Waste & Toxics

Recycling bins

Zero Waste and OneNYC

The Zero Waste program is a key component of "One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City" also known as OneNYC.  Mayor de Blasio's ambitious commitment to achieving Zero Waste in New York City by 2030 outlined in OneNYC puts the city on a path toward long-term waste reduction and heightened sustainability. Led by the Department of Sanitation and the Mayor's Office of Sustainability, the Zero Waste program emphasizes:

  • Organics collection, sorting and processing throughout the five boroughs and within 100 miles of the NYC, ultimately bringing organics collection to all residents by 2030
  • Offering single-stream recycling and eventually an equitable Save-as-You-Throw waste program to engage all residents in waste reduction while expanding markets for recycled materials
  • Bringing recycling service to all NYCHA developments and making public housing fully compliant with recycling laws
  • Making all public schools Zero Waste, starting with a pilot program of a few Zero Waste schools in late 2015
  • Expanding opportunities to reuse and recycle textiles and electronics
  • Reducing commercial waste disposal by 90% by 2030 through a variety of new programs and mandates

New York is one of the largest cities in the world to make a commitment to Zero Waste. The City is the first to commit to meeting at least 90% of the Zero Waste goal through a unique combination of waste reduction, reuse, recycling programs, and wastewater treatment plants using food waste for co-generation. NYC’s Zero Waste program relies far less on conventional waste-to-energy processing and instead emphasizes highest and best use of commodities and materials in the waste stream.

Zero Waste and Environmental Impact

New York City's Zero Waste program has other environmental, environmental justice, and economic development benefits. The plan continues the City's commitment to reducing the impact of the waste management system on historically overburdened poor and minority neighborhoods in the South Bronx, North Brooklyn, and Jamaica, among others. By reducing the amount of waste transferred at transfer stations in those neighborhoods and developing a geographically dispersed network of waste reduction, composting, reuse, and recycling, the demands on overburdened neighborhoods will be less and as a result they will experience less air pollution. Additionally, reducing the cost of sending waste to out-of-state landfills will in turn reduce the use of taxpayer funds. Waste reduction and less truck traffic will improve pedestrian safety, respiratory health, and overall quality of life.