Recycling FAQs

Important Notice on the Suspension of GrowNYC’s Recycling Programs (click to read PDF)

What day is my recycling day?
Find your recycling day by calling 311 or visiting the NYC Department of Sanitation's website.

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 request online.

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 Zero Waste site.

My apartment building doesnt recycle. Can you help?
Yes! GrowNYC can help residential buildings set up effective programs. Contact us to set up an appointment. Building supers and managers can also participate in NYC's 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, foam, 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 Zero Waste page.

How is GrowNYC 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. GrowNYC is a non-profit organization that hosts zero waste programs funded by the NYC Department of Sanitation. We work to increase participation in New York City's curbside recycling program using a grassroots, community-based approach, and provide workshops for tenants and supers, community events centered on education, and special collection programs for textiles and food scraps.

Where can I find information about your clothing and textile 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.

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, tires, and electronics covered by the NY State disposal ban.  Visit NYC Zero Waste to find mandatory and voluntary take-back programs for items not currently accepted in the NYC residential curbside recycling program.

If there are changes to GrowNYC programming or operations due to inclement weather this blog post will be information central for up-to-the-minute schedule changes.

  • Food Access & Agriculture

    Our network of Greenmarket farmers markets, Farmstands, and Fresh Food Box sites, coupled with GrowNYC Wholesale, ensures that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food.

  • Conservation

    We provide food scrap drop-offs, clothing collections, Stop 'N' Swap® community reuse events, and zero waste trainings to make resource conservation easy for all.

  • Green Space

    We build and rejuvenate community & school gardens in all 5 boroughs, and support even more gardens through volunteer days, technical assistance, school garden grants, & more.

  • Education

    We foster future environmental stewards by providing 66,000 children each year with programs that provide meaningful interactions with the natural environment.