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NYC - recycle more, waste less New York City Recycles NYC Department of Sanitation
Recycling in Agencies and Institutions


Each New York City agency and institution must devote adequate resources to ensure compliance with NYC's recycling regulations.

what to recycle
how to recycle
recycling setup

recycling plan submission
info for agencies
nyc agency & institution request form
recycling bin suppliers
how to get rid of other materials
helpful links for recycling setup 

What to Recycle

Management, maintenance staff, employees, residents, visitors, and students all have responsibilities to make sure that materials designated for recycling are kept separate from garbage and properly placed for collection.

Check with your facilities manager or custodian to find out how your building recycles.

Agencies and institutions collected by the NYC Department of Sanitation leaving NYCWasteLess are required to recycle the same items as residents. (If some of your site's garbage or recyclables are collected by DSNY but you elect to use a private carter for the rest of your garbage or recyclables, you must comply with certain reporting requirements.)

Use the Agency and Institution Request Form to order decals and educational materials; use the site visit request form if you would like our outreach staff to visit your location. (Schools: please use the School Request Form.)

Agencies and institutions located in leased commercial spaces follow commercial recycling regulations.

Nonprofit institutions can request NYC Department of Sanitation collection service leaving NYCWasteLess.

Outside Vendors: NYC Agencies are responsible for ensuring that outside vendors recycle any designated materials produced by their work for the Agency. Recycling requirements must be included in all contract and concession agreements where recyclables are generated as part of the operation of vendor services.

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How to Recycle

Each site is required to set up an effective recycling program, as follows: 

  1. Labeled recycling containers are placed wherever designated recyclables are commonly discarded, with receptacles for regular garbage nearby to reduce contamination.
  2. Recyclables are collected in clear bags.
  3. Bags of recyclables are kept separated from garbage as they are collected throughout the building, stored, and placed out for pick-up.


  • Recyclables and garbage are NEVER placed together in the same bag. 
  • Paper & cardboard do NOT go in the same bag with metal, glass, plastics & cartons.
  • Corrugated cardboard (boxes) are flattened and bundled or bagged.

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Recycling Set Up

To capture the largest amount of recyclables while reducing maintenance workload, we recommend the following recycling set up:

Rededicate deskside trash containers by labeling them for paper recycling.

 deskside paper recycling container


centralized recycling and trash containers


trash container next to bottle and can recycling container





Deskside paper recycling containers:

  • don't have to be lined with plastic bags (reducing the need to purchase and discard plastic bags).
  • don't need to be emptied every day since they won't contain any food waste.

Create central and convenient locations for larger, clearly labeled recycling and trash containers.

Line recycling containers with clear plastic bags.

Line trash containers with black plastic bags.

Pair trash containers with clearly labeled recycling containers to reduce contamination of recyclable materials.

To cut down on pests, limit food waste to a few designated central locations where food is normally discarded, such as near pantries and elevators.

Make sure containers for food waste are covered and lined with black plastic bags.

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