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NYC - recycle more, waste less New York City Recycles NYC Department of Sanitation
How DSNY Refuse and Recycling Statistics are Compiled


curbside collections
other forms of dsny collection
other materials counted in diversion rates
other materials not counted in diversion rates

Every day, NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) leaving NYCWasteLess workers pick up thousands of tons of refuse and recycling, and carry out a wide range of other functions to keep the city clean.  Information on how much gets collected, and what it consists of, is compiled by DSNY as a part of its daily operations. The types of data correspond to the different types of Sanitation operations.

Curbside Collections

Most refuse and recycling generated by city residents, city agencies, and nonprofit institutions is collected from bags and bins set out at the curb. Trucks collecting material from the curb are called “curbside trucks”. Each one passes over a scale before and after dumping its load at a recycling plant or refuse transfer site. The weighing results are continuously uploaded into DSNY’s computer system. This website provides you with information from that system. 

In Monthly Reports for DSNY Curbside Collections by Borough and Community District, you can find out how much material Sanitation trucks are collecting at curbside each month, and the recycling rate specific to each borough and community district.

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Other Forms of DSNY Collection

Curbside collection trucks pick up most - but not all - NYC’s municipal trash and recycling. Some trucks collect residential or institutional materials from large containers (dumpsters) - ranging from 2 to 60 cubic yards - and are called “containerized collections”.  

About half of New York City schools are serviced nightly by dedicated “school trucks” for collection of trash and recycling.

Sanitation workers may collect fall leaves, Christmas trees, and spring yard waste seasonally from residents for composting, budget permitting.

Heavy duty vehicles clean lots, pick up bulk metal, collect and recycle tires, sweep streets, clean up after special events, and carry out the “housekeeping” that keeps NYC clean.

DSNY also oversees the collection and composting of all discarded food from the Rikers Island Correctional Complex.

These collection operations have a scope larger than Community Districts: In the Monthly Reports for all DSNY Collections by Borough, you can find out how much each type of service collects by month, in each borough.

Monthly collection data is compiled in the Annual Reports for all DSNY and other non-DSNY collections Citywide. Annual Reports also include statistics on materials reused or recycled as part of other Sanitation functions, including the recycling of special wastes in Sanitation garages and at Residential Drop-off sites, and the recovery of CFC liquid from air conditioners and other refrigerant containing appliances before they are collected as bulk metal.

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Other Materials Counted in Diversion Rates

Some reuse/recycling - called “diversion” because materials are diverted from disposal is handled through means other than DSNY collections.

Certain nonprofit organizations collect materials such as furniture and textiles for reuse; others collect electronic waste for recycling. Consumers redeem bottles and cans covered under the New York State Redeemable Container Act (“Bottle Bill”) at retailers. And the New York State Plastic Bag law requires retail stores to provide a place to recycle plastic shopping bags.

When it becomes available, information from these organizations, and from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will be compiled and reported to Sanitation annually and will be included in the Annual Reports for all DSNY and other non-DSNY collections Citywide.

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Other Materials Not Counted in Diversion Rates

As part of its routine operations, DSNY collects or receives debris from construction and demolition projects involving buildings, roads, and other City infrastructure. DSNY also picks up abandoned autos from New York City streets. The NYC Department of Environmental Protection, moreover, manages processed sewage in its waste water treatment plants.

These materials are almost always reused or recycled. However, Local Law 40 of 2010 specifically prohibits including these tonnages in calculations of diversion rates. For this reason, they are reported for information only in the Annual Reports for all DSNY and other non-DSNY collections Citywide, but not counted as diversion.

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