Ulster County is located in the Mid-Hudson Valley Region of New York State approximately 92 miles north of New York City, and 50 miles south of Albany. The County covers approximately 1,140 square miles. Today, the population is estimated at 181,791 based on 2012 Census.
There are 24 municipalities in the County: 3 villages, 1 city, and 20 towns. Historically, the municipalities of Ulster County were individually responsible for managing solid waste and recycling, and there was no coordinated county-wide system for materials management. In 1986, the Ulster County Legislature obtained authorization from the New York State Legislature for the creation of the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency (the "Agency"), a public benefit corporation which was formed for the purpose of developing, financing, and implementing a comprehensive county-wide materials management program.
The Agency manages solid waste consistent with the policies set forth in the New York State Solid Waste Management Plan. New York State has established solid waste management policy objectives under a “preferred hierarchy” that is generally described as follows (in order of descending preferences):