New Yorkers now recycle rigid plastics
New York City is committed to doubling the City’s recycling rate to 30 percent by 2017.
Since July 2013, New Yorkers have been required to include Rigid Plastics—including toys, hangers, shampoo bottles, coffee cups and food containers—with their recycled plastics.
Click here for lists of what is and is not included.
The inclusion of rigid plastics is the first expansion of the NYC recycling program in 25 years. It will result in more than 50,000 additional tons of waste a year no longer ending up in landfills, at a savings to City taxpayers of almost $600,000 each year in export costs.
Reduce and Reuse
- Donate unwanted household items. — Where?
- Buy paper products with recycled paper (post-consumer) content.
- Stop junk mail. — How?
- Avoid disposables when there are durable alternatives.
- Use rechargeable batteries. — How should I dispose of batteries?
- Reduce packaging by avoiding single-serve packages
(If you don’t already recycle, use the tips below to get started. NYC law requires that all households and commercial establishments recycle.)
- In your home: Designate a spot in your kitchen, porch, hallway, or anywhere else that makes sense for you, in which to collect recyclables. Finding a convenient place for storage is often the hardest part of beginning to recycle.
- You will need two bins: one for paper and cardboard, and one for beverage cartons, bottles, cans, metal and foil.
- Post the Department of Sanitation’s list of what to recycle and what not to recycle somewhere convenient in your home, at least until you are accustomed to the routine. Click here for the list of what to recycle.
REMEMBER TO EMPTY AND RINSE CARTONS, BOTTLES, CANS, and FOIL. REMOVE PLASTIC BOTTLE CAPS, AND PLACE THEM IN THE TRASH.
IF YOU HAVE TOO MUCH CORRIGATED CARDBOARD TO FIT INTO YOUR CURBSIDE RECYCLING CONTAINERS, FLATTEN AND TIE THE CARDBOARD WITH STRING INTO BUNDLES NOT MORE THAN 18 INCHES HIGH. HEAVY PAPER ITEMS SUCH AS STACKS OF MAGAZINES SHOULD BE TIED WITH STRING INTO STACKS NO MORE THAN 18 INCHES HIGH.
- Call 311 to ask when your recycling pick up day is, if you live in a single-family house. If you live in an apartment, ask the management or board for the requirements for your building.
- Be sure that everyone in your household, including housekeepers and child care professionals, know of your commitment to recycling and know how to recycle in your home.
- If you are not sure whether something should be recycled, call 311, or visit the NYC Dept. of Sanitation’s NYC Wasteless recycling page.
- At the curb: Single-family home residents must decide whether to use trash pails or plastic bags for curbside pick-up. If you decide on bags: you must use clear plastic bags, which can be purchased at most supermarkets or hardware stores. (USE ONE FOR PAPER AND CARDBOARD AND ONE FOR BEVERAGE CARTONS, BOTTLES, CANS, METAL, AND FOIL.) If you decide to use cans: you must either obtain the blue and green decals from the DOS to paste on the pails (call 311 to request the decals), or label the pails in large, permanent letters: “MIXED PAPER” and “BOTTLES AND CANS”.
Get all the details:
The New York City Department of Sanitation’s “NYC Wasteless” program is a one-stop-shopping guide to reducing, reusing, and recycling. Start at the NYC Wasteless home page and find information on:
- bulk pick-up,
- what to do if you get a ticket for a recycling violation,
- how to dispose of hazardous materials, and
- anything else you can think of related to solid waste management.