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NYC Recycling Law

See: recycling in nyc

UPDATE: The New York City Council leaving NYCWasteLesspassed 11 Local Laws in 2010 to update and expand the NYC Recycling Law. See Amendments for more info.

Law: NYC Administrative Code leaving NYCWasteLess(Search for Title 16: Sanitation, Chapter 3: Solid Waste Recycling) PDF version

Rules: Rules of the City of New York leaving NYCWasteLess(Search for Title 16: Department of Sanitation, Chapter 1: Collection) PDF version

Summary: The New York City Recycling Law, originally enacted in 1989 as Local Law 19, established the overarching “policy of the city to promote the recovery of materials from the New York City solid waste stream for the purpose of recycling such materials and returning them to the economy”. This Law mandates recycling in NYC by residents, agencies, institutions, and businesses, including the designation of what materials are to be considered recyclable, the recovery of those materials, tonnages of recyclable materials that must be recycled annually, and responsibilities of each relevant party. The Rules were developed by DSNY to detail the requirements, operations, implementation and enforcement of mandated recycling including residentialagency and institutional,commercialyard waste, and street events.

Amendments: The NYC Recycling Law established by Local Law 19 of 1989 has been amended several times. The eleven relevant Local Laws passed in 2010 are:

Local Law 40 of 2010 leaving NYCWasteLessupdates the overall recycling goals for DSNY-managed waste, and defines data calculation methodologies and reporting requirements related to tracking progress towards those goals.

Local Law 34 of 2010 leaving NYCWasteLessupdates DSNY’s public outreach and education requirements, residential building owner requirements, establishes fines for residential violations based on building size, and fines for impermissibly placed publicly accessible textile drop-off bins.

Local Law 35 of 2010 leaving NYCWasteLessallows for the designation of rigid plastic containers as recyclable if the commissioner determines that the cost is reasonable after the recycling processing facility at South Brooklyn Marine Terminal is built.

Local Law 36 of 2010 leaving NYCWasteLessand Local Law 41 of 2010 leaving NYCWasteLessrequire City Agencies and Public and Private Schools, respectively, to designate recycling or sustainability coordinators; to maintain labeled recycling containers in their buildings; and to submit waste prevention, reuse, and recycling plans, and annual implementation reports to DSNY.

Local Law 37 of 2010 leaving NYCWasteLessupdates the Yard Waste Composting Law to require collection from NYC Agencies and Housing Authority residential buildings, and annual reporting by composting facilities.

Local Law 38 of 2010 leaving NYCWasteLessestablishes Public Space Recycling requirements including the placement of recycling bins for designated materials, and city-approved textile drop-off bins.

Local Law 33 of 2010 leaving NYCWasteLessrequires DSNY to establish a pilot voluntary paint stewardship program.

Local Law 39 of 2010 leaving NYCWasteLessestablishes Hazardous Waste Collection requirements including events and drop-off sites, and annual reporting of materials collected.

Local Law 32 of 2010 leaving NYCWasteLessupdates the Commercial Recycling Law to require DSNY to complete a study of commercial recycling in the City.

Local Law 42 of 2010 leaving NYCWasteLessrequires the completion of a study on the feasibility of food waste composting in the City.

Previous local legislation affecting recycling:

Local Law 50 of 2007 leaving NYCWasteLessincreased the penalties for those who use a vehicle to unlawfully remove or transport recyclables intended for pickup by the DSNY or a licensed hauler; and mandated reporting requirements for those who receive DSNY refuse collection, but choose to receive private collection of recyclables.

Local Law 40 of 2006 leaving NYCWasteLessfleshes out the Yard Waste Composting Law.

Local Law 11 of 2002 leaving NYCWasteLesstemporarily suspended the recycling of glass, plastic, and beverage cartons starting July 1, 2002 through March 2004, due to budgetary constraints resulting from the September 11, 2001 tragedy. Local Law 50 of 2003 leaving NYCWasteLessreinstated the recycling of designated plastic containers and beverage cartons on July 1, 2003; temporarily implemented alternate-week recycling collection; returned glass recycling and weekly recycling collection on April 1, 2004; and temporarily suspended yard waste collection starting July 1, 2003 to be returned no later than June 30, 2004.

Local Law 59 of 1998 leaving NYCWasteLessestablished the weekly collection of designated recyclable materials to all local service delivery districts citywide by April 15, 2000.

Local Law 87 of 1993 fleshes out the Commercial Recycling Law.


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