New Hampshire

Action Plans by Topic (NHSWMP 2022)

Action 1.1 – Develop educational materials, including online resources, to educate residents, municipalities, and businesses about the waste management hierarchy and source reduction. Topics may include:

  • Modifying consumer practices to promote waste reduction and reuse, including proper food storage, buying in bulk, purchase planning, avoiding single-use items, and purchasing used items.
  • Encouraging reuse of consumer goods and packaging such as use of refillable beverage containers and reusable shopping bags.
  • Providing information about community-wide actions to encourage source reduction and reuse through yard sales, swap events and repair clinics.
  • Providing information about reuse and donation of textiles, tools, equipment, bulky wastes, and other durable goods.

Action 1.2 – Use the EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy7 to promote food rescue and donation to address food insecurity, support local farmers, and reduce food waste. Put quality, edible food to its highest and best use. Promotion may involve using the Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic fact sheets8 about food donation, date labels, feeding food scraps to animals, and tax incentives.

Action 1.3 – Coordinate with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services to evaluate food safety regulations to support more food recovery and reduce food waste (for example, to enable wider use of school “share tables” for edible but uneaten cafeteria foods).

Action 1.4 – Collaborate with the New Hampshire Department of Administrative Services Procurement and Support Services team to increase awareness and use of the State Surplus Program9 available to state agencies, municipalities, and the public (in support of RSA 9-C10).

Action 1.5 – Research and compile a directory of organizations that facilitate reuse of surplus items generated by businesses and institutions, such as IRN: The Reuse Network, Habitat for Humanity, etc.

 Action 1.6 – Assist schools, universities, businesses, and manufacturing facilities with waste audits to help identify possible opportunities for waste reduction and cost savings. Audits may be conducted by a procured consultant, service provider, or the NHDES Solid Waste, Pollution Prevention (P2), and Small Business Technical Assistance programs.

Action 1.7 – Use resources published by the EPA on sustainable management of construction and demolition materials11 to share best practices, promote reuse, and encourage “deconstruction” of structures as a way to reduce generation of construction and demolition debris (C&D).

Action 2.1 – Coordinate with the NHDES HHW program to develop public outreach and education about HHW, including household-generated universal wastes, that addresses: • Safe and proper storage. • Safe reuse, recycling and disposal options. • Alternative non-hazardous products and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) options.

Action 2.2 – Develop educational resources about toxic chemicals, such as PFAS, in common consumer goods to facilitate informed purchasing decisions.

Action 2.3 – Increase options for safe disposal of sharps and unwanted pharmaceuticals by promoting the safest, most cost-effective and most convenient collection systems. This action may be accomplished through collaboration between state agencies and other stakeholders such as Regional Planning Commissions, police departments and healthcare facilities.

Action 3.1 – Increase composting of organic wastes (food scraps, leaf/yard waste, manures, clean wood) through technical assistance, educational workshops, facts sheets and guidance documents to ensure stakeholders are equipped with the latest information.

Action 3.2 – Develop outreach and education materials, including fact sheets and online resources, about New Hampshire’s current waste disposal bans.

Action 3.3 – Develop best management practices for negotiating municipal recycling contracts with case study examples of effective contract strategies that support transparency and informed decision-making about projected costs/revenue.

Action 3.4 – Develop uniform educational resources and provide technical assistance to citizens, businesses, and municipalities to support best practices for recycling and increase local awareness about what is recyclable in their area.

  • All solid waste management entities, including public/private solid waste facilities, haulers, and large waste generators, will be encouraged to share these educational resources on their websites to ensure consistent messaging about waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and other methods of diversion.
  • Messaging should include information about the negative impacts of “wish-cycling,” which occurs when misinformed recyclers put items in the wrong waste stream resulting in increased processing expenses and less diversion overall.
  • Technical assistance may be provided through site visits, trainings and sharing informational resources.

Action 3.5 – Assist schools, universities, businesses and manufacturing facilities with recycling programs, food scrap diversion and waste audits.

Action 3.6 – Promote unit-based pricing (also commonly called Pay-as-You-Throw, or PAYT) and “bag checks” as methods for increasing participation in municipal recycling programs. This may be accomplished through the NHDES Solid Waste Operator Training (SWOT) program, technical assistance to municipalities, and/or partnering with the New Hampshire Municipal Association and the Northeast Resource Recovery Association to reach local decision makers.

Action 3.7 – Integrate additional waste reduction and diversion topics into NHDES SWOT workshops.

Action 3.8 – Increase education and training for solid waste operators and local decision makers about how to regionalize waste management practices.

Action 4.1 – Engage with public and private entities to explore options for developing alternative technologies and centralized processing facilities that increase waste management capacity consistent with preferred methods in the New Hampshire Waste Management Hierarchy. This may include exploring options for:

  • A state-of-the-art materials recovery facility (MRF) for processing single-stream recycling.
  • Composting and anaerobic digestion facilities for processing organic solid wastes.
  • C&D processing facilities for separating and diverting components of C&D.
  • Systems that employ a variety of novel technologies enabling wastes to be locally and efficiently sorted, processed, reused, recycled or formed into new products.

Action 4.2 – Engage with the New Hampshire Solid Waste Working Group as they review and make recommendations regarding New Hampshire’s solid waste management policies, programs, goals, and initiatives, including the following topics assigned to the group by SB 380 (2022):

  • Consideration of municipal solid waste management plans and implementing a prohibition on New Hampshire landfills from accepting waste from a municipality that does not have such a plan; and
  • Consideration of the development of a solid waste disposal site evaluation committee or defining requirements for “alternative site analysis” in RSA 149-M:9.

Action 4.3 – Provide regulatory and permitting guidance to facility applicants, as needed.


Action 5.1 – Participate in local, regional, and national discussions about materials management and share pertinent information with stakeholders to help improve recycling markets.


Action 5.2 – Work with other state agencies to update state procurement and Request for Proposal (RFP) policies to give preference to use of recycled content and certified waste-derived products (CWDPs) for certain activities or projects (for example, compost, crushed glass). CWDPs should be used if it is economically and logistically feasible for the specific application.


Action 5.3 – Compile and share educational materials to create awareness about how recyclables are used/what products they are commonly turned into, the benefits of buying recycled-content products, as well as the greater economic impacts of recycling.


Action 5.4 – Compile information on reuse businesses and solid waste facilities that provide diversion outlets; and develop online resources, such as interactive maps, to visualize opportunities for reuse, recycling, donation, repair, etc.


Action 5.5 – Explore the reestablishment of the State Recycling Market Development Coordinator position to facilitate efforts to develop and strengthen recycling markets in New Hampshire.


Action 6.1 – Develop guidance for installation of solar photovoltaic panels on closed, inactive landfills. Consider whether adjustments to solid waste permitting requirements may encourage such installations.


Action 6.2 – Collaborate with New Hampshire Department of Transportation and other stakeholders to update the State’s disaster debris management plan. Consider whether regulatory updates are needed.


Action 6.3 – Share case studies and information about opportunities for landfill reclamation to recover resources from closed, inactive landfills.


Action 7.1 – Align solid waste program efforts with NHDES’ environmental justice plans and policies.15


Action 7.2 – Identify resources to help with translating outreach materials, program information and workshop presentations, to ensure equitable access for all people.

Action 7.3 – Work with solid waste management facilities, haulers and local governments to promote equitable access to reuse and diversion opportunities.


Action 8.1 – Compile information about federal and state grant and loan programs that support solid waste management practices and share this information with interested public and private entities.


Action 8.2 – Assist non-profits and municipalities in seeking funding opportunities that help meet the goals of this plan. Assistance may involve writing letters of support and reviewing proposals.



7 EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy

 8 Harvard Law State Food Waste Fact Sheets

 9 NHDAS coordinates the State Surplus Program located at “White Farm”

 10 New Hampshire RSA 9-C relates to state government waste reduction, recycling and purchase of recycled products

11 EPA Sustainable Materials Management C&D Resources

15 The NHDES Civil Rights and Nondiscrimination Implementation Plan is in draft at the time of this document’s release and is anticipated to be published before December 31, 2022

Action 2.6 – Identify collection strategies for household-generated hazardous items including batteries, paint, antifreeze, small gas cylinders, mercury-containing devices, and e-cigarettes/vaporizers. Assess how these items are currently being collected (for example, drop-off events, year-round collections at a facility or retail location, manufacturer take-back programs), identify who is involved, how collections are funded, and gaps in collection options and service areas.

Action 3.11 – Determine reoccurring issues and challenges with contamination (that is, unwanted or nonconforming items) in recycling and composting waste streams. Explore educational campaigns and/or regulatory changes as needed.

Action 3.12 – Establish guidance for uniform measurement and tracking of waste diversion data for public/private generators, solid waste management facilities and haulers. Consider existing measurement models and tools from the EPA and other entities.

Action 3.13 – Evaluate and identify waste disposal bans, mandatory recycling laws, and/or EPR programs that have potential to significantly improve diversion in New Hampshire. Prospective bans should be prioritized based on potential to reduce overall disposal (as indicated by data from waste characterizations – described in Goal 4). Depending on availability of processing infrastructure and/or end-markets, certain disposal bans and/or recycling requirements may need to be phased in over time using generation rate and/or proximity to receiving facilities to establish compliance thresholds. For example, some states have implemented food waste disposal bans that target large commercial food waste generators first, with smaller generators becoming subject to the ban over time. Such approaches help to build demand incrementally, allowing markets/infrastructure time to develop.

Action 4.4 – Explore additional data collection methods in addition to annual facility and hauler reports. This may include voluntary surveys and sourcing solid waste data from industry partners.

Action 4.5 – Conduct statewide waste studies to better understand New Hampshire’s waste stream and identify priorities for action. Studies may include:

  • A waste characterization study to determine the average composition of waste streams disposed and recycled in New Hampshire.
  • A waste generation study to estimate the total quantity and types of waste being generated statewide.


Action 4.6 – Using waste characterization and generation data from Action 4.5, identify the types and distribution of facility infrastructure needed to advance the RSA 149-M:2 disposal reduction goal.

Action 5.7 – Work with multi-state organizations such as the Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA), Northeast Recycling Council (NERC), Northeast Waste Management Officials Association (NEWMOA), as well as the University System of New Hampshire, and the Department of Business and Economic Affairs (DBEA) to research business opportunities with entrepreneurs to develop regional market strategies that support diversion.

Action 5.8 – Develop a Recycling Market Development stakeholder committee to explore options for diversion of difficult-to-recycle materials including C&D, bulky waste (furniture, carpeting, mattresses), glass, plastic film and emerging consumer products/packaging that currently have limited diversion options.

Action 6.4 – Explore options to generate energy from waste using landfill gas, as well as alternative technologies such as anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis.

Action 1.9 – Explore legislation, including extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs, that would require product brands and manufacturers to enhance the recyclability of their products and packaging, and minimize the use of unnecessary materials and single-use plastics.

Action 2.10 – Explore legislation that would establish waste disposal bans and EPR for items such as rechargeable batteries, electronic devices, paint, and sharps.

Action 2.11 – Explore legislation addressing the use of toxic chemicals in products, such as use of PFAS in carpeting, clothing, upholstery, and food packaging.

Action 3.17 – Based on the results of Action 3.13, explore legislation to implement disposal bans and/or mandatory recycling requirements for wastes such as food waste, clean wood, mattresses, textiles and/or select recyclables such as paper, cardboard, and plastic and metal containers.

Action 3.18 – Based on the results of Action 3.13, explore Product Stewardship and EPR programs to encourage recycling of certain items, including plastics, rechargeable batteries, electronic devices, paint, difficult-to-recycle packaging materials, bulky wastes such as mattresses, and beverage containers (e.g., a beverage container deposit law).

Action 3.19 – Explore legislation requiring a certain percentage of C&D by weight to be diverted from disposal if a C&D processing facility is located within a certain distance to where the waste is generated/collected.

Action 3.20 – Explore legislation requiring haulers to provide recycling collection for businesses and residents in their service area.

Action 4.10 – Review RSA 149-M:23-25 relative to local solid waste management planning and formation of solid waste districts to evaluate whether amendments are necessary to assure that local planning efforts are relevant to local solid waste management needs and consistent with the state Solid Waste Management Plan.

Action 5.11 – Explore legislation requiring updates to State agency procurement policies to reduce solid waste and increase demand for recycled content. Policies should require product purchases with high post-consumer recycled content to drive market development.

Action 8.5 – Explore legislative opportunities for establishing a dedicated funding source to support state, local and private sector solid waste initiatives that advance the goals of this plan.

Action 2.4 – Explore incentive programs to support efforts by municipalities and organizations that engage in direct outreach and education to limit the use and disposal of toxic household products. Mitigating the use of toxic household products may reduce the likelihood of illegal dumping where the costs then fall to the municipality.

Action 2.5 – Identify funding options to support regional Household Hazardous Waste collections and the establishment of more permanent regional HHW drop-off facilities.

Action 3.9 – Explore incentives for municipalities that enact regional waste management strategies to increase diversion (such as cooperative hauling/marketing, sharing equipment, building regional facilities, forming solid waste districts per RSA 53-A12 or RSA 53-B13) as well as projects targeting diversion of specific materials/waste types (for example, developing programs for recycling polypropylene, film plastics, and diverting food waste).

Action 3.10 – Explore incentive/recognition programs for businesses and institutions that make significant efforts to divert their own solid waste (similar to Maine’s Green Business/Environmental Leader Certification Program).

Action 5.6 – Develop incentives for New Hampshire businesses that produce products with postconsumer recycled content and compostable packaging to build demand for recycled materials.

Action 7.4 – Explore grant funding opportunities to support diversion programs that meet the needs of communities with Environmental Justice concerns.

Action 8.3 – Pursue opportunities for funding to establish a grant program as authorized by RSA 149-R16 to support waste reduction and diversion efforts by New Hampshire businesses and municipalities. Grant programs may be used to support infrastructure, as well as outreach and technical assistance programs.

Action 8.4 – Apply for federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law17 funding to support implementation of the goals and actions in this plan.


12 New Hampshire RSA 53-A

13 New Hampshire RSA 53-B

16 RSA 149-R was established by SB379 during the 2022 legislative session

17 Preliminary information about solid waste funding opportunities through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Action 1.8 – Include in disposal facility permits provision for permittees to assist and educate their customers and the general public in maximizing waste reduction.

Action 2.7 – Identify regulatory barriers that pose challenges for safe disposal of sharps and unused pharmaceuticals for the public, schools, and non-traditional healthcare facilities such as group homes. Consider regulatory changes as needed.

Action 2.8 – Pursue rulemaking to require permitted disposal facilities (incinerators and landfills) to host or sponsor at least one annual HHW collection day for New Hampshire households within the facility’s service area.

Action 2.9 – Include in disposal facility permits provision for permittees to assist and educate their customers and the general public in reducing the toxicity of their wastes.

Action 3.14 – Review the list of waste-derived products that are certified by rule in Env-Sw 1503 and pursue updates if warranted.

Action 3.15 – Consider regulatory changes to make it easier for communities to share facilities, equipment, and other solid waste management resources.

Action 3.16 – Include in disposal facility permits provision for permittees to assist and educate their customers and the general public in maximizing waste diversion.

Action 4.7 – Evaluate annual reporting requirements for solid waste facilities and haulers and identify what data is necessary to inform statewide solid waste management planning. Adjust annual reporting requirements, as necessary.

Action 4.8 – Review current permitting requirements for research and development projects and make rule changes as necessary to encourage more solid waste management entities to engage in thoughtful experimentation that spurs innovative technologies for management of solid waste.

Action 4.9 – Ensure that permit decisions for all types of facilities consider a facility’s ability to provide capacity for management of NH-generated waste, and, to the extent practicable and allowed under law, that facility permits include provision for assuring capacity for New Hampshire-generated waste.

Action 5.9 – Evaluate barriers to the use of crushed glass in construction projects. Consider regulatory updates to codify acceptable uses in low risk, low impact applications including underlayment for parking lots, walkways, and sidewalks, and as backfill for pipes and culverts.

Action 5.10 – Ensure that facility permit decisions and facility permits, to the extent practicable and allowed under law, consider and support development of local and regional recycling and diversion markets.

Action 6.5 – Ensure that facility permit decisions and facility permits, to the extent practicable and allowed under law, support state and federal climate change initiatives.

Action 7.5 – Ensure that facility permit decisions and facility permits, to the extent practicable and allowed under law, support state and federal environmental justice initiatives.

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