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Organics in NYC's Residential Waste Stream


UPDATE: NYC is currently undertaking a new
residential waste characterization study. The results and
analysis below reflect the waste landscape in 2004-05.

go to: what's in nyc's wasteAmount of Organics in NYC's Residential Waste

In 2004 and 2005, the NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY), leaving NYCWasteLess along with its research consultants, conducted an extensive waste characterization study to find out what's in NYC's residential refuse and recycling over four seasons.

The pie chart below shows the amount of organics found in NYC's residential waste stream. Nearly 29% of NYC's residential waste is suitable for source-separated composting, including yard trimmings, food wastes, compostable paper. Another 12% consists of wood and miscellaneous organic materials suitable for composting at an industrial scale.

Compostable and Non-Compostable Fractions
of NYC's Residential Waste

Source: NYC Waste Characterization Study, 2004/05 Annualized Results

organic waste pie chart

Summary of Material Groups

paper, metal, glass, and plastic materials
  designated for curbside recycling in NYC
organic materials suitable for source-separated composting29%
organic materials suitable for industrial scale composting12%
other materials23%

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