Farmer using a tractor to spread compost on their field

Model State Legislation: Funding Waste Diversion and On-Farm Composting via a Disposal Surcharge

Date: 15 Jun 2022 | posted in: Composting, waste - composting | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A per-ton surcharge on waste disposed is a funding mechanism with a proven track record of raising funds to reduce and recycle waste. This model bill serves to address the need for state investment into waste reduction and diversion programs and infrastructure by establishing major grant funding based on a nominal surcharge on waste disposal. 

This document is intended for use as a template for a bill that any state can adapt and introduce, particularly states without a robust investment mechanism for environmental or waste diversion programs. This model bill encompasses the basics, from funds to cover administrative costs to detailed guidelines for the grant programs. This model bill may also be adapted for local policy.

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance created this model bill based on a bill that ILSR originally drafted for Maryland’s 2022 legislative session (Maryland HB1070). Here’s a link to ILSR’s article, video, and factsheet on HB1070.

The disposal surcharge model exists as a proven funding mechanism in at least 8 other states and a few local governments. This webinar features state agency staff sharing their experiences with this model, including best practices, challenges, and lessons learned.


Download the Template:

[Model Legislation – PDF with Annotations]

[Model Legislation – Editable]


For more information, please contact:

Sophia Jones –


Feature image: Farmer Keith Ohlinger spreading compost, Porch View Farm, Maryland (Photo credit: ILSR)

This Model Legislation was published June 2022
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Sophia Jones

Sophia Jones is the Policy Lead with ILSR’s Composting for Community initiative, where she researches, analyzes and supports the building of US policy that advances local composting. Her background in sustainable development and agriculture reflects her interest in solutions-based, community-led development initiatives.