In 1988 the New York State legislature passed the Solid Waste Management Act which was designed to help New Yorkers to save energy, reduce pollution, save on our precious resources, saving on landfill space, and even creating jobs. The long term benefits of this legislature envisioned a population conducting responsible environmental caretaking and finally creating healthier environments to grow communities.
As a result of this special legislation of 1988 New York established a Solid Waste Management Policy which prioritizes actions taken by state bodies and citizens who together will improve the environment. These priorities are as follows:
• The reduction of the amount of solid waste which is created.
• To reuse the material in the original way it was intended to be used, or to at least recycle the material so it can be used in some other way.
• To try and recover in a way which is environmentally acceptable, energy from whatever solid waste that cannot be reused or recycled.
• Disposal of solid waste which cannot be reused, recycled or from which energy cannot be recovered. This would for the most part be land burial according to the methods stipulated by the New York State Environmental Conservation Law 27-0106.1.