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FAQs

What day is my recycling day?
Find your recycling day by calling 311 or visiting the NYC Department of Sanitation's website, click here and use the box labeled COLLECTION SCHEDULE on the right side of the page.

Where can I get decals for my recycling bins and information to put in my building?
Request decals and other recycling literature by calling 311 or visiting the NYC Department of Sanitation's website, click here. GrowNYC's recycling poster series is another tool for reminding tenants of NYC recycling rules and resources.

Does New York City provide recycling bins?
New York City does not provide recycling bins for residents. Use any labeled bin (preferably green for paper and blue for glass/metal/plastic/beverage cartons) between 18-32 gallons or clear bag 13-55 gallons. Click here for info on proper bin labeling.

What color bags should I use for my recycling?
Use clear bags for all recyclables--one for mixed paper and another for metal/glass/plastic/beverage cartons. If you still have the blue bags (formerly used for metal, glass, and plastic recycling) you can phase out your supply, however you should no longer purchase these bags.

I'm a little bit confused about what to recycle, can you help?
Click here to get helpful tips for understanding NYC's residential recycling rules. For a comprehensive listing of what to recycle in New York City, visit NYC Department of Sanitation's NYC Wasteless site.

My apartment building doesnt recycle. Can you help?
Yes! OROE is here to help buildings in our Outreach Districts set up effective programs. Contact us to set up an appointment. If you live outside our Outreach Districts we recommend contacting 311 and participating in the Apartment Building Recycling Initiative.

Can I recycle any kind of plastic?
Until recently NYC only accepted plastic bottles and jugs for recycling, but as of April 23, 2013, all rigid plastics can be recycled.  This excludes plastics such as shopping bags, styrofoam and squeezable drink pouches.  Learn more

Where can I recycle...?
Recycling resources for materials not covered by the curbside recycling program are constantly changing, please visit our
Recycling Resources page for information and check out our monthly e-newsletter. You can also find information on the NYC Department of Sanitation's NYC Wasteless page.

How is the Office of Recycling Outreach and Education different from the NYC Department of Sanitation?
The NYC Department of Sanitation, the world's largest sanitation department, is the uniform service agency that keeps our city clean by effectively managing our 12,000 tons of residential and institutional refuse and recycling each day. The Office of Recycling Outreach and Education is a program of the nonprofit organization, GrowNYC. We work to increase participation in New York City's curbside recycling program using a grassroots, community-by-community strategy. Our borough-wide Recycling Outreach Coordinators work to identify the specific challenges to recycling in a neighborhood and address those needs with targeted workshops for tenants and supers, community events centered on education, and special collection programs for textiles, electronics and compost. Click here to make a donation.

Where can I find information about your clothing and textiles collections at local Greenmarket farmers markets?
Please click here for more information about our clothing and textiles collections.

The building where I work does not recycle. Isnt this required?
All commercial buildings and the businesses that inhabit them must have recycling programs. Speak with your landlord or building manager for information on what and how to recycle.
Click here for more information on NYC's Commercial Recycling Rules.

Are NYC schools required to recycle?
Like other city agencies in New York City, schools are required to recycle. Learn more about the NYC DOE's recycling goals and how every school is required to implement a sustainability plan. Teachers, students, and parents may also visit GrowNYC's Recycling Champions page for a complete school recycling tool-kit including checklists, guides, presentations, signs, and more.

Can you set up recycling at my event?
OROE's Event Recycling Coordinator can help you form a successful recycling plan for your public event held within the 5 boroughs. A limited number of recycling bins and proper signage are available on loan for small events as well. We would be more than happy to come to your event if our schedule allows. All events will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Learn more about our free services and contact us for assistance.

Where do I take my household hazardous waste?
The NYC Department of Sanitation operates
Self-Help Special Waste Drop-Off Sites (for residents only) in every borough for collection and recycling (or proper disposal) of: batteries (household & auto), fluorescent bulbs, latex paint, mercury-filled thermostats and thermometers, motor oil and filters, transmission fluid, and tires. Please click here for locations and hours for these facilities.

Also see Take It Back NYC for mandatory and voluntary take-back programs for items not currently accepted in the NYC residential curbside recycling program.