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Which States will adopt new recycling rules in 2023

Recycling is important. It was also a significant issue during the pandemic. Landfills, recycling centers, and other facilities were overwhelmed, sick. They couldn’t keep pace with online ordering and changes to work from home, which led to residential bins, wheeled containers, and waste collection overflowing.

New challenges appeared as things returned to their new normal. The people didn’t want their safety and sanity to be at risk for jobs that did not always pay enough money to live on. It was challenging to find new workers, just as it was to get former employees back. Some recycling centers have stopped accepting recyclables, while others have closed or consolidated.

Between 2019 and 2020, bottle recycling decreased by 1.6%. Plastic recycling decreased by 5%, resulting in 85% of plastic waste being disposed of in landfills. The best recycling rates were achieved by paper and cardboard, at 68% each and 91.4%, respectively. Glass was only recycled at 33%. This is not good news.

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Recycling is more important than ever. Vermont’s one landfill has space for 20 years worth of waste despite changes in the law. There are also no other candidate landfills. You might be surprised at how accurate the movie “Idiocracy” is. It’s time for a change.

What actions is the federal government taking?

Two bills were introduced to Congress in 2022. The Recycling and Infrastructure Accessibility Act aimed to increase access to recycling programs in the United States. However, the bill’s last action was for Senator Carper to submit a written report.

The Recycling and Composting Accountability Act is another bill that aims to create a national composting program. Even after Senator Carper filed a written report, the account is stagnant.

House Report 117-14 raised concerns about pyrolysis, gasification, and plastics chemical recycling. These methods are feared to impact the environment and the Clean Air Act.

What about individual states?

Several states have adopted measures to protect the environment. Do you live in any of these states?


California banned PFAs from food packaging and takeout boxes on January 1. A second change allows manufacturers one year to prepare. Cookware manufacturers must state whether the coatings contain PFAs or are PFOA-free on their packaging.

The recycled content of plastic bottles from last year came into force on January 1. Businesses not using the required 15% recycled material in their plastic beverage bottle now face fines.


Colorado, like other states in the country, has a “Producer Extended Responsibility” (EPR), a recycling requirement. The measure shifts recycling costs from municipalities and taxpayers to manufacturers.

However, this EPR plan is different from other states’ plans. The manufacturers must not only pay for recycling but also for educational and promotional efforts as well as capital and operating funding needed to launch programs.


Beginning January 1, redemption centers and dealers will receive three cents for each recycled container. Dealer agents will continue to receive a penny for each bottle or can. Redemption centers are required to apply for an official business license by January 31. Distributors are required to pick up collected bottles and cans from the permit holder.

New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy has signed a bill that prohibits the use of polystyrene packing nuts. The bill also mandates that many products, such as paper, Glass, and many plastics, contain recycled material.

In 2024, rigid plastics must contain at least 10% recycled post-consumer content. Plastic beverage containers must have at least 15%. By 2036, rigid plastic and beverage containers will include 50% more.

Recycled Glass must also contain 25% to 35% post-consumer materials. Plastic carryout bags are required to have at least 20% recycled material, which will increase to 40% by 2027. Paper bags should be between 20 and 40 percent. Plastic trash bags also must contain recycled plastic. They start at 5% to 20 % in 2023 and increase to 10 – 40 % in 2027.

New York :

The Electronics disposal was illegal, but the costs were high, as manufacturers could pass on these costs to other companies, which trickled down to the consumers. In 2023, the responsibility will be on the manufacturers. The consumer is now entitled to convenient, cost-free recycling.

The ban on plastic bags is also being carried over to paper bags that cost 5 cents each. Walmart stores in New York have decided to stop selling bags made of paper as of January 18. Walmart customers must bring their bags with them when they shop.


Oregon’s pilot project to eliminate contamination in waste and recycling is set to begin. New EPR rules will place the responsibility for the cost of recycling on producers. The state also works on setting up rules to make recycling more equitable and accessible in multifamily housing.

South Carolina

Act 234 was signed by the Governor of South Carolina on June 17, 2022. The bill strengthens the existing laws that require manufacturers to be responsible for recovering and recycling e-waste.

In 2023, the weight-based e-waste collection will be discontinued to allow residents to recycle heavier, older TVs and computer parts more easily. The manufacturers must establish three collection sites in each county or four events annually.


Vermont hasn’t changed much, but the residents of Vermont’s biggest city will soon see some changes. Burlington businesses and residents must use and purchase a covered wheeled recycling container, also known as a “toter,” starting May 1.

The city sells 35-gallon toters for $10, 65-gallon toters for $20, and 95-gallon toters for $25. The city will sell 35-gallon bags for $10, 65-gallon bags for $20, and 95-gallon bags for $25.


Washington’s WRAP Act also is being considered. If the WRAP Act passes, producers will be responsible for paying the recycling districts of the state to collect and recycle packaging that’s hard to recycle and is only used once. The WRAP Act also establishes a bottle-deposit program to ensure that bottles are recycled correctly.

Recycling Requires Your Co-operation

Learn what items you can recycle in your area. Check for alternatives before throwing away things that you cannot recycle. Plastic storage bags may not be recyclable in your wheeled or blue recycling bin, but they can be recycled at a location that accepts plastic bags, films, and wrap.

Check with your local Freecycle groups if you have any other items, such as foam egg cartons or pill bottles. You would be surprised at how valuable things like this are for someone who has backyard chickens or daycares. Upcyclers will consider an old ladder, even if it is broken.

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Jane S. King

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