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NYC - recycle more, waste less New York City Recycles NYC Department of Sanitation
Organics Collection in Houses & Small Residential Buildings


NYC Organics Collection logo

The NYC Department of Sanitation collects yard waste, food scraps, and food-soiled paper every week from pilot area homes. Residents outside the pilot areas can still compost their food waste at a neighborhood food waste drop-off site. New Yorkers can now send even less waste to land­fills!

WATCH!: Mayor Bill de Blasio and his family are featured in this video showing New Yorkers how food waste recycling can be integrated into their day-to-day lives.

how to participate
collection schedule
tips for managing organic waste
dsny promotion
bags and liners

about the pilot
what goes in the organics bin
pilot area maps
frequently asked questions
buildings with 10 or more apartments
neighborhood-based food waste drop-off sites

How to Participate in Organics Collection

Starter kits are delivered to households in pilot areas. The kit includes the brown organics bin and a small kitchen container, along with detailed program information.

One- and two-family homes receive 13-gallon bins; buildings with 3 to 9 units receive 21-gallon bins. Apartment buildings with 10 or more units must apply to participate, since logistics are different.

Participating residents can follow these steps:

1. Separate organic waste from your trash and other recyclables.

  • Collect your food scraps and food-soiled paper in your kitchen container, or in any container or bag.
  • Store your container or bag in a convenient place, like on the countertop, under the sink, or in the freezer.
  • If you want, line your container with an acceptable bag or liner for easy clean-up.
Separate organic waste

2. Empty organic waste into your brown bin.

Organics bin

3. Set out brown bin and yard waste at the curb for collection.


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Collection Schedule

Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island pilot neigborhoods:

  • Organics are collected once per week on your regular recycling day. Find your regular recycling day using your address.
  • When your recycling day falls on a holiday, set out your organic waste and trash after 5 pm ON THAT holiday for collection starting the next day, which may occur earlier or later than usual. All other recyclables will be collected the following week on your regular recycling day.

Brooklyn pilot neigborhoods:

  • Organics are collected twice per week on your regular trash days. Find your regular trash days using your address.
  • When one of your collection days falls on a holiday, set out your organic waste and trash after 5 pm ON THAT holiday for collection starting the next day, which may occur earlier or later than usual. All other recyclables will be collected the following week on your regular recycling day.

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Tips for Managing Organic Waste

Maintaining Your Kitchen Collector

  • One of the most effective ways to prevent insects (and odor) is to store food scraps in your freezer or refrigerator before discarding them in your brown bin. This prevents food waste from rotting.
  • Inside your home, empty and wash your kitchen collector regularly. The free one provided by DSNY is dishwasher safe.
  • Lining the collector with an approved liner will make cleaning up easier.
  • Wrap meat and seafood scraps and wet organic materials in newspaper or paper towels.
  • Clean out the refrigerator the day before collection, rather than the day after.

Maintaining Your Brown Organics Bin

  • The brown bins are specially designed with raccoon-proof latches and other features to keep out rodents and pests. Traditionally, food waste is mixed with garbage and left on the curb in BAGS overnight, where it is easily accessed by rodents, raccoons, and bugs. Our organics program helps solve this problem by having residents dispose of food waste in a specially designed heavy-duty organics container with a lid that latches shut.
  • Outside, make sure you keep the brown bin latched and in a shaded, ventilated area, especially during warm weather.
  • Insects and rodents can be attracted by odors, which arise when there is too much moisture in your bin. Reduce moisture by adding paper, shredded newspaper, cardboard, or leaves to the brown bin.
  • Lining the brown bin with an approved liner will make cleaning up easier.
  • Rinse out brown bin occasionally with baking soda and water or diluted vinegar.
  • Line the outer rim of the bin with salt or vinegar to repel flies, or sprinkle rock salt or garden lime inside the brown bin.
  • Flies are also repeled by herbs such as camphor, eucalyptus, mint, or bay leaves. Hang bruised leaves inside the bin or apply drops of herbal oil to the outside of the bin.
  • Sprinkle baking soda in the container and bin to reduce odors.
  • To prevent material from sticking or freezing to the bottom of the bin, line the bottom with an approved liner.

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DSNY Promotion

DSNY's efforts to inform residents about the Organics Collection and the pilot include the following:

  • mailers and door hangers delivered to participating households
  • posters hung in local businesses
  • meetings with elected officials
  • presenting at community meetings
  • info tables at local venues and events

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