NH Solid Waste Working Group Holds First Recycling & Composting Subcommittee Meeting

May 9, 2022

The NH Solid Waste Working Group, which is responsible for assisting the NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) with solid waste planning and policy initiatives, held its first three subcommittee meetings and a full group meeting on April 22, Earth Day.  NRRA Executive Director Reagan Bissonnette serves on the Recycling & Composting subcommittee and provides an update regarding the subcommittee's work and welcomes input from NRRA members.  The subcommittees and full Working Group are next scheduled to meet on Friday, May 27.  

At the first meeting of the Recycling and Composting Subcommittee, members discussed a variety of topics as listed below. Subcommittee members agreed to be prepared to discuss the following at their next meeting on May 27, 2022: (1) top priority materials for increased diversion (based on weight being disposed); and (2) short and long-term recommendations for improving recycling or composting of those materials.

  • Pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) programs
  • Challenges promoting recycling in multi-family housing
  • Availability of  markets and infrastructure for recycling and composting
  • Encouraging regional cooperation between municipalities
  • Managing food waste via composting and anaerobic digestion
  • Disposal capacity in New Hampshire and how to limit disposal of out-of-state waste
  • Funding opportunities for recycling and solid waste management (e.g. disposal surcharges)
  • Prioritizing attention to recovery of the materials that comprise the highest percentage by weight being disposed of in landfills and incinerators (e.g. food waste, C&D, paper, glass, textiles)
  • NH’s existing disposal bans and inquired if additional disposal bans might be warranted
  • Extended producer responsibility (EPR) policies, which have been employed in other states

The Waste Reduction & Management of "Difficult" Wastes subcommittee and the Alternative Waste Management Technologies subcommittee also met on Earth Day and shared updates at the full Working Group meeting.  Minutes and materials from the subcommittee meetings and Working Group meeting are available on the NHDES Solid Waste Working Group website