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NYC - recycle more, waste less New York City Recycles NYC Department of Sanitation


The NYC Department of Sanitation's leaving NYCWasteLess Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling (BWPRR) plans, implements, and evaluates NYC's recycling, composting, and waste prevention programs.

The Fund for the City of New York leaving NYCWasteLess awarded BWPRR's Director, Robert Lange, one of the Sloan Public Service Awards leaving NYCWasteLess in 2010 leaving NYCWasteLess (pdf) for his outstanding leadership in furthering NYC's various recycing programs and operations.

Summary of BWPRR Programs
recycling and waste prevention
reuse programs
take it back, nyc & special waste
employment and business opportunities

Recycling and Waste Prevention

Public Education and Outreach: To further NYC's recycle more, waste less message, BWPRR develops and distributes a wide range of promotional materials each year. BWPRR conducts site visits and participates in public events and social media to help schools, residents, and city agencies/institutions improve their recycling programs.

Recycling Infrastructure: Once recyclables are collected by the NYC Department of Sanitation, they are brought to vendors contracted by BWPRR. Find out what happens to recyclables.

Recycling Research: BWPRR conducts research on various aspects of NYC's recycling program, such as waste characterization, public space recycling, food waste composting, and more. See Reports and Stats for more info.

NYCWasteLess Website: To keep New Yorkers informed of all the ways to recycle more and waste less in NYC, BWPRR created NYCWasteLess. The website was originally launched in 2004 and was redesigned in 2010. Promote NYCWasteLess on your website. Find out how to get listed on NYCWasteLess.

NYC's Recycling Game: To help educate New Yorkers about recycling and waste prevention while keeping them entertained. BWPRR created NYC's Recycling Game. The game was first launched as an iPhone®, iPad®, and iPod touch® app in 2011.

Apartment Building Recycling Initiative: The Apartment Building Recycling Initiative (ABRI) is a volunteer-based recycling improvement program targeted to tenants, superintendents, and building managers.

Golden Apple Awards: BWPRR's Golden Apple Awards include the following three school contests: TrashMasters! SuperRecyclers recognizes model school recycling programs; TrashMasters! Reduce & Reuse Challenge rewards innovative waste prevention practices; and TrashMasters! TeamUp to CleanUp honors neighborhood cleanup projects.

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NYC Compost Project: Funded and managed since 1993 by BWPRR, the NYC Compost Project provides compost education and outreach and  in all five boroughs.

Fall Leaf Collection: Funding permitting, Sanitation collects fall leaves from 37 of the City's 59 community districts and turns them into high-quality compost at our composting sites.

MulchFest and Christmas Tree Recycling: Through MulchFest leaving NYCWasteLess, New Yorkers can bring Christmas trees to designated parks to be chipped. BWPRR also collects clean Christmas trees (no ornaments, lights, tinsel, etc.) from the curb so that they can be ground into wood chips to be used as mulch, or as a bulking agent to mix with yard waste to produce compost.

Distribution of NYC Compost: After turning yard waste into compost at Sanitation Compost Sites, BWPRR makes NYC compost available to city agencies and nonprofits for use in soil mitigation and habitat improvement projects.

Rikers Island Food-Waste Composting: The model institutional in-vessel food waste composting facility at Rikers Island accepts cafeteria waste from ten jails, five days a week.

Local Organics Recovery Programs: In 2012, BWPRR started to collect and compost food scraps that NYC residents drop-off at neighborhood locations through the newly launched NYC Compost Project Local Organics Recovery Program (ORP) and the DSNY & GrowNYC Food Waste Drop-Off Program.

Curbside Organics Collection: BWPRR is conducting a pilot program to test the viability of collecting source-separated organic waste, including leaf and yard waste, food scraps, and food-soiled paper, from residences, public schools and city agencies.

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Reuse Programs

Reuse it NYC: Reuse it NYC summarizes the various NYC reuse programs for different sectors.

NYC Stuff Exchange: The NYC Stuff Exchange leaving NYCWasteLess is a quick and simple online tool to find out where to donate, buy, or sell gently used goods in NYC. Hundreds of listings are searchable by zip code, borough, or citywide. The website was launched in 2007, while the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch app leaving NYCWasteLess was launched in 2011.

re-fashioNYC: re-fashioNYC, launched in 2011, is a public-private partnership between the City of New York and Housing Works exit graphic to make clothing donation as easy as possible through convenient in-building drop-off service.

NYC Center for Materials Reuse (NYC CMR)*: By researching, promoting, and advancing the positive environmental, social, and economic impacts of materials reuse or utilizing “second-hand” goods, the NYC Center for Materials Reuse leaving NYCWasteLess works to strengthen materials reuse activities in NYC through a range of services.

ReuseNYC: A support network for the NYC reuse community, ReuseNYC leaving NYCWasteLess provides a wide range of free services to nonprofit organizations accepting and redistributing second-hand or “reusable” items. ReuseNYC member organizations receive professional development training, networking opportunities, donation referrals, promotional services, and the benefits of NYC CMR’s research and development projects.

NYC WasteMatch: A free service for businesses and nonprofits, NYC WasteMatch leaving NYCWasteLess is an online materials exchange that facilitates the exchange of used and surplus goods and equipment from organizations that no longer need them to entities that do. NYC WasteMatch keeps valuable resources out of the waste stream while offering clients an opportunity to save money and lower their environmental impact. 

*Formerly known as NYC Materials Exchange Development Program

Materials for the Arts: Materials for the Arts leaving NYCWasteLess collects unwanted office equipment, furniture, materials, fabric, paint, and industrial by-products and makes them available to nonprofit cultural organizations, arts programs, and NYC public schools. The program is sponsored by the NYC Departments of Sanitation, Cultural Affairs, and Education.

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Take it Back, NYC & Special Waste

Take It Back NYC: BWPRR educates the public about various state and local legislative initiatives, as well as voluntary product stewardship programs.

Special Waste: BWPRR maintains five Self-Help Special Waste Drop-Off Sites (one in each borough) where NYC residents can drop off household and automotive batteries, motor oil, transmission fluid, fluorescent tubes and bulbs, latex paint, mercury thermometers and thermostats, and passenger car tires for proper disposal.

SAFE Disposal Events: BWPRR is conducting SAFE disposal events in each borough during the spring. These events allow NYC residents to safely dispose of their harmful household products, pharmaceuticals, and electronics.

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BWPRR Employment and Business Opportunities

Any job openings at BWPRR are posted on the NYC Job Opportunities leaving NYCWasteLess page on leaving NYCWasteLess. For other positions with the NYC Department of Sanitation, see job opportunities leaving NYCWasteLess on the DSNY website.

Information is also available for businessess — especially Minority and Women-Based Enterprises — interested in doing business with DSNY or contracting with NYC.

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