Legislative Action at NYSAR3

For more than two decades, the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling (NYSAR3) -- and its members from the public and private sectors -- have played a leadership role in establishing environmental initiatives to reduce waste and increase recycling. This effort includes advancing legislation on the state level that promotes public and environmental health while shaping the sustainable materials management economy of the future. 

All are welcome to join our Legislative Committee efforts.

For information and to join, contact Bodhi Piedmont-Fleischmann, Legislative Committee Chair.

Use draft letters from NYSAR3 to contact your State Senators and Assemblymembers and advocate for legislation related to waste and recycling.

Contact your Representatives


Each year, NYSAR3 Board of Directors and Legislative Committee outline the legislative priorities and initiatives they support. 

2024 Legislative Priorities for NYSAR3

NYSAR3 SUPPORTS Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging and Paper Products
(Similar to A5322B/S4246B from 2023 Session)

NYSAR3 supports Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging and paper, requiring brand owners and manufacturers to finance recycling of materials they produce. EPR programs engage producers in the end-of-life management of products and encourage circularity by reducing the amount of packaging and paper used in product production, redesigning to be more readily recyclable, incorporating post-consumer content, and leveraging market forces to maximize material recovery.

Municipalities bear the operational and financial burden of recycling, and consumers feel the responsibility of making disposal decisions. 

Versions of EPR for packaging and paper policies have been implemented in four states, and NYSAR3 supports the passing of an EPR law for packaging and paper products in New York.  

NYSAR3 strongly advocates for the inclusion of paper, left out of A5322B/S4264B, in extended producer responsibility law. Paper, as a product (ex. Junk mail, printed paper) along with newsprint accounts for as estimated 40% of the curbside recycling stream. Excluding both paper and newsprint would exclude 40% of expenses covered under an EPR program.


NYSAR3 SUPPORTS Improvements to the Returnable Container Act (Bottle Bill)
(Similar to A8668A/S4947, S237B, and A3375/S7428 from 2023 Session)

Beverage container collection through the provisions of the Bottle Bill provides a segregated, marketable, clean source of recyclable materials. NYSAR3 supports expansion of this program to include wine, liquor, and other glass beverage containers. This expansion will advance recycling options for over 100,000 tons of glass material and remove the financial burden of disposal placed on municipal curbside recycling programs. 

Glass beverage containers

  • have limited marketability when collected through single stream curbside recycling, 
  • can significantly affect the quality of non-glass materials, and
  • cause damage to facility equipment when commingled.

To increase the incentive for redemption and support the redemption centers that manage and implement the Bottle Bill program, NYSAR3 also supports

  • an increase of the deposit and redemption value to ten cents (10¢), 
  • setting of the deposit and redemption value for wine and liquor at twenty-five cents (25¢), and 
  • an increase in the handling fee that is paid to redemption centers to five or six cents (5¢ - 6¢). 

Under the current legislative conditions, NYSAR3 would only support the inclusion of other plastic and aluminum containers in a Bottle Bill expansion if the additional collected funds would be returned to existing recycling programs, as inclusion of these additional containers would remove valuable recyclable commodities from existing recycling streams and financially undermine existing programs.

Expansion of the Bottle Bill should be undertaken in coordination with implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging and Paper Products - should EPR for packaging and paper move forward to provide predictable funding for recycling programs, NYSAR3 intends to revise this position to strongly support inclusion of additional plastic and aluminum containers in the highly effective Bottle Bill program. 


NYSAR3 SUPPORTS “Skip the Stuff” Legislation to Reduce Single-Use Food Service Items
(Similar to S4449A/A3424A from 2023 Session)

This proposed legislation would provide restrictions on single-use food service items in restaurants and third-party food delivery services. The measure is intended to reduce plastic pollution and waste generation by prohibiting bars and restaurants from providing single-use food service items unless requested by the customer, while also reducing expenses for food service establishments. A similar measure has been enacted by the New York City Council as of February 2023 (Intro 559-A), and NYSAR3 supports statewide implementation of this measure.


NYSAR3 SUPPORTS Expanding Rechargeable and Primary Battery Extended Producer Responsibility
(Similar to S643D/A7339B and S4939/A4010 from 2023 Session)

Expanding Rechargeable Battery EPR to include e-mobility batteries is needed to protect New Yorkers from the potential dangers of these batteries. The increase of consumer products that rely on the use of rechargeable batteries, most notably Lithium-Ion, has inadvertently led to an increase in dangerous fires that have caused serious (and fatal) injury and hundreds of millions of dollars in equipment and property damage. Dangerous battery fires occur in waste collection vehicles and at recycling and waste management facilities when lithium-ion batteries are crushed or punctured. Including e-mobility batteries as well as battery-imbedded devices, toys, and medical devices in the Rechargeable Battery EPR law and allowing a city with a population of one million or more to enforce through its own agencies will provide critical policy improvements to mitigate these issues for NYS residents, solid waste employees, and our state's recycling infrastructure going forward. 

In addition, NYSAR3 supports the establishment of a primary (single use) battery recycling program paid for and managed by battery manufacturers. The program laid out by the bill could capture nearly 7 million pounds of primary batteries annually, which are currently not recycled or managed at the expense of local municipalities.


NYSAR3 SUPPORTS Extended Producer Responsibility for Mattresses
(Similar to S6419D from 2023 Session)

According to the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), Americans send more than 50,000 mattresses to the landfill each day and less than 5% are recycled. Refurbishing instead of landfilling mattresses reduces energy and greenhouse gas emissions – and up to 90% of mattress components are recyclable. 

This proposed legislation would establish extended producer responsibility for mattresses, requiring mattress producers to establish a plan for the convenient and cost-effective recycling of used mattresses. Since the implementation of EPR programs for mattresses in Connecticut, California, and Rhode Island, more than 12 million mattresses have been recycled and more than 450 million pounds of material – steel, foam, cotton, and wood – have been diverted from disposal.


NYSAR3 SUPPORTS Textile EPR, Recovery, and Waste Reduction
(Similar to S6654/A8078, A4333A, and A6995 from 2023 Session)

According to the US EPA, almost 2 billion pounds of textiles are generated as waste in NYS each year and eighty-five percent of textile waste is estimated to be disposed through landfilling and incineration. The market value of the discarded textiles is over $650 million based on salvage market prices and forecasts indicate that the U.S. reuse/second-hand apparel market will double within the next five years.

As municipalities strive toward zero-waste programs and more cost-effective operations, and brands seek circular solutions for their products, textile recovery presents an attractive opportunity. However, textile collection, sorting, and processing systems lag behind other recycling systems, such as those for metal, glass, plastic, and paper. 

EPR (S6654/A8078) can jumpstart the market for textile recovery by 

  • leveling the competitive playing field, 
  • de-risking investment, and 
  • incentivizing reuse and recycling.

In addition, policies like the NYS Fashion Sustainability and Accountability Act (A8352), promote textile supply chain transparency and data reporting, which can not only increase consumer awareness and corporate responsibility, but it can inform decision making and ease the transition from linear to circular. Likewise, the Reusable Healthcare PPE bill (A6995) would prevent disposable PPE from entering the waste stream. 


NYSAR3 SUPPORTS Revisions to the Finance Law to Encourage Reuse and Sale of Surplus Property
(Similar to A06494/S6431 from 2023 Session)

The New York State and its local governmental (county and municipal) agencies have an excess of surplus property, much of which is disposed of due to restrictive state laws that do not encourage, or explicitly disallow, opportunities for creative reuse. The processes required to keep usable surplus items in circulation and out of the waste stream is burdensome and leads to usable items being discarded. 

NYSAR3 supports proposals to create a system where State agencies and authorities can easily transfer surplus property to a pre-approved list of non-profit organizations to prevent disposal of surplus items and to continue building the circular economy, while creating jobs and bolstering the growing reuse industry in New York State.