NH Solid Waste Legislation Update

In the fall of 2019, the New Hampshire HB 617 Recycling & Solid Waste Study Committee held fourteen hearings to study how the State can assist municipalities during these challenging recycling markets.  NRRA’s Executive Director, Reagan Bissonnette, actively participated in these hearings and testified multiple times, along with some NRRA members.  The committee’s final report was issued on November 1, 2019.  

In the 2020 legislative cycle, numerous bills have been proposed in New Hampshire that are relevant to NRRA’s NH members with respect to solid waste and resource recovery.  Most resulted from the HB 617 Recycling & Solid Waste Study Committee’s report.  NRRA has provided a brief summary of these bills below.  Please see the full text of each bill (provided as a hyperlink) for complete details.  If you are interested in an update on these bills after the date this document was last updated, the NH Department of Environmental Services’ Bill Tracking Matrix is updated weekly.

If you are a member of NRRA and have questions or comments about these proposed bills, please contact NRRA Executive Director Reagan Bissonnette at (603) 736-4401 or rbissonnette@nrrarecycles.org

 

Senate Bill 680: As amended by the Senate on the floor, by July 1, 2021, the Department of Transportation shall establish a program to use processed glass aggregate to the extent it is available and feasible in state projects.

Status: Passed by the Senate on 2/13/20. Next Step: Schedule House committee hearing.

Senate Bill 591: As amended, this bill establishes a statewide solid waste disposal reduction goal to reduce the quantity by weight of solid waste disposed in landfills and incinerators by 25 percent by the year 2030, and by 45 percent by the year 2050. The goal would apply to the disposal of municipal solid waste and construction and demolition debris and be measured against baseline quantities of these wastes disposed of in the year 2018.

Status: Passed by the Senate on 3/12/20. Next Step: Schedule House committee hearing.

Senate Bill 629: As amended, this bill establishes a solid waste reduction management fund and establishes a solid waste disposal surcharge. Beginning July 1, 2021, solid waste disposed of at a New Hampshire landfill, incinerator, or waste-to-energy facility would be subject to a surcharge of $1.50 per ton. The funds would be used to support the administration and implementation of the Department of Environmental Services’ solid waste technical assistance, planning, and regulatory and permitting activities, including waste reduction and diversion technical assistance, long term solid waste management planning, education and outreach efforts, and administration of payments from a fund to be established from the surcharge. The fund would be used to provide annual payments to New Hampshire municipalities for source reduction and recycling efforts to fully offset costs associated with the $1.50 per ton solid waste disposal surcharge. The fund would be also used to provide matching grant funding to New Hampshire municipalities, private entities, and businesses for projects that will provide a demonstrated, significant improvement in waste diversion methods and contribute to a reduction of wastes requiring disposal, including a regional or municipal materials recovery facility operated by a public or private entity, and other regional recycling efforts. Not less than 50 percent of grant funds would be made available to private entities and businesses for such projects in New Hampshire.

Status: Passed by the Senate on 3/12/20. Next Step: Schedule House committee hearing.

House Bill 1422: This bill would establish a moratorium on the issuance of permits for new landfills or the expansion of existing landfills for the purpose of studying the creating of municipal waste districts. 

Status: Referred to interim study by the House on 3/12/20. 

House Bill 1319: An amendment made on the floor adds that no permits shall be issued for the siting of a new landfill (excluding expansions of existing landfills) if any part of the actual solid waste disposal area is proposed to be located within 2 miles of the boundary of any state or national park.

Status: Passed by the House on 3/12/20. Next Step: Schedule Senate committee hearing

House Bill 1701: As amended, this bill requires certain stores to establish a film plastics recycling program at those stores, which provides an opportunity for a customer of the store to return to the store film plastics (ex. plastic bags).

Status: Passed by the House on 3/11/20. Next Step: Schedule Senate committee hearing.

House Bill 1702: This bill establishes a solid waste working group on solid waste management planning. The working group would assist the Department of Environmental Services in long-range planning for and the development of creative, effective solutions to the state’s solid waste management challenges. The working group would include a representative of NRRA. 

Status: Passed by the House on 3/11/20. Next Step: Schedule Senate committee hearing.

House Bill 1703: As amended, this bill establishes a working group on food recovery.  The working group would review existing regulations and policies to reduce food waste by increasing food recovery, and to identify regulatory hurdles that impede the sharing of food with the hungry. The working group would include a representative of NRRA. (For example, New Hampshire does not allow unused packaged food to be redistributed to hungry children or others via “share tables,” which is permitted by many other New England states.)

Status: Passed by the House on 3/11/20. Next Step: Schedule Senate committee hearing.

House Bill 1704: This bill requires the Department of Environmental Services to initiate rulemaking by September 30, 2020 relative to requirements and best practices for facilities that compost organics, including vegetable matter, meat, meat byproducts, dairy products, and dairy product derivatives.  (A law was passed in 2015 directing NHDES to make these updates – primarily focused on establishing best practices for composting meat and dairy – but the department has been unable to complete that process to date.)

Status: Passed by the House on 3/11/20. Next Step: Schedule Senate committee hearing.