Kristine Ellsworth

Kristine Ellsworth

Kristine Ellsworth

Speaker | NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Albany, NY |

Kristine Ellsworth is an Assistant Environmental Engineer for the NYS Department of Environmental Conversation Organics Reduction & Recycling section where she provides regulatory guidance and technical assistance on composting facilities, implements the NYS Food Donation & Food Scraps Recycling law and develops funding programs for organics related projects. Kristine has presented on numerous webinars and at NYS based conferences including the Federation Conference, NYSAR3 Annual Recycling Conference and the NYS Organics Summit.

Session Code: B1

Track: Policy

Session Name: State and Local Policy Work

Session Time: 8:15 to 9:45 AM

Presentation Title: Growing the Organics Recycling Industry in NYS

Presentation Description: New York State is stepping up to the plate and pushing for the expansion of organics recycling efforts at all levels, but recent legislation, funding opportunities and upcoming policy will push the industry forward even further.

Effective January 1, 2022, the NYS Food Donation & Food Scraps Recycling law requires businesses that generate an annual average of 2 tons of wasted food per week or more to donate excess edible food and recycle all remaining food scraps if they are within 25 miles of an organics recycler. To assist with the implementation of this law, DEC has developed a unique relationship with FeedingNYS and a specialized contractor to assist in providing technical assistance to these businesses.

In 2019, NYS passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, setting nation leading climate targets. It will require New York to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and no less than 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels. The Climate Action Council was charged with developing a scoping plan of recommendations. Of importance was the creation of the Waste Advisory Panel, a group of materials management professionals providing recommendations on the role of “waste” on climate change and the role that organics recycling among other initiatives can play. A final scoping plan will be released January 2023.

New York State is releasing an updated State Solid Waste Management Plan for public comment in 2022 which provides guiding recommendations at the state and local level and engages the private sector more fully in moving New York State forward, especially as it relates to organic waste.

As part of 2022 NYS Compost Awareness Week, DEC announced $2 million in municipal funding for food scraps recycling initiatives with the first half prioritized to projects in environmental justice communities.