QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A recent change in state food recycling law is causing Warren County to pause and re-evaluate how it can help restaurants and businesses with their waste. The county wants to hear from residents of Glens Falls, Queensbury, Lake George and its other communities regarding how to improve the waste stream when it comes to food scraps.

Warren County has set a community engagement session for Wednesday, March 15, for 6 p.m. at Warren County Municipal Center. Attendants will be welcome in person and on Zoom, for a discussion revolving around composting possibilities and organic waste management. The discussion will also be streamed on Warren County’s YouTube page.

“Warren County Department of Public Works is committed to improving the way that food waste and other organic matter are handled in our county,” said Warren County Public Works Superintendent Kevin Hajos. “Food waste accounts for approximately 33% of the waste stream, and processing organic waste at a composting facility is more economical and better for the environment than sending it to a landfill or incinerator.”

That 33% adds up to about 25,000 tons of food scraps and yard waste in a given year, an amount currently not being composted. At the session, officials will talk and answer questions about what disposal and recycling options work for the county. In advance of the date, county residents can fill out a survey on what future makes sense for the county’s stream of food scraps.

Currently, waste management in Warren County is up to individual towns and the city of Glens Falls. The creation of a county-operated recycling facility is one option on the table. Regardless of where the food scraps go, the county’s goal is to keep them out of the landfill or incinerator.

The initiative came to be as a result of a state food donation and scraps law established in 2022, which calls for businesses and institutions to donate excess food and recycle the remaining scraps. Wednesday marked the deadline for businesses to submit plans for recycling, and Warren County hopes to aid in carrying those plans out.