Department of Sanitation - New York City
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Department of Sanitation - New York City Department of Sanitation - New York City


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1. When is my Recycling or Collection Day?

See Collection Schedule.

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2. When is my Garbage collected?
See Collection Schedule. 
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3. Do I need special labels on my recycling containers for curbside pick-up by Sanitation crews?
Recycling containers must be labeled on both sides and the lid with Department of Sanitation decals, or permanently marked in letters at least 4" high:
  1. RECYCLING: BOTTLES, CANS & FOIL (blue decal)
  2. RECYCLING: MIXED PAPER (green decal).

You can get free decals to label containers for curbside collection using Literature/Decal Request or call the NYC Citizen Service Center at 311.

See what and how to recycle in New York City.  

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4. How do I get Recycling Decals?

See Literature/Decal Request or call the New York City Citizen Service Center at 311.

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5. Does Sanitation redistribute good quality furniture or other reusable items placed at the curb?

No, it is not legally or logistically possible for the Department of Sanitation to operate such a program.

Some reusable goods left at the curb may be taken away by scavengers. By the time Sanitation trucks arrive, non-metal bulk items left at the curb will be collected as refuse, while metal bulk items left at the curb will be collected for recycling.

To make sure your reusable goods find a new home, see New Homes for Old Stuff on our NYCRecycles website

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6. How do I dispose of automotive batteries?

It is illegal to discard automotive batteries in your garbage and recycling can. 

Automotive batteries may only be disposed of by delivery to:
    a.  Any retailer, distributor, collector, or recycler of automotive batteries, or
    b.  DSNY's  Special Waste Drop-Off Sites.

Retailers who sell automotive batteries are required by New York State law to accept up to two batteries per month per person for free. There is a $5 surcharge added to the purchase price of all new auto batteries. If an auto battery is returned at the time a new battery is purchased or within 30 days after purchasing a new battery, the $5 surcharge will be waived or refunded.

Rechargeable batteries may be recycled by taking them to:
    a. Any retailer who sells rechargeable batteries or products containing rechargeable batteries (except small food stores).
    b. DSNY's Special Waste Drop-Off Sites.

New York City stores that sell rechargeable batteries or products containing rechargeable batteries (except small food stores) must accept rechargeable batteries for recycling during normal business hours, no purchase necessary.

Place non-rechargeable batteries with your regular garbage or bring them to a Special Waste Drop-Off SiteDo not place ANY battery in your recycling bin.

See batteries on our NYCWasteLess website for waste prevention and disposal tips.

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7. How do I dispose of paint and paint cans?
  1. Full unopened cans may be:
    1. Returned to point of purchase, or
    2. For latex based paint only, taken to any Special Waste Drop-Off Site.
  2. For partially full cans:
    1. Open can, let paint dry out and place in regular trash, or
    2. Pour paint into a non-recyclable container, and place in trash; put empty metal paint can in recycling bin, or
    3. Pour paint into absorbent material (e.g. kitty litter, sand, rags, newspaper) then place material in trash; and place empty metal paint can in recycling bin. 
      See paint  for waste prevention tips and where to donate paint.
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8. How do I dispose of tree prunings or firewood?
In Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, tree prunings or firewood require special handling due to the Asian Longhorn Beetle infestation. Schedule an appointment with the Parks Department by calling 311 or online.  
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9. When is my bulk collection day? Do I need an appointment? 

Except for refrigeration appliances containing CFC/Freon gas, you do not need an appointment for collection.
Bulky items that are too large for your garbage can be placed beside your regular garbage for collection on any of your regular collection days.

Metal bulky items should be placed beside your recycling bin on your recycling collection day.

For more information, see Bulk Collection. To donate your reusable goods, see Reuse it NYC at Home on NYCWasteLess. 

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10. How many pieces of bulk can I place out for pickup?

Each collection day you can discard up to 6 pieces of bulk, which includes bags of plaster, broken rock, or dirt (max weight 60 lbs); bundles of wood (no longer than 4 feet, nails removed); or rugs (tied in 5 foot lengths); and any other non-metal items too large for your can.

For more information, see Bulk Collection. To donate your reusable goods, see Reuse it NYC at Home on NYCWasteLess. 

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11. What bulk items are recyclable? 

Recycle bulk includes any large item that is 100% metal (such as a metal file cabinet) or predominantly metal (such as aluminum lawn furniture with plastic webbing, and "white goods" -- large appliances including washers, dryers, refrigerators*, air conditioners* -- even though they contain some nonmetal parts.

*Before discarding any appliance containing CFCs (Freon), you must make an appointment for removal of the toxic CFC gas.

Place bulk metal items that are too large for your recycling bin at the curb for collection on your regular Recycling Day. See Bulk Collection for more info.

Examples of regular bulk items that are collected as garbage include: computers, mattresses, microwaves, televisions, sofas, easy chairs, wood tables. See Electronics Recycling to find alternate disposal options for some of these items. To donate your reusable goods, see Reuse it NYC at Home on NYCWasteLess. 

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12. Why wasn't my bulk item picked up? 

Either this was a Missed Recycling Collection, or the item is too large/heavy for regular pick-ups. In either case, report as Missed Recycling Collection or call the NYC Citizen Service Center at 311.

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13. How do I dispose of a refrigeration appliance (i.e. air conditioner , refrigerator, freezer, etc.)?
ALL NYC residents are required by law to arrange for the recovery of CFC/Freon gas when discarding freezers, refrigerators, air conditioners, water coolers, or dehumidifiers. 

See CFC/Freon Recovery Appointment Request to schedule an appointment.

Doors must be removed from refrigerators and freezers, for safety reasons.
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14. I received a summons. What did I do wrong?

There are multiple Sanitation laws. Go to Sanitation Rules and Regulations to determine what the problem may be.

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15. I received a summons. What do I do?

DSNY issues Notices of Violation (“NOV’s”) returnable to the Environmental Control Board (ECB). 

If you have received a NOV you may (1) admit to the violation and pay the mail-in penalty.

If you choose to admit to the violation, read the instructions on the back of your NOV. In some cases, the front of the NOV may say that you must appear at ECB even if you wish to admit to the charge; or (2) you may contest the NOV in person or by your authorized representative.

If you choose to contest the NOV in person, you will have an opportunity to present your defense and any documentary evidence to an Administrative Law Judge; or (3) in many cases you may present a defense by mail - except in those instances that specifically state that you must be present at the hearing.

Cases most suitable for mail adjudication are those where the defense is supported by documentary evidence (deed, permit, license etc.), such as violations on property that you did not own on the date the NOV was issued.

You should follow the instructions located on your NOV for further guidance. For ECB locations or hours, to reschedule a hearing and for all other questions call the New York City Customer Service Center at 311 or visit

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16. How do I report a violation?
Use the appropriate Service Request Form to report violations of Sanitation regulations applying to recycling, littering, canine, sidewalks, and receptacles.
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17. How do I report an illegal dumper?


DSNY Right Now
How Do I Dispose Of...
Collection Schedule
Service Requests
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> CFC Recovery
> Derelict Vehicle
> Literature/Decal
> Lot Cleaning
> Missed Collection
> Miscellaneous
> Refrigerator Disposal
> Lawn Litter Violations


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NYC Stuff Exchange
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ASP Suspensions
What's in NYC Waste
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