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NYC Organics Collection Bin Requirements


Part of evaluating the NYC Organics Collection pilot is assessing various types of curbside organics collection bins. DSNY's bin specifications have been carefully selected based on effectiveness at keeping out pests, compatibility with mechanized collection, and the durability of bins over time.

Find specific bin information for your entity below.

public schools
homes and small residential buildings

all other participants

where to find organics collection bins
where to find compostable liners and bags
organics collection & drop-off programs

Public Schools

During the pilot phase, DSNY provides bins to each participating NYC Department of Education (DOE) public school building. School buildings receive 32-gallon bins to be used in kitchens and cafeterias to collect organics, and are then rolled out to the curb for collection. To order decals for organics bins, please fill out the materials request order form.

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Homes and Small Residential Buildings (1-9 Units)

During the pilot phase, bins are provided to each home by DSNY. Homes will receive either a 12-gallon or 21-gallon curbside bin, along with a kitchen collector. In multi-unit homes and apartment buildings, curbside bins may need to be shared.

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All Other Participants

All other participants (including apartment buildings with 10 or more units, private schools, agencies, and institutions) must utilize bins that:

  1. Have a lift bar (for the automated lift assist on the truck)  
  2. Are labeled with the NYC Organics Collection decal
  3. Are 35-gallons in size or under
  4. Are not the color blue or green. Preferred color is brown.

The shape, features, and brand of bin are all decisions that are up to the individual building.

Please note: These requirements are for bins to be set out for collection. You may choose to utilize additional bins for internal collection.

Bin Selection Tips

Find out where to purchase organics collection bins.

  • Size. When choosing a bin size, take into account your building's organics collection set-up, collection procedures (whether or not you have an elevator), frequency of collection, building space requirements, and curbside collection location. Examples of common bins sizes are: 13-gallon; 21-gallon; 32-35 gallon.
  • Latching lids. Latching lids are helpful for multiple reasons. They prevent the contents of the bin from spilling out if the bin is knocked over; they inhibit contamination from passers-by; and they make tampering from pests difficult. IMPORTANT: There is a difference between latching lids and locking lids. If you purchase a bin with a latch, make sure you do not purchase bins whose lids lock shut or require a key or combination to open.
  • Caster wheels. Casters enhance the mobility of carts by propping the cart up on four wheels and allowing the cart to turn easily. This is a luxury feature and may not be available on all bins.
  • Thick-walls. Bins with thick walls tend to be more durable and last longer than bins with thinner walls.
  • Hot Stamp/Molding. Some bin manufacturing companies offer options to personalize bins with a company logo using a hot-stamp or mold. 
  • Serial Numbers: Serial numbers can be useful for large buildings that want to keep track of their inventory. Each bin will come with a unique number identifying the bin.
  • Warranty. Be sure to ask about the warranty of the bin. Most bin warranties are good for ten years.

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