NYC Recycles

Apartment Buildings: 

Residential building owners and landlords must notify tenants about recycling requirements, designate an accessible recycling area, and maintain signs explaining what and how to recycle.

Enrollment Programs:

Improve recycling through NYC’s Apartment Building Recycling Initiative: Obtain a clothing donation bin for your building:

Set up an electronics recycling program for your apartment building:

What Happens to NYC Recyclables:

Sanitation brings all the recyclables set out for collection to contracted recycling processors, and carefully tracks the tonnages (see What Happens to Recyclables at

Workplace Recycling:

All office buildings are required to recycle paper & cardboard, and bulk metal. Restaurants and cafeterias are required to recycle cardboard, bottles, cans & foil, and bulk metal.

Commercial buildings must make their own collection arrangements with a private carter, not through the Department of Sanitation (see Recycling in Businesses at

Helpful Hints and Resources:

  • Set up an easy way to keep recyclables separate from garbage everywhere you discard things, such as in the kitchen and where you sort
  • If you are concerned about confidentiality, remove address labels

and tear up or shred mail before recycling it. Learn how to reduce  junk mail and opt out of credit card offers, phone books, and catalogs:

  • Avoid pests and odors by rinsing designated metal, glass,

and plastic recyclables before storing them.

  • Save space by flattening beverage cartons and plastics

(this won’t affect recyclability).

  • Visit gov/stuffexchange to find out where to donate, buy, or sell your used stuff.
  • Some items not currently accepted through NYC’s curbside recycling program can be recycled through retailer or manufacturer take-back See for complete info.
  • Visit gov/wasteless/compost to learn how you can compost your yard waste and food scraps.

NYC’s Recycling Game:

Visit to play NYC’s recycling game, or download app for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.