How to Recycle in New York City

New York City residents generate 12,000 tons of refuse per day. Here's how to recycle some of that waste and make NYC a better place to live.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Separate out paper Separate out paper items you can recycle: white, colored, and glossy paper, envelopes, paper bags, newspapers, phone books, softcover books, smooth cardboard, and corrugated cardboard.
  • TIP: Throw out soiled paper; napkins, paper towels, or tissues; and wax or plastic-coated paper.
  • Step 2: Divide other recyclables Empty and rinse beverage cartons, glass bottles and jars and plastic bottles and jugs, and metal objects like cans and aluminum trays and foil. You can also recycle appliances, furniture, and household goods that are more than 50 percent metal.
  • TIP: Throw out Styrofoam and any glass or plastic items other than bottles, jars and jugs, such as yogurt and deli containers, mirrors, and dishes.
  • Step 3: Take it out Go to "nyc.gov/sanitation":http://nyc.gov/html/dsny/html/home/home.shtml or call 311 to find out your assigned recycling day and obtain recycling decals. On your assigned day, place all designated paper in clear bags or bins labeled "mixed paper," or with a green recycling decal. Flatten and bundle corrugated cardboard or break it into smaller pieces and add it to the mixed paper. Put non-paper recyclables in clear bags or bins labeled "bottles and cans" or with a blue recycling decal. Place metal items that are too large for bags or bins next to the other recyclables.
  • TIP: If you live in an apartment building ask your super how to set out recyclables.
  • Step 4: Dispose of specialty items Keep certain items out of your recycling. Double-bag and throw away lightbulbs and alkaline batteries. Bring rechargeable batteries to a store that sells rechargeable batteries of the same size and shape, and return plastic grocery bags to a local supermarket.
  • Step 5: Handle CFCs To dispose of appliances that contain CFCs, make an appointment at "nyc.gov/sanitation":http://nyc.gov/html/dsny/html/home/home.shtml or by calling 311. Getting rid of a computer, TV, or cellphone? Go to "nyc.gov/recycle":http://nyc.gov/html/nycwasteless/html/recycling/recyclingnyc.shtml to learn about drop-off events and "take back" programs for electronics.
  • Step 6: Do more Go to "nyc.gov/recycle":http://nyc.gov/html/nycwasteless/html/recycling/recyclingnyc.shtml for more information on recycling, and to learn about other New York City initiatives designed to reduce waste, including the Compost Project and the Stuff Exchange. Remember: with a little effort, you can help make the Big Apple a green apple.
  • FACT: It takes just 24 hours for workers at a Staten Island recycling plant to turn recycled paper into cardboard pizza boxes.

You Will Need

  • Recyclable items
  • Bags or bins
  • NYC recycling decals (optional)
  • Internet access (optional)

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