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All schools in New York City, public and private, are crucial to helping our City contribute zero waste to landfills by 2030 – and all schools must meet DSNY guidelines for separating recyclables and setting out recycling and garbage for collection.

Zero Waste Schools is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vision of sustainability outlined in #OneNYC: The Plan for a Strong and Just City.

Collections, Setout Requirements + Questions

Collection Schedule

Curbside Setout

Collection Questions

Food Scraps + Yard Waste

What Can’t Go in Recycling or Garbage

Collections After Snow + Severe Weather

Schools follow the same DSNY holiday collection schedule as residents. Note that the regular collection schedule may also be suspended due to snow storms or other severe weather. When collection is suspended, missed collection complaints are not accepted for that day. Set out garbage on the night of the holiday for collection starting early the next day. Set out recyclables and organics for collection on their next collection day.

In addition, during DOE holidays and breaks all School Truck and Organics Collection service is normally suspended; recycling and garbage are collected on the same days as your local neighborhood.

Zero Waste Schools

The Department of Sanitation is working with the NYC Department of Education and GrowNYC’s Recycling Champions Program to implement an ambitious Zero Waste Schools pilot program. Approximately 100 schools will be set up as model recycling and organics schools, and their waste will be monitored to capture data on the amount of material being generated and separated. The goal is to identify best practices that can be expanded Citywide.

Map of Zero Waste Schools (PDF)

For more information, visit DOE's Office of Sustainability.

Educational Materials + Activities

Download or order free school materials.

NYC’s Recycling Curriculum

Coloring + Comic Books

Recycling Activities for Students

Reduce + Reuse Activities for Students

Cleanup + Gardening Activities for Students

Field Trips + Assembly Programs

Webinar: School Recycling & Organics Collection Basics

Zero Waste Schools Website & Awards

DSNY, along with The Department of Education (DOE) and GrowNYC’s Recycling Champions Program (RCP), have developed the new interactive Zero Waste Schools (ZWS) website: The ZWS website is a safe social media platform and series of contests for all NYC public school teachers and students. ZWS promotes recycling and sustainability by incentivizing competition and content-sharing among schools. The contests offer rewards for student- and teacher-generated projects and efforts.

Learn more about the ZWS Website, and how to sign up

Reducing Waste + Reuse

Reduce + Reuse For Schools

Donate and Get Donations