Printer Friendly Format
View Press Conference
56k or 300k

June 27, 2002


Effective Monday, July 1st, the recycling of glass and plastic will be suspended

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty today announced that effective Monday, July 1st, the City's curbside recycling program will only collect paper and metal recyclables and the collection of plastic and glass materials from residential homes and institutions will be suspended. For paper and cardboard recycling, building owners, managers and residents should continue to use clear bags, green containers or green labeled containers. For metal only, blue bags, blue containers, or blue labeled containers can be used. However, the Department recommends the use of clear bags for recycling metal. Existing citywide recycling collection schedules for paper and metal will remain unchanged.

"The City was faced with some very difficult budget decisions and we worked with the City Council to temporarily modify our recycling program," said Mayor Bloomberg. "These changes were made with great difficulty. We all want recycling to work. But the more labor-intensive and less efficient recycling of glass and plastic items for which there are not current markets is not cost-effective. Therefore the City is discontinuing the program temporarily until we can create an effective and efficient system for recycling glass and plastic."

"The recycling program is an integral component of the City's overall plan to effectively handle its municipal solid waste," said Commissioner Doherty. "I know that all New Yorkers will pitch-in to make the revised program work."

Starting Monday, July 1st, the following items will no longer be recycled and should be placed with the regular household garbage for collection:

If a recycling bag or receptacle contains any non-recyclable, non-metal items, that bag or container will be left at the curb for the resident to bring back in and properly sort the contents putting metal items only out for recycling collection and the remaining plastic and glass in the regular garbage. Citywide garbage collection schedules will remain the same.

Paper products to be recycled include newspapers, magazines, catalogs, telephone books, mixed paper, mail, envelopes, smooth cardboard (shoe and cereal boxes, tubes), paper bags, soft cover books, and corrugated cardboard, which must be flattened and tied in bundles will continue to be recycled.

Metal recyclables include cans, aluminum foil wraps and trays, household metal objects (such as wire hangers, pots and pans, irons), metal pipes, and other items made substantially from metal will continue to be recycled. Bulk items not substantially made from metal such as box springs, sofa beds, etc. will not be collected as recyclables.

Sanitation Police and Enforcement Agents from the Department's Enforcement Division will not issue summonses for metal recycling violations during the first 60 days. Summonses with fines of up to $100 will continue to be issued for mixed paper recycling violations.

Bulk recycling for large metal appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, hot water heaters, etc. will continue as usual. Residents are reminded to schedule a CFC removal appointment before placing refrigerators, water coolers, air conditioners, etc. containing Freon gas out for collection. Appointments can be made by calling the Sanitation Action Center at (212) 219-8090 or on the Department's website All refrigerator and freezer doors must be removed before placing the appliance at curbside for collection.

Since the five-cent deposit law on beverage containers remains in effect, all residents are urged to return these valuable containers to the nearest redemption center. Recycling requirements for businesses have not changed.

Contact: Ed Skyler / Jordan Barowitz
(212) 788-2958
Vito Turso (DOS) (646) 885-5020