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NYC - recycle more, waste less New York City Recycles NYC Department of Sanitation
School Recycling Program Checklist

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Use this simple checklist to ensure that every area of your school is correctly set up for recycling.

recycling in classrooms and school offices
recycling in common areas, teachers' lounge/cafeteria
recycling in the cafeteria
recycling in the school kitchen
recycling storage areas
recycling collection service

Recycling containers: The Department of Sanitation does not provide recycling or garbage containers. See info on recycling containers and decals. Your custodian or principal can purchase recycling bins through their standard procurement process.go to: school request form

Use the school materials request form to order free recycling decals and signs, or to download and print your own.

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Recycling in Classrooms & School Offices

paper recycling next to trash bin Recycle mixed paper and corrugated cardboard:

 Put all paper into recycling containers with GREEN DSNY labels (or clearly labeled "Mixed Paper").

 Line bins with CLEAR bags, or leave paper bins unlined (never use black bags for recyclables).

 Place garbage container nearby to avoid contamination.

 Keep corrugated cardboard boxes separate for recycling.


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Recycling in Entranceway, Common Areas, Teachers’ Lounge/Cafeteria

3 bins with signsRecycle mixed paper and cardboard:

 Put all paper into recycling containers with GREEN DSNY labels (or clearly labeled "MIXED PAPER").

 Line bins with CLEAR bags, or leave paper bins unlined (never use black bags for recyclables).

 Keep cardboard boxes separate for recycling.


Recycle any metal & foil; glass bottles & jars; rigid plastics; milk & juice cartons and drink boxes:

 Empty food or beverages from all containers.

 Put all metal, glass, plastic, and cartons into recycling containers with BLUE DSNY labels (or clearly labeled "METAL, GLASS & PLASTIC").

 Line recycling containers with CLEAR bags.

 Place garbage container nearby to avoid contamination.


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Recycling in the Cafeteriabins

Recycle any metal & foil; glass bottles & jars; rigid plastics; milk & juice cartons and drink boxes:

 Empty food or beverages from all containers; use a separate bucket to empty leftover liquids.

 Put all metal, glass, plastic, and cartons into recycling containers with BLUE DSNY labels (or clearly labeled "METAL, GLASS & PLASTIC").

 "Paper boats" with no food residue go into recycling containers with GREEN DSNY labels (or clearly labeled "MIXED PAPER"). Styrofoam lunch trays go in regular garbage cans.

 Line recycling containers with CLEAR bags.

 Place garbage container nearby to avoid contamination.


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Recycling in the School Kitchen

3 bins & bundled cardboard with postersRecycle any metal & foil; glass bottles & jars; rigid plastics; milk & juice cartons and drink boxes:

 Empty food or beverages from all containers.

 Put all metal, glass, plastic, and cartons into recycling containers with BLUE DSNY labels (or clearly labeled "METAL, GLASS & PLASTIC").

 Line recycling containers with CLEAR bags.

 Place garbage container nearby to avoid contamination.


Recycle corrugated cardboard, paper egg cartons, paper packaging, and mixed paper:

 Put all paper into recycling containers with GREEN DSNY labels (or clearly labeled "MIXED PAPER").

 Put wax- and plastic-coated paper packaging in the regular garbage.

 Flatten and stack corrugated cardboard boxes for recycling.


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Recycling Storage Areas

recycling storage areaKeep recyclables separate from garbage during internal collection and at indoor or outdoor storage areas:

 Label the Recycling Area.

 Collect and store all recyclables in CLEAR bags, never in the same bags with garbage.

 Set out recyclables and garbage in 3 distinct piles or areas for Sanitation collection.

 Flatten and tie corrugated cardboard into bundles no more than 18” high, or place in CLEAR bags.

 Recycle bulk metal (metal furniture, file cabinets, appliances*) by placing at the curb when other metal recyclables are collected.

* Before discarding refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, water coolers, and other appliances containing CFC (Freon) gas, call 311 or use the online form to make an appointment leaving NYCWasteLess for removal of the CFC gas. For safety reasons, remove doors from refrigerators and freezers before placing out for disposal.

ALSO SEE:
other materials requiring special handling

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Sanitation truckDSNY Recycling Collection Services

Schools that receive garbage collection from the NYC Department of Sanitation are also eligible for DSNY recycling collection service.

There are three types of collection for schools:

  • CURBSIDE: Recyclables are collected weekly in the same truck as the local neighborhood's recyclables.
    • To find out your neighborhood Recycling Day check the collection schedule leaving NYCWasteLess or call 311.
      • Note: your building's collection location may be scheduled for a different collection day than the building's street address.
    • To report missed collections: call 311, or complete the 311 Online Missed Collection form.leaving NYCWasteLess
  • DUMPSTERS: Some large schools that use dumpsters for garbage may also have designated dumpsters for recycling paper & cardboard. However, DSNY does NOT have dumpster collection for metal, glass, plastic & cartons; these recyclables must be placed at the curb in CLEAR bags for collection.
  • dual-bin Sanitation truckDUAL-BIN SCHOOL NIGHT TRUCK: The "school night truck" services most NYC schools every weeknight with a dual-bin truck. This service is in addition to regular weekly neighborhood curbside recycling collection, and is determined by City Council funding and the particular needs of individual schools.

Each weekday, these schools set out only the materials that the dual-bin trucks will collect that night: [collection days changed effective September 2012] 

  • Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: garbage and mixed paper & cardboard.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays: garbage and metal, glass, plastic & cartons.

go to: site visit request formCall 311 if you have any problems or questions about Department of Sanitation collection of your recyclables.

Use the site visit request form to arrange for a DSNY Recycling Outreach Specialist to come do an informative walk-through with your custodian, principal, and recycling coordinator.

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