The NYC Department of Sanitation provides curbside recycling and garbage collection for nonprofit organizations and City agencies in tax-exempt buildings. Organizations that are eligible for service – but not yet receiving it – can request DSNY collection. All New York City agencies and non-profit institutions are required to recycle.
All Mayoral and non-Mayoral agencies must submit a Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling Plan and annual report.
Collection Schedules, Setout Times, Holidays + Missed Collections
Set out all garbage and recycling after 4 pm on the night before the scheduled collection day. Remove empty bins by 9 pm on the collection day, or by 9 am the following morning if collection occurs after 4 pm. During snow operations, recycling and garbage collection may be disrupted while DSNY plows and cleans the streets.
Holidays + Holiday Setout
There are no collections on these holidays:
Here’s when to set out garbage and recycling on holidays:
Garbage: Set out after 4 pm on the evening of the holiday, for collection beginning the next day. Collection may occur earlier or later than the usual time.
Recycling: Hold until the scheduled collection day the following week. When there are back-to-back holidays (for example, two Monday holidays in a row), recyclables will typically be collected the day after the second holiday.
Organics (only for buildings with NYC Organics Collection): Set out food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard waste after 4 pm on the evening of the holiday, for collection beginning the next day. Collection may occur earlier or later than the usual time.
Set out bags of recyclables and garbage at the curb in separate piles, according to your collection schedule. Group all bags of clean paper and cardboard together in one pile; bags of metal, glass, plastics, and beverage cartons in another pile; and bags of garbage in another distinct pile.
Get recycling and waste prevention materials here.
Recycling Bins & Bags
Each agency and institution is responsible for purchasing recycling bins for their own buildings. Any kind of receptacles can be used to collect recyclables inside your building—even cardboard boxes—as long as they are properly labeled. DSNY provides free decals to label bins (blue for metal, glass, plastic, and cartons; green for paper and cardboard).
Don’t set out recycling or garbage at the curb in cardboard boxes. Plastic bags for recycling must be clear, and 13- to 55-gallon capacity. Use opaque black or brown bags for garbage.
When purchasing bins, specify NYC’s recycling colors (blue bins for metal, glass, plastic, and cartons; green bins for paper and cardboard). Grainger and Rubbermaid worked with DSNY to offer containers and lids in NYC’s recycling program colors with slits and holes, properly labeled with the NYC logo.
What to Recycle
Agencies and nonprofits serviced by DSNY must recycle the same materials as residents.
Paper + Cardboard
Not Accepted: Paper with heavy wax or plastic coating (such as candy wrappers and take-out containers); soiled or soft paper; and hardcover books
Metal, Glass, Plastic + Cartons
Empty and rinse containers before recycling.
Not Accepted: Batteries; plastic bags, wrappers, pouches, squeeze tubes, foam plastics
What Can't Go in Recycling + Garbage
Some commonly used items can’t go in the regular garbage or recycling. Items that require special disposal include:
Disposal options are summarized in SAFE Disposal for Nonprofits + Agencies.
Products Requiring Special Handling
All institutions in the City are required by law to recycle and therefore can’t place designated recyclables with regular garbage. Some items—such as electronics, recyclable batteries, and fluorescent bulbs—require special handling by law. For information on how to properly dispose of these items, refer to How To Get Rid Of for Nonprofits + Agencies.
City agencies must follow specific rules for safe handling of certain items.
The following items require special handling, either because they’re dangerous to DSNY workers or to the environment, or because they’re too large for garbage containers.
Broken glass or fragile items should be double-bagged.
Bulky items that won’t fit in garbage or recycling receptacles can generally be placed at the curb the night before the scheduled collection day. Take care not to block neighboring property or pedestrian walkways, and do not place any items in the street.
Carpets, rugs, and lumber should be free of nails and staples, and securely tied into bundles no more than 2 feet high and 4 feet long.
Cooking oil and grease can be placed in a container, like a frozen juice container, a beverage carton, or a take-out container. Label the container “Cooking Oil – Not for Recycling” and discard with regular garbage. Alternately, put cooled cooking oil/grease in a plastic bag and freeze before discarding. For more info., see Grease Disposal Tips for Residents.
Large glass items like windows and mirrors should be taped before being thrown away with other bulk items.
Liquids can be soaked up with kitty litter, newspaper, or other absorbent material so they don’t leak.
Nonprofits, Institutions + Agencies Using Private Carting
Institutions in commercial space and non-profits and agencies served by private carting service must follow recycling and garbage rules for business.
Organizations that are eligible for DSNY service but use private carters must meet the City’s reporting requirements.
Stopping Theft of Recyclables
When recyclable materials are placed curbside for collection, they become property of the City, and removing them is illegal. It’s theft.
People who remove and drive away with recyclables ready for collection in front of a residential, institutional or commercial building can face fines up to $2,000 – and the City can reward people who help us identify thieves who are fined.