Timely Announcements

As of 2022, here are two new ways Nys is reducing waste

The Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law mandates that

businesses and institutions that generate an annual average of two tons of wasted food per week or more must:

  1. donate excess edible food (to organizations such as food banks)

  2. recycle all remaining food scraps if they are within 25 miles of an organics recycler (composting facility, anaerobic digester, etc.).

For more information, visit the official DEC page. You can also view all institutions, by name and location, that must recycle or donate their scraps on page three of this document.

The Expanded Polystyrene Foam Container and Polystyrene Loose Fill Packaging Ban (or "Foam Ban") mandates that

  1. no covered food service provider or store (retail or wholesale) will be allowed to sell, offer for sale, or distribute disposable food service containers that contain expanded polystyrene foam in New York.

  2. no manufacturer or store will be allowed to sell, offer for sale, or distribute polystyrene loose fill packaging (commonly referred to as packing peanuts) in New York.

Items banned from distribution and manufacture include:

  • Single-use expanded polystyrene foam food service containers used for prepared food and beverages, including but not limited to

    • Bowls

    • Cartons

    • Clamshells

    • Cups & Lids

    • Plates/Trays

  • Packing peanuts or other 'void-filling'

Examples of institutions the Foam Ban applies to include:

  • Delis

  • Grocery stores

  • Restaurants

  • Cafeterias

  • Coffee shops

  • Hotels

  • Hospitals, adult care facilities, and nursing homes

  • Elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities

how can i help?

As the NYS Polystyrene Ban is already in effect, the types of containers and packaging fill you see from the institutions listed above will likely be reusable, recyclable, and/or compostable. Zero Waste Capitol District highly encourages you to remember that all items in single stream recycling should be clean (ie. rinsed of food waste) and dry prior to recycling. Visit our page, "Are You a Wishful Recycler?", for more information on how to avoid contaminating the recycling stream.