In its operations, the Ulster County government is committed to reducing waste production, reusing and recycling old materials, and following green procurement policies when new materials are purchased. The County also supports the mission of the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency (UCRRA) which is "to provide its constituency with a comprehensive program for managing solid waste, which is consistent with New York State's Hierarchy for materials management, in an economically sound and environmentally safe manner."
Ulster County Resource Recovery (UCRRA)
For information on waste disposal, recycling, electronics recycling, hazardous waste composting, pharmaceutical waste, the SHARPS program, and other great resources concerning landfill mitigation, visit the Ulster County Resource Recovery (UCRRA) website: http://www.ucrra.org/.
Ulster County was awarded a $261,000 grant from the NYS Regional Economic Development Council (2016) to expand and improve the operation and commercial viability of the composting facility at the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency (UCRRA) in Kingston, NY. This funding will provide compost bins for commercial customers, identify and map food service operations and institutional generators within the UCRRA service, purchase and install a bagging machine to increase the marketability of finished compost, and establish a pilot organics recovery program at the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center.
Food Waste Prevention and Recovery Act
In 2019, the Ulster County Legislature enacted the “Food Waste Prevention and Recovery Act”. This law requires large food scraps generators to separate food waste from the general waste stream and then either arrange for its reuse by the food insecure or for animal feed, compost it on site, or arrange for licensed services for the purpose of delivering it to a processing facility for composting or anaerobic digestion. The law will remove food waste generated on an annual basis from the waste stream incrementally from generators producing 2 tons per week (starting on January 1, 2021) to 0.5 tons per week by July 1, 2023. More information is available here: Food Waste Prevention and Recovery Act.
Food Service Waste Reduction Act
Ulster County adopted and approved a local law known as the "Food Service Waste Reduction Act" which prohibits all food service establishments from using expanded polystyrene foam (commonly referred to as Styrofoam) when preparing, selling or providing food and beverages in Ulster County. The law goes further regarding County permitted and sponsored events, also prohibiting the use of all non-recyclable plastic. Please read the complete law here: Food Service Waste Reduction Act and download the brochure which summarizes the law here: A Summary of the Food Service Waste Reduction Act.
Bring Your Own Bag Act
Ulster County adopted and approved Local Law #5 of 2018 known as the "Bring Your Own Bag Act" which prohibits covered stores from providing single-use plastic bags to customers in Ulster County. The law also mandates a fee for providing recyclable paper bags. The complete law is available here: Local Law #5 of 2018. Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here: Bring Your Own Bag Act FAQ
Skip The Straw
In 2019 Ulster County adopted, approved and amended the "Skip the Straw Law", requiring restaurants and fast food service establishments to only provide plastic beverage straws, stirrers, utensils and condiment packets to customers upon request. See this page for additional information.