Determining Goals

With growing public and private sector support for recycling, states and local governments are making commitments to increase their recycling rates and reduce climate impacts through Climate Plans.

Organics are often identified as the one of the largest portion of the recycling stream and the single largest component of municipal solid waste (MSW). They are also  a quarter of the waste stream-with food waste (according to Project Drawdown) being the third largest source of climate change.

Waste sorts have found that compostable materials (excluding yard waste) make up a third or more of the residential waste stream. Therefore, increasing recovery and diversion of organics is critical to accomplishing recycling goals.

To set recycling goals and help lead the industry to success, state and local government can do the following:

  • Assess the current local waste stream and map the existing organics management infrastructure for preventing wasted food and organics processing.
  • Conduct an analysis and forecast the opportunity for building out an organics management industry identifying both economic and environmental benefits.
  • Determine diversion and recycling goals that take into account the value and benefits of the resulting compost.
  • Develop a strategy for attracting facilities that compost to meet the growing local and regional demand residentially, commercially and industrially.
  • Help create demand for finished compost by adopting policies for use in public works projects, parks, and residential and commercial development projects.


Toolkit for Building a Municipal Food Waste Strategy, New York State Pollution Prevention Institute

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