BILL NO A05275
SAME AS No Same as
Add Art 27 Title 31 SS27-3101 - 27-3109, En Con L
Provides for the recovery, reuse and recycling of hardcover books; prohibits
the disposal as solid waste and incineration of hardcover books.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A5275
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to
recovery, reuse and recycling of hardcover books
PURPOSE OF THE BILL:
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
There are substantial quantities of hardcover books being deposited into
landfills, despite the availability of markets for their processing and
recycling. Recycling and reprocessing of soft cover books has been
occurring for years as mixed paper in residential and commercial recycl-
ing programs. However, hardcover books have faced obstacles to recycling
principally due to their bindings and covers. Nevertheless, it appears
that recycling of hardcover books is both economically and environ-
Because hardcover books are often collected with other paper, it is
difficult to obtain accurate recycling information. Hardcover books are
often collected at no cost by recyclers, and the source agencies do not
keep records on these quantities. In general, residential curbside
collection programs generally process hardcover books as mixed paper;
therefore it is difficult to quantify collection costs. Libraries and
schools maintain separate storage, hilt savings from reduced garbage
collection and disposal offset these costs.
A survey conducted by the Assembly Legislative Commission on Solid Waste
Management of the State's larger cities and their counties, subsequently
identifying municipalities and private companies that are recycling
hardcover books. Some examples of the survey results are:
Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority has operated a voluntary free
drop-off of hardcover books at its recycling center in Utica since 2006
and two highly successful one-day collection events at City of Rome
Library. The Authority requires residents, libraries, schools, busi-
nesses and other generators to drop of hardcover books directly at the
Recycling Center in Utica, where the books are segregated and marketed
separately. The Authority delivers the books to a scrap paper processor
at no cost where the books are baled and exported for final recycling.
Approximately 50 tons of hardcover books are recycled annually, includ-
ing about 10 tons from the library collection events. The Authority
identified the lack of consistent reliable markets as the largest imped-
iment, as well as identifying appropriate staff in agencies, schools,
libraries, etc. to ensure the unwanted books are properly collected and
segregated. The Authority estimates annual handling costs are modest and
off-set by avoided disposal costs.
Broome County accepts hardcover books with other paper products from
residential curbside recycling. Schools, libraries, and businesses recy-
cle larger quantities of hardcover books directly with area paper recy-
City of Rochester accepts hardcover books with other paper products from
residential curbside recycling; the books are transported to and proc-
essed at the Monroe County Materials Recovery Facility. Rochester expe-
rienced no significant increase in costs for collecting hardcover books.
Erie County partners with Cascades Recovery US to collect hardcover
books from the County Library, the County law office and other depart-
ments, as well as Buffalo and other area school districts.
Onondaga County collected hardcover books from 2004 - 2010 at a special
drop-off center; this collection stopped in 2010 due to rent and person-
nel costs. Their contractor for taking all books was Hanna Paper in
Buffalo. They also identified a company (Folletts) that takes back text-
books, as well as agencies, including libraries that will take hardcover
books. Onondaga County allowed community organizations and schools to
"harvest" books before shipping,to Hanna. Onondaga County estimates that
it has collected approximately 660 tons of hardcover books between 2004
and 2010. The County noted that adequate shipping containers were a
challenge solved by using unwanted watermelon crates. The County did not
recover any costs because of storage space and labor costs.
NYS Office of General Services (OGS) receives approximately 4 tons of
hard and soft cover books a month through their recycling program at the
Empire State Plaza. Since August 2011, OGS has contracted with Cascades
Recycling US to recycle paper as well as hard and soft cover books.
According to OGS, all facilities operated statewide recycle paper,
including hard cover books.
Cascades Recovery US has a major presence in upstate New York, with
paper mills in Canada that buy and use scrap paper. The company is
increasing hardcover book recovery as a means of obtaining more recycled
paper. Cascades contracts with OGS to take office paper, including hard-
cover books, from the Empire State Plaza (ESP), the State Office Campus,
the A.E. Smith Building, the Capital and the Ten Eyck building. Cascades
has also bid on a paper contract with the State Education Department.
Cascades note that technological advances in shredding and processing at
the paper mills are overcoming the problems associated with hardcover
bindings and covers for processing and recycling.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2013: A 1767 Maisel; S3834 Farley
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This act would take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2015-2016 Regular Sessions
February 17, 2015
Introduced by M. of A. ENGLEBRIGHT -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Environmental Conservation
AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to
recovery, reuse and recycling of hardcover books
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Article 27 of the environmental conservation law is amended
2 by adding a new title 31 to read as follows:
3 TITLE 31
4 HARDCOVER BOOK RECOVERY, REUSE AND RECYCLING
5 Section 27-3101. Definition.
6 27-3103. Disposal of hardcover books; prohibited.
7 27-3105. Department responsibilities.
8 27-3107. Responsibilities of municipalities.
9 27-3109. Hardcover book recyclers.
10 § 27-3101. Definition.
11 As used in this title, "hardcover book" means a book bound in cloth,
12 cardboard or leather. Such term shall not include paperback books.
13 § 27-3103. Disposal of hardcover books; prohibited.
14 It shall be unlawful to dispose of a hardcover book as solid waste or
15 to incinerate a hardcover book.
16 § 27-3105. Department responsibilities.
17 The department shall:
18 1. inventory existing voluntary municipal solid waste management
19 programs that include recovery, reuse and recycling of hardcover books
20 and make the information derived from such inventory available to all
21 municipalities. When municipalities establish their permanent programs,
22 this information shall also be shared with other municipalities;
23 2. prominently post information about municipal hardcover book recov-
24 ery, reuse, and recycling programs on its website; and
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 5275 2
1 3. ensure that all municipalities are notified of the hardcover book
2 disposal prohibition and the requirements of this title.
3 § 27-3107. Responsibilities of municipalities.
4 Municipalities are encouraged to establish programs to collect, redis-
5 tribute, reuse and recycle unwanted books. Municipalities may contract
6 with third party organizations or businesses for the collection, redis-
7 tribution and recycling of unwanted hardcover books. Municipalities
8 shall send all information describing the establishment and implementa-
9 tion of their voluntary programs to recover, redistribute, reuse or
10 recycle hardcover books to the department.
11 Within two years of the effective date of this title, every munici-
12 pality shall establish a program to recover, redistribute, reuse or
13 recycle hardcover books. Municipalities may establish joint programs
14 with other municipalities, or contract with third party organizations or
15 businesses to recover, redistribute, reuse or recycle hardcover books.
16 Municipalities shall send all information describing the establishment
17 and implementation of their programs to recover, redistribute, reuse or
18 recycle hardcover books to the department.
19 Municipalities shall keep records of their hardcover book recovery,
20 reuse, redistribution and recycling programs, including tonnages of
21 books collected, books redistributed for reuse, books recycled and the
22 recycling companies utilized.
23 § 27-3109. Hardcover book recyclers.
24 Every person or entity engaged in the recovery and recycling of hard-
25 cover books shall annually provide documentation to the department of
26 the tonnage of hardcover books received from each municipality with
27 which it contracts, and the persons or entities to which the recycled
28 hardcover books are sent.
29 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.