New Recycling Laws in 2015

Food waste - new laws2015 brings with it new recycling laws affecting how businesses will deal with waste and recycling. From renewable energy and the continued rise of solar power to closed-loop or zero waste production, how we do business is changing. Corporations are increasingly stepping up efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling. While ethical business practices are encouraged and supported by consumers, states are enacting new recycling laws and bans on items such as plastic bags, which will affect how we do business in 2015 and beyond. Here are a few of the new laws coming in 2015.

– In California, Governor Brown signed into law the first statewide plastic bag ban. The ban prohibits a retail establishment with over 2 million in gross annual sales or at least 10,000 square feet of retail space from providing a single-use carry-out bag to a customer at the point of sale. Instead, the store can provide recycled bags at a cost of 10 cents per bag or customers can bring their own. This law officially goes into effect July 1st, 2015. After July 1, 2016, convenience stores will be included in the ban.

– In Massachusetts, institutions producing more than 1 ton of food waste per week must recycle or compost. The law affects approximately 1700 colleges, high schools, hospitals and restaurants in Massachusetts. These establishments can send food to a composting site, animal-feed operation or plant that will convert it into energy.

– In New York, beginning January 1, 2015, electronic equipment such as computers and televisions will be banned from disposal. Manufacturers are tasked with setting up systems for collection, handling and recycling or reuse.

– In Seattle, Washington the city will begin enforcing strict trash requirements starting January 1, 2015. Collection companies will be analyzing the bins and doling out fines for violations. If more than 10% of waste in a bin can be composted or recycled, the city will impose a $1 fine on the customer’s utility bill per violation. The fine is $50 for the owner of apartments and commercial buildings.

In addition to these new recycling laws, product stewardship laws are requiring manufacturers of batteries, paint, mattresses and electronics to take on more of the responsibility for recycling. 2014 saw President Obama enacting the strongest rules limiting climate pollution from coal plants and he also traveled to China to form a coalition to reduce greenhouse gases. There is no more denying the effects of climate change and the role business and corporations play in helping to curb it.

At National Waste Associates we understand at the core of sustainable development is the reduction, recycling and reuse of materials. Key to the success of sustainable practices is the implementation of an effective waste disposal program. At NWA, we stay on top of new recycling laws and work pro-actively to keep your business environmentally compliant in each state you operate in. To learn more about our services, please call 1-888-692-5005 or email