State Sen. Harckham’s bill would require companies to use recyclables, reduce plastic
State Sen. Pete Harckham introduced legislation to encourage the use of recyclables while reducing plastic and paper waste.
He went to the Mount Kisco Department of Works Wednesday to announce the Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act.
Sen. Harckham says under the legislation, companies that make a net annual income of over $1 million “will now be required to reduce packaging, improve recycling and contribute to upgrading our recycling infrastructure, financially support municipal recycling programs and reduce toxins in packaging.”
He added, “The average New Yorker creates over 5 pounds of trash every day, And this figure has been growing since the pandemic. New York produces 15 million tons of waste a year,”
Employees at the Mount Kisco Department of Public Works filled three massive containers with recycling that came from just the village.
"The things we need come wrapped in the things we don't, and then we consumers bear the physical and financial burden of disposing of that packaging,” says Westchester County Legislator Erika Pierce.
Sen. Harckham says the bill will save the state $200 million annually.
"With less waste to collect, that's less time on the road, it’s less fuel, it’s less people power,” Sen. Harckham says.
The bill also provides enforcement with the creation of the Office of the Inspector General within the Department of Environmental Conservation to enforce these provisions. Local municipalities will be able to report businesses that fail to comply to the inspector general.
"It places the responsibility, both morally and financially, where it belongs: the producers,” says Westchester County Legislator Nancy Barr.