NH Solid Waste Legislation Update - 2021 Session

The New Hampshire Legislature has begun its 2021 session, and NRRA has prepared a list of bills related to solid waste and recycling.  NRRA will periodically provide updates regarding these bills and encourages members to testify on bills relevant to their work.  NRRA may testify for some bills to educate lawmakers, but NRRA does not take a position on proposed legislation.  Note that there is one hearing scheduled for the week of March 1 regarding establishing a statewide solid waste disposal reduction goal.  Last updated Feb. 22, 2021. 

Legislative Process

State Senators and State Representatives first file what are known as Legislative Service Requests (“LSRs”).  An LSR is a simple proposal for a bill submitted by a member of the incoming Legislature that is later drafted into a detailed bill.  Then bills are assigned to committees in the House or Senate, depending on which chamber the bill originated in.  Next, bills are scheduled for hearings, where members of the public may testify in support or opposition to bills remotely or in writing.  The nonprofit New Futures provides a helpful description of the full process of how a bill becomes a law.   

To register support or opposition for a bill, or to testify remotely, see instructions for the NH House of Representatives and for the NH Senate.  

Solid Waste Bills

Click on the bill number to read the complete text of the bill on the NH General Court website.  Click on "status" following any bill to view the current status on the NH General Court website.      

SB 146: Omnibus legislation relative to the environment.  Part II establishes a statewide solid waste disposal reduction goal.  Part III prohibits certain packaging containing PFAS and establishes a plastics advisory council.  

Summary: This bill adopts omnibus legislation relative to the environment. 

  • Part II establishing 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. 
  • Part II would also change the timeline for NHDES to update the state's solid waste plan from every 6 years to every 10 years. 
  • Part III prohibits the manufacture, sale, or distribution for use in the state a food package to which PFAS have been intentionally added in any amount. 
  • Part III also prohibits materials containing PFAS from being labeled compostable or accepted for composting in NH. 
  • Part III also establishes in NHDES a plastics advisory council.  The council shall consider emerging scientific research on health and environmental effects of plastics, recycling practices, and ways to reduce or eliminate single-use plastics and plastic waste in the state.  The council shall recommend to the legislature and state departments ways to reduce the use of plastics and the amount of plastic entering the environment, and increase the rate of recycling of plastics, and shall identify threats to human and environmental health, including animal and aquatic species, due to plastics.  

Status: Hearing scheduled before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on March 1, 2021 at 1:00 PM.  

To register support or opposition or to register to testify during the hearing, click this link and select Monday, 3/1 as the hearing date. Then select the “Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee” and “1:00 pm - SB146” from the dropdown menus. 

To testify during the hearing, register as explained above, then log in using this Zoom link

You may email written testimony and documents you wish to share with the Committee to Griffin.Roberge@leg.state.nh.us.

HB 177: Prohibiting the siting of a landfill near a state park. 

Summary: This bill prohibits the siting of new landfills, excluding expansions of existing landfills, near state parks. This bill also defines state parks for the purposes of prohibiting the siting of new landfills. 

Status: Hearing held before the House Environment and Agriculture Committee on Feb. 3, 2021 at 1:00 PM.  Majority voted inexpedient to legislate.  Minority voted Ought to Pass with Amendment.  

HB 413: An Act establishing a solid waste working group on solid waste management planning and relative to compost. 

Summary: This bill establishes a solid waste working group on solid waste management planning.  This bill also requires the department of environmental services to make certain rules regarding compost.  Note: NRRA would have a representative on this working group. 

 Status: Hearing held before the House Environment and Agriculture Committee on Feb. 17, 2021 at 2:00 PM.  NRRA testified.  A slightly amended version was passed unanimously by the Committee and is on the consent calendar for a vote by the full House. 

HB 618: An Act relative to the sale and distribution of polystyrene food service products.  

Summary: This bill prohibits the sale or distribution of polystyrene foam in food service businesses.

Status: Hearing held before the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs on Feb. 16, 2021 at 10:30 AM.  


The NH Department of Environmental Services prepares a bill tracking matrix that is updated weekly.  NHDES also prepares a weekly NHDES Legislative Hearing Calendar showing upcoming legislative committee hearings and meetings on all bills and hearings relevant to NHDES.  

For questions or comments regarding this legislative update, contact Reagan Bissonnette, NRRA Executive Director, at (603) 736-4401 x116 or rbissonnette@nrrarecycles.org