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Solid Waste & Recycling Regulations

Cayuga County Regulations

Mandatory Recycling Law

In April of 1990, the Cayuga County Legislature enacted Local Law No.1 which aimed to ensure reduction and reuse measures within the Planning Unit to maximize the life of the newly built City of Auburn sanitary landfill. The law requires source separation from “each and every person in the County of Cayuga producing solid waste destined for a disposal facility within Cayuga County.” It also requires public and private entities who facilitate solid waste collection services to provide recycling opportunities for residents and businesses. The law also states that separated recyclables shall not be buried in any solid waste disposal facility located in Cayuga County. 

The law regulates waste collectors with the following criteria. (1) Solid waste collectors can choose to not collect solid wastes that contain recyclables only if they provide a clear label explaining the reason for rejection. (2) Collectors must submit a description of recycling opportunities created for customers upon request from the Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD). (3) Operators of disposal facilities must submit a preliminary plan of compliance to the SWMD to be reviews by the Health Committee. The County also reserves the right to enter any disposal facility to verify its compliance. 

The law also established that solid waste disposal facilities within the county are required to submit annual records that report the quantities of solid wastes and recyclables received to the former County Solid Waste Management Department. 

Sludge Importation Law

A sludge importation law, enacted on November 10, 1987, by Cayuga County, made it illegal to deposit sludge originating from outside the county within the county. According to the 1992 LSWMP, this law was adopted in response to sludge from New Jersey spread on a 550-acre farm site in southern Cayuga County. The law applies to all municipal, commercial, and residential sludges in but excludes residential sludge. The City of Auburn is the only jurisdiction in Cayuga County that is excluded from this law.

Sludge Importation Law

On March 16, 1988, Cayuga County enacted a solid waste importation law which made It illegal for any person, firm, corporation, partnership, or other legal entity to bring solid wastes (including any garbage, refuse, sludge, or other waste material defined as solid waste) into the county for burning or disposal at an incinerator, waste-to energy facility, or landfill. The law also stated that no person, firm, corporation, partnership, or other legal entity shall operate a transfer station that transfers solid waste from outside of the county. The law does not apply to recycling, composting or land treatment materials, such as steel, glass, manure, and compost products. The law does allow municipally operated landfills to be granted exemptions on a temporary basis when it is demonstrated that importation of solid waste is necessary for efficient operation.

New York State Regulations

Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law

Effective on January 1st, 2022, this law requires that businesses and institutions that generate an annual average of two tons of wasted food per week or more must:

  • Donate excess edible food; and
  • Recycling all remaining food scraps if they are within 25 miles of an organics recycler (composting facility, anaerobic digester, etc.)

A list of all designated food scraps generators can be found here

Additional information on the program can be found on the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation website

Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act

This act requires manufacturers to provide free and convenient recycling of electronic waste to most consumers in the state. Consumers eligible for free and convenient recycling include individuals, for-profit businesses, corporations with less than 50 full time employees, not-for-profit corporations with less than 75 full time employees, not-for-profit corporations designated under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code, schools, or governmental entities located in NYS. For-profit businesses with 50 or more full time employees and not-for-profit corporations with 75 or more full time employees may be charged.

For more information, please visit the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation website

Open Burning Regulations

Open burning regulations went into effect state-wide on October 14, 2009. For more information, please visit the New York Department of Environmental Conservation website.

  1. Cayuga County NY Homepage

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