) has invested more than $155 million in funding to municipalities to support recycling infrastructure, recycling coordinators, and household hazardous waste management programs.
Under Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state has increased the state’s EPF to $300 million, according to the release. The DEC has “partnered with local governments, business, and environmental organizations to maintain, expand, and promote waste reduction, reuse, recycling, organics diversion and product stewardship programs that encourage more sustainable practices and conserve our natural resources,” stated Seggos.
Over the past seven years, agencies have reduced the amount of solid waste generated by more than half (51 percent) and agencies currently report recycling rates of 70 percent.