Banning Organics from Landfills

USCC supports bans on disposing of food residuals; Opposes the Weakening of Yard Debris Bans

Attempts by state legislatures to repeal long-standing bans on the disposal of leaves and other yard debris in landfills returned to Georgia and Michigan in recent legislative sessions. While the Michigan attempts have been turned back, Georgia will now allow yard trimmings into the 12 landfills that use landfill gas collection.

We fully anticipate that these fights to continue in the future. To fight these repeals, we are taking a two-pronged approach. First and foremost we work with groups within the affected states to lobby the legislatures and rally their supporters, because each state’s needs are unique and the issues and strategies are different. If you see similar issues arise in other states, please alert our Legislative and Environmental Affairs Committee Chair, Brenda Platt, at, or 202-898-1610 x 230.

At the same time we are raising national awareness on these issues and why they are shortsighted and misguided. More importantly, we are starting to work PROACTIVELY to introduce legislation that will support expansion of the organics recycling industry. Recently Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut plus New York City have all introduced policies to increase organics recycling and reduce disposal. We will work with like-minded organizations to support these and identify other states and municipalities where such progressive rules can be fostered.

Click here for additional resources on landfill bans

A bill is in Maryland’s 2014 General Assembly that would which closes a loophole that only bans source-separated yard waste from landfills in Maryland.  It also requires locations that generate 2 tons of food scraps a week to recycle them.  But, the best part of this bill is that it allows composting to grow as markets for the materials develop.  Under this law, organics are only banned from disposal sites if a recycling facility that can handle that material is available within 30 miles.

See USCC’s Testimony on the HB 1081 Here.

Protect Michigan’s Yard Debris Landfill Ban

>>>GOOD NEWS<<< Thanks to the hard work of Michigan composters and their allies the MIchigan bill never made it out of committee. We will continue to monitor the situation and put out a new call to action if needed.

Michigan SB 314 would seriously weaken the state’s longstanding ban on landfill disposal of segregated yard trimmings by exempting landfills with gas recovery systems.


These bills will hurt the composting industry in Michigan and increase pollution from waste. Read more on why these bills should be rejected. Also visit the Michigan Recycling Council’s Composting Policy web site for its position statement and analysis on why these exemption bills should be defeated.

Related Downloads