Mandatory Policies

Executive Order 24

On August 6, 2009, New York State Governor, David Paterson, signed an Executive Order to Reduce New York's Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Executive Order No. 24 sets an ambitious goal to:

  • Reduce NYS greenhouse gas emissions ("GHG emissions") by 80 percent by the year 2050 (known as the "80 by 50" goal), using the baseline year of 1990. This order contains a provision for the creation of a Climate Action Council and requires this Council to coordinate with the State Energy Board to develop a NYS Climate Action Plan.

Immediately following the issuance of Executive Order No. 24, on August 10, 2009, NYS made available its draft State Energy Plan (located at 

Highlights of the Executive Order No. 24:

Creates a Climate Action Council that will consist of the Commissioners of the Departments of Agriculture and Markets, Environmental Conservation, Housing and Community Renewal, and Transportation; the President and CEO of Empire State Development; the Chair of the Public Service Commission; the Presidents of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Dormitory Authority, the New York Power Authority, and the Long Island Power Authority; the Secretary of State; the Director of the Budget; the Director of State Operations; and the Counsel to the Governor. The Director of State Operations shall serve as the Chair of the Council.

The Climate Action Council is responsible for preparing a draft Climate Action Plan by September 30, 2010. The Climate Action Plan will assess how all economic sectors can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change, as well as identify the extent to which such actions support New York's goals for a clean energy economy.

To prepare the Climate Action Plan, some of the actions the Climate Action Council will undertake include:

  • Inventory of NYS Greenhouse Gas Emissions. In 1990, New York emitted 75.7 million metric tons of carbon equivalent, according to the EPA report "Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory for New York State, 1990";
  • Identification and assessment of short-term and long-term actions to reduce GHG emissions across all economic sectors including industry, transportation, agriculture, building construction, and energy production and the economic implications, such as benefits and costs of each action;
  • Identification of existing legal, regulatory, and policy constraints to reduce GHG emissions;
  • Coordination of its activities and efforts with State Energy Board and the state energy planning process.

Regional public comment hearings on the draft Plan and the Climate Action Council must allow at least 60 days for the submission of written public comment.

Following the public comment period, the Climate Action Council is to prepare a final Climate Action Plan.

The Climate Action Plan is to be reviewed on an annual basis by the Climate Action Council and adjusted, if necessary.


Executive Order No. 111 & No. 142

SUNY Policy on Energy and Sustainability

On March 20, 2008, Governor David A. Paterson continued both Executive Order No. 111, "Directing State Agencies, State Authorities, and Other Affected Entities to be More Energy Efficient and Environmentally Aware;"and Executive Order No.142," Directing State Agencies, and Authorities to Diversify Fuel and Heating Oil Supplies Through the Use of Biofuels in State Vehicles and Buildings." The directives were continued through Executive Order No. 1, "Continuation and Review of Prior Executive Orders." These Executive Orders continue New York's leadership as one the most aggressive states in the nation for addressing issues such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, green building practices, and alternate fuel vehicles. In both Executive Orders New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) is identified as the organization responsible for coordinating and assisting other agencies and affected entities.

The intent of Executive Order 111 if for:

  • All NY State Agencies and Departments under the authority of the Governor to be more energy efficient and environmentally responsible.

The intent of Executive Order 142 if for:

  • All NY State Agencies to establish new waste reduction and recycling initiatives for State agencies.


Mandatory Recycling Policies in NYC

Recycling in NYC

Whether you live, work, or visit NYC – Recycling is the Law

Summary: The New York City Recycling Law, originally enacted in 1989 as Local Law 19, established the overarching "policy of the city to promote the recovery of materials from the New York City solid waste stream for the purpose of recycling such materials and returning them to the economy". This Law mandates recycling in NYC by residents, agencies, institutions, and businesses, including the designation of what materials are to be considered recyclable, the recovery of those materials, tonnages of recyclable materials that must be recycled annually, and responsibilities of each relevant party. The Rules were developed by Department of Sanitation New York (DSNY)t o detail the requirements, operations, implementation and enforcement of mandated recycling including residential, agency and institutional, commercial, yard waste, and street events.

New York City has the largest, most ambitious recycling program in the nation. All 3 million households, plus public schools and institutions, receive recycling collection by the Department of Sanitation.

All commercial businesses are required to keep separate certain recyclable materials prior to their collection by their private carters.

According to the NYC Commercial Recycling Law, all businesses are required to source separate their recycling, which means no mixing of trash and recyclables and "sorting it out afterwards" (sometimes referred to as post-collection separation of recyclables).