An overview of the changes
This is a selection of the substantial changes contained in the bills.
Haulers not required to offer food scrap collection until 2020
Haulers will be required to offer collection of food scraps starting July 1, 2020.**
Previously: Act 148 originally required haulers to offer food scrap collection in 2017. The deadline was later delayed until 2018.
Haulers not required to offer leaf & yard waste pickup.
Haulers are no longer required to offer collection of leaf & yard waste.
Previously: Act 148 originally required haulers to offer collection.
Solid waste facilities can charge for recycling.
Solid waste facilities are now permitted to charge a separate fee for collection of blue bin recycling (i.e. “mandatory recycling”).
Previously: Act 148 originally required facilities to accept recycling without a fee.
Solid waste facilities don’t have to accept leaf & yard waste during winter.
Solid waste facilities must accept leaf & yard waste from April 1 – December 15.
Previously: Act 148 originally required this service year-round.
“Fast trash” must collect more materials.
Haulers providing “fast trash” services (temporary collection centers for trash and recycling) must collect the same materials required of solid waste facilities, including recycling, food scraps, leaf & yard debris, and clean wood.
Previously:”Fast trash” services were allowed to only collect trash and recycling.
The Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) can suspend the landfill ban on paper.
Due to unprecedented global upheaval in recycling markets, a provision was added to S.260 that authorizes the ANR Secretary to temporarily suspend the landfill ban on mixed paper if there are insufficient markets for recycling. The Secretary is authorized to do this only until July 1, 2019. The suspension would be granted on a temporary and case-by-case basis.
Previously: Act 148 bans landfill disposal of mixed paper, which includes white and colored paper, newspaper, magazines, catalogues, paper mail and envelopes, boxboard and paper bags.
Unclaimed nickels from bottle bill go to Clean Water Fund.
Beginning October 1, 2019, the unclaimed bottle bill deposit fees (escheats) will be dedicated to the Clean Water Fund.
Previously, the beverage distributors kept the escheats.
**The bill also directs the Agency of Natural Resources to report back to the legislature in their next session. In the meantime, they are to collect input from stakeholders about whether the food scrap hauler requirement should be amended based on population, housing, or route density, or some other criteria. They are also to report on regional capacity to process food residuals to allow for the collection of food scraps by haulers beginning in 2020.