The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) received many comments on the proposed Part 360 rule changes, which have been finalized and go into effect on November 4th, 2017.   The NYSDEC revised Part 360 section 360.12 Beneficial Use based on the numerous comments they received.  These updates were made in an effort to either clarify areas that were not clear or to alter items as necessary.


The NYSDEC defines Beneficial Use as when solid waste is no longer classified as waste and can be used.  The NYSDEC has pre-determined wastes that can be defined as beneficial use, some that are conditionally pre-determined as beneficial use, and others that are subject to a case-by-case basis.  Generally, materials determined to be classified under beneficial use are when specific wastes can be used for commercial products or raw materials.  Materials that are disposed of under Part 361 cannot constitute beneficial use.


The DEC has increased the storage time for beneficial use items to, at most, 365 days unless the facility’s specific permit allows for longer storage time.

Items that cannot be considered for beneficial use include:

  • flowable fill for mined land reclamation,
  • encasing waste tires in concrete,
  • using waste tires as fences or screening.


Wastes that are pre-determined to no longer be wastes and are classified for beneficial use once received at the location intended for use are:

  • uncontaminated newsprint used for animal bedding,
  • uncontaminated wood pallets used for reconditioning or re-manufactured,
  • street sweepings, car wash grit, and waste system catch basin materials with sand and gravel free from litter and anything that could produce an odor when used as:
    • a commercial aggregate for construction of roads or parking areas,
    • as backfill for utilities within transportation trenches (not potable water utilities),
    • as commercial or industrial land use,
  • waste tires used to secure covers (as long as tire counts do not exceed the allowed amount. See Walden’s Blog Environmental Impact of Proposed Part 360 Rule Change),
  • waste tires for retaining walls, decoration, playground components, bumper guards, manufactured for feedstock,
  • grain products used for animal feed.

If materials meet the following requirements, they are no longer identified as waste:

  • ground granulated blast-furnace slag for use as a raw feed in manufacture of cement and concrete,
  • wood combustion ash for soil additive,
  • industrial waste used for manufacturing processes,
  • fats/oils/grease,
  • fly ash used for concrete purposes,
  • gas-scrubbing byproducts to replace gypsum or calcium chloride,
  • coal combustion bottom ash for cement, concrete, and asphalt materials,
  • recycled aggregate as defined by the Department of Transportation for use as commercial aggregate, clay, till, or rock used for fill or aggregate.

The following cease to be waste when the material leaves a facility subject to exemption or regulations of Part 361 or Part 362 and that the material is recycled or reused:

  • Materials from recyclables handling and recovery facilities for use in manufacturing.
  • If glass aggregate, must not exceed 5% by volume of the product if defined as “non-glass material content”, 0.05% by mass of paper or 1% by mass for non-glass material,
  • compost or other products for conditioning soil,
  • tree/wood debris or yard trimmings in mulch,
  • tire aggregate for septic system drainage media, mulch, or playground surface or athletic field material,
  • scrap metal,
  • cooking oil or grease

If a facility distributes 10,000 tons or more of pre-determined beneficial use material, that facility must submit a report to the NYSDEC by March 1st of the following calendar year.  The DEC requires that the type and quantity of the material beneficially used be described.

If the material you want to define as beneficial use does not fall into the categories above, it must be determined on a case specific basis.  See Walden’s Blog Part 360 – Beneficial Use Part II for further information. And check out our Part 360 webpage!

If you have questions or need help with your Beneficial Use determination, please call Walden at (516) 624-7200.