January 2023 Solid Waste Working Group Update

January 31, 2023

The NH Solid Waste Working Group (SWWG), which is responsible for assisting the NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) with solid waste planning and policy initiatives, held its first meeting of the new year on Friday, January 27th.  

The meeting began with a presentation by Josh Kelly, Solid Waste Program Manager with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC). One of the SWWG's responsibilities is to "review and make recommendations regarding municipal solid waste plans and implementing the prohibition of any landfill in the state from accepting waste from a municipality that does not have a solid waste management plan." Josh described the Solid Waste Implementation Plans VTDEC requires municipalities (or solid waste districts) in Vermont to develop. Among other things, the plans require that:
  • Municipalities engage in educational outreach to businesses and schools in their communities
  • Hold household hazardous waste collection events
  • Implement pay as you throw systems for trash
  • Provide an A to Z guide on how and where to recycle items in their area.
All waste generators in Vermont, or those disposing of waste in Vermont, pay a $6 per ton franchise fee on disposed waste, which generates funding for the state to provide grants to communities to implement these requirements.

In the second half of the meeting, NHDES staff presented data from the most recent Biennial Solid Waste Report and shared the first Implementation Plan for the 2022 Solid Waste Management Plan.

The Implementation Plan identifies a dozen specific activities that the Solid Waste Management Bureau intends to work on over the next year to advance the goals of the Solid Waste Management Plan. NRRA and other attendees urged NHDES to publicize the Implementation Plan on its website, and NRRA will share the document with its members when publicly available.

The meeting closed with a discussion of solid waste-related legislation proposed for the 2023 session in NH.