[Adopted 8-11-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
This article shall be known as the "Mandatory Recycling Law."
The County Legislature of Tompkins County finds that:
Removal and reduction of certain materials from the solid waste stream will decrease the flow of solid waste to landfills, aid in the conservation of valuable resources, and reduce the required capacity and associated costs of existing and proposed solid waste disposal facilities.
The New York State Solid Waste Management Act of 1988 mandates that all municipalities adopt a local law or ordinance by September 1, 1992 requiring that solid waste which has been left for collection or which is delivered by the generator of such waste to a solid waste management facility shall be separated into recyclable, reusable or other components for which economic markets for alternate uses exist.
Methods of solid waste management emphasizing source reduction, reuse and recycling are essential in Tompkins County for long-term preservation of public health, economic productivity, and environmental quality.
This article is adopted pursuant to the laws of the State of New York, including General Municipal Law § 120-aa, to:
Institute a plan for the management of recyclables and reusables generated or originated in Tompkins County, to promote the safety, health and well-being of persons and property within Tompkins County; and
Implement the express policy of the State of New York encouraging waste stream reduction through recycling.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AUTHORIZED RECYCLING FACILITY
- Any and all state-permitted or specifically exempt facilities for accumulation, processing, recovery, reprocessing and/or recycling materials which are specified in the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to § 140-5A of this article, including but not limited to the county's recycling dropoff centers and to the recycling and solid waste center. This term shall exclude incineration facilities, waste-to-energy facilities, and landfills.
- The County of Tompkins.
- COUNTY LEGISLATURE
- The Tompkins County Legislature.
- COUNTY RECYCLING HAULER
- The county or a hauler under contract with the county that collects recyclables from waste generators as part of a county-sponsored recycling program.
- COUNTY-SPONSORED RECYCLING PROGRAM
- Any program sponsored or administered by the county to handle recyclable materials, including but not limited to programs for the collection of recyclables by county employees or agents.
- ECONOMIC MARKETS
- Instances in which the full avoided costs of proper collection, transportation, and disposal of a source separated recyclable material is equal to or greater than the cost of collection, transportation, and sale of the recyclable material, less the amount received from the sale of the recyclable material.
- The status granted to any person who can demonstrate an inability to comply with this article and who applies to the Solid Waste Manager and receives a certificate of exemption from this article, or parts thereof, pursuant to the rules and regulations, or who by rules and regulations promulgated hereunder is exempt from this article or parts thereof.
- A. Any waste that by reason of its quality, concentration, composition or physical, chemical or infectious characteristics may do any of the following: cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible illness; or pose a substantial threat or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of or otherwise mismanaged; or any waste that is defined or regulated as a hazardous waste, hazardous substance, toxic substance, hazardous chemical substance or mixture, or asbestos under applicable law, as amended from time to time, including but not limited to: the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. § 6901 et seq., and the regulations contained in 40 CFR Parts 260-281; the Toxic Substances Control Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq., and the regulations contained in 40 CFR Parts 761-766; and future additional or substitute federal, state or local laws pertaining to the identification, treatment, storage or disposal of toxic substances or hazardous waste; except that hazardous waste shall not include household hazardous waste which is accorded treatment as other than hazardous waste under applicable law;
- (1) Radioactive materials that are source, special nuclear or by-product material as defined by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, 42 U.S.C. § 2011 et seq., and the regulation contained in 10 CFR Part 40;
- (2) Radioactive waste that has been deregulated or is not regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner, or the New York State Department of Health or Environmental Conservation; or
- (3) Solid waste so designated by the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this article.
- LICENSED HAULER
- A person licensed by Tompkins County pursuant to the Tompkins County Solid Waste and Haulers Licensing Local Law to collect, transport or handle solid waste or regulated recyclables.
- OTHER RECOVERABLE MATERIAL
- Any material, substance, by-product, compound, or any other item generated or originated within the county not treated by the waste generator as solid waste, and separated from solid waste at the point of generation for separate collection, donation, sale, external reuse, recycling, or reprocessing and/or lawful disposition other than by disposal in landfills, sewage treatment plants or incinerators. The disposition of other recoverable material is not regulated by this article, except to the extent of certain reporting requirements set forth in § 140-8 of this article.
- Any natural person, partnership, association, joint venture, corporation, estate, trust, county, city, town, village, improvement district, school district, governmental entity, or any other legal entity.
- RECYCLABLE MATERIALS or RECYCLABLES
- Materials that would otherwise be solid waste, and which can be collected, separated, and/or processed, treated, reclaimed, used or reused so that its component materials or substances can be beneficially used or reused.
- RECYCLING CONTAINER
- A bin or other container, whether set at curbside or at recycling dropoff centers, supplied by the county or its designee for use by waste generators within the county, or any other durable container readily identifiable by a hauler as a container for recyclable materials. Containers supplied by the county shall be used exclusively for the storage and collection of recyclables pursuant to a county-sponsored recycling program, and such containers shall, at all times, remain the property of the county.
- RECYCLING DROPOFF CENTER
- Any supervised county-coordinated facility to which a person can deliver recyclables during designated hours and in accordance with appropriate preparation standards and utilizing designated containers.
- REGULATED RECYCLABLES or REGULATED RECYCLABLE MATERIALS
- Recyclables which the waste generator has left for collection or has delivered to a solid waste management facility for disposal, and which are designated for source separation, pursuant to this article and the rules and regulations. Recyclables that are not designated as regulated recyclables may also be recycled and reused.
- SOLID WASTE
- All putrescible and nonputrescible solid waste materials generated or originated within the county, including but not limited to materials or substances discarded or rejected, whether as being spent, useless, worthless, or in excess to the owners at the time of such discard or rejection or for any other reason; or being accumulated, stored, or physically, chemically or biologically treated prior to being discarded or rejected, having served their intended use; or a manufacturing by-product, including but not limited to garbage, refuse, waste materials resulting from industrial, commercial, community, and agricultural activities, sludge from air or water pollution control facilities or water supply treatment facilities, rubbish, ashes, contained gaseous material, incinerator residue, demolition and construction debris and offal; but not including sewage and other highly diluted water-carried materials or substances and those in gaseous form, or hazardous waste as defined in this article; or any unregulated recyclable materials, but shall include regulated recyclable materials.
- SOLID WASTE MANAGER
- The Tompkins County Solid Waste Manager or designee thereof.
- SOURCE SEPARATION
- The segregation of recyclables and other recoverable materials from nonrecyclable solid waste at the point of generation for separate collection, donations, sale or other disposition.
- WASTE GENERATOR
- Any person or legal entity which produces solid waste in Tompkins County requiring disposal.
- WASTE REDUCTION PROGRAM
- Programs designed to reduce the volume of solid waste, to enhance reclamation and recovery of solid waste or recyclables otherwise destined for the municipal waste stream, and includes recycling programs; changes to the packaging portion of the waste stream to reduce solid waste generated; and activities and enterprises of scrap dealers, processors and consumers. For purposes of this definition, such waste stream reduction programs shall not include the processing of waste for incineration or disposal by landfill or other means.
The County Legislature is authorized to promulgate, revise, amend and publish rules, regulations and orders necessary to carry out the purposes of this article. Such rules, regulations and orders may, but shall not be limited to or required to, include the following:
Designate, define and modify categories of recyclable materials for which economic markets exist as regulated recyclable materials to be source separated pursuant to this article.
Prescribe methods and standards of source separation for regulated recyclable materials.
Identify one or more authorized recycling facilities to which regulated recyclable materials may be delivered, subject to such exceptions as the Solid Waste Manager may determine to be in the public interest.
Establish criteria and procedures to identify persons exempt from all or parts of this article and the rules and regulations hereunder.
Establish county programs to implement source separation of recyclable materials.
Provide notice and public education consistent with this article and the rules and regulations promulgated hereunder.
Determine the form, content and procedures of reports and records to be maintained pursuant to this article.
The County Legislature, in promulgating the rules, regulations, and orders, may reflect local differences in types of waste generators, population density, accessibility and capacity of markets and facilities, collection practices, and waste composition. The County Legislature shall also give due consideration to existing source separation, recycling, and other facilities in the area; to the adequacy of markets for separated materials, and to any additional expense and effort to be incurred by waste generators and haulers. In addition, the County Legislature shall consider the capacity, handling, disposal, marketing capabilities, and geographical location of available facilities, and such other factors as enable the County Legislature to determine that the public interest is served by the rule or regulation.
The County Legislature may delegate to its designee all or part of its power to promulgate rules, regulations, and orders.
Solid waste generated or originated within the county that is left for collection or that is delivered by the waste generator to a solid waste management facility shall be handled and disposed of as follows:
Prior to initial collection or transport, such solid waste shall be source separated by the waste generator into regulated recyclables and remaining solid waste as provided in the rules and regulations promulgated hereunder.
Source separated regulated recyclables shall not be commingled with other solid waste during collection, transportation, processing, or storage following collection.
All source separated regulated recyclables must be either collected by a licensed hauler or county recycling hauler, delivered to a recycling dropoff center or authorized recycling facility, or handled through a waste reduction program.
Any waste generator using a county recycling dropoff center or authorized recycling facility shall source-separate regulated recyclable material from other solid waste, and shall dispose of regulated recyclables in separate containers that shall be made available at each dropoff center or authorized recycling facility. Once deposited in the containers provided, all recyclable materials become the property of Tompkins County.
Disposal of solid waste that is barred from authorized recycling facilities by rules, regulations, or orders promulgated pursuant to § 140-5 of this article, or by any other law, regulation, or ordinance, shall not otherwise be regulated by this article.
No hazardous waste and no solid waste other than recyclable materials may be put in a recycling container or delivered to a recycling dropoff center or authorized recycling facility.
No facility other than an authorized recycling facility or a waste reduction program shall accept regulated recyclables that have been source separated.
No person shall deliver or dispose of solid waste at any solid waste management facility unless the regulated recyclables have been separated and removed from the solid waste for separate handling.
Authority to collect.
Only persons acting under the authority of a county recycling hauler shall collect, pick up, remove, or cause to be collected, picked up, or removed, any recyclables placed in or adjacent to a recycling container for collection by the county as part of a county-sponsored program.
Only persons acting under the authority of a licensed hauler shall collect, pick up, remove, or cause to be collected, any recyclables left by the waste generator for collection by the licensed hauler.
Empty curbside recycling containers shall be removed from the curbside or other place of collection by the waste generator responsible for placing the recycling container at curbside no later than 8:00 p.m. the day on which collection is made from the premises.
A licensed hauler may refuse to collect or pick up solid waste from which the designated recyclables have not been removed. In instances where the licensed hauler or the county recycling hauler has refused to collect solid waste or recyclables because the recyclables have not been separated, placed, treated or prepared in accord with the provisions of this article and the rules and regulations promulgated hereunder, the person responsible for initially placing those materials for collection shall remove those materials from any curb, sidewalk, streetside or other designated collection place no later than 8:00 p.m. the day on which collection is scheduled for the premises.
Nothing herein shall prevent any person from making arrangements for the reuse, private collection, sale, or donation of recyclables; provided that recyclables to be privately collected, sold or donated shall not be placed curbside or at any other designated collection place on or immediately preceding the day for scheduled collection of such recyclable materials pursuant to a county-sponsored recycling program; and provided that all reporting requirements of this article, rules, and regulations are complied with.
All parties. To the extent provided in the rules and regulations, all persons engaged in the collection of regulated recyclables and other recoverable materials, including but not limited to tires, lead-acid batteries, scrap metal, clothing, through a waste reduction program, or through any other such activities (e.g., paper drives, bottle redemption, waste exchanges, etc.) shall provide an annual report to the Solid Waste Manager, who shall then file a summary report with the County Legislature. Such information is essential for the county to maintain data and comply with waste reduction and recycling goals required by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
All licensed haulers must maintain separate records of recyclables collected, transported or disposed of by the licensed hauler, as provided by the Flow Control and Hauler Licensing Law and the rules and regulations thereunder.
All licensed haulers shall keep records of the county-provided notice (given pursuant to § 140-9C) given to customers who do not comply with this article and the rules and regulations promulgated hereunder, which records shall include: the customer's name, address, and date of issuance of each notice. The record maintained by the licensed hauler shall be made available for review upon request by the county, and shall be compiled and delivered to the Solid Waste Manager on or before February 1, May 1, August 1 and November 1 of each calendar year for each preceding quarter.
No person shall bring into any county solid waste management facilities any waste materials from which regulated recyclables have not been source separated. If a person delivers to a county-owned or operated solid waste management facility solid waste from which regulated recyclables have not been properly separated, the county may, at its option, refuse to accept the load of solid waste, or accept the solid waste and charge the person a handling charge. The handling charge shall be $25 per load for any person delivering under a residential permit and $100 per load for all others, in addition to the regular tipping fee. The handling fee shall be collected in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as the regular tipping fee.
Licensed haulers shall deliver county-supplied recycling containers to the haulers' customers, to the extent required by any county-sponsored recycling program.
The county shall supply county recycling haulers and licensed haulers with notice forms that the hauler must use to notify its customers if solid waste or recyclables left for collection do not conform or comply with the requirements of this article and the rules and regulations promulgated hereunder.
Licensed haulers shall indemnify and hold harmless Tompkins County for any pending, threatened or actual claims, liability or expenses arising from collection, transport, handling and disposal by the licensed hauler in violation of this article.
Inspections and appearance tickets.
All portions of vehicles, dumpsters, garbage cans, garbage bags and other containers used to collect, haul, transport or dispose of solid waste or regulated recyclables, including recycling containers or other containers placed outside of residences or other establishments, shall be subject to inspection to ascertain compliance with this article and the rules, regulations or orders promulgated hereunder, by any police officer, peace officer, or any other public official designated by the county.
Police officers, peace officers, the Solid Waste Manager and other public officials designated by the County Legislature are hereby authorized and directed to issue appearance tickets for violations of this article.
Civil sanctions. The county may commence a civil action to enjoin or otherwise remedy any failure to comply with this article or the rules, regulations and orders promulgated pursuant to this article.
Except as provided below, failure to comply with this article or the rules, regulations or orders promulgated pursuant to this article, shall be a violation as defined in § 55.10 of the Penal Law.
Any waste generator convicted of a violation shall be liable for a fine of $15 for the first violation, $30 for the second violation and $50 for each succeeding violation.
Any person, other than a waste generator, convicted of a violation shall be liable for a fine of $50 for the first violation, $100 for the second violation and $250 for each succeeding violation.
If any person is convicted of three violations of this article within a period of 24 months, each subsequent failure to comply with this article or the rules, regulations or orders promulgated pursuant to this article, shall be a misdemeanor as defined in § 55.10 of the Penal Law. Any person convicted of a misdemeanor shall be liable for a fine of up to $2,500.
Each commission of a single act shall constitute a separate violation of this article, and each day such violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense, which may be punished and prosecuted as such.
Any penalties or damages recovered or imposed under this article are in addition to any other remedies available at law or equity.