NYC now recycling almost all plastic

LI_recycling logo_0929

Eco-conscious New Yorkers, take heart: that confusing plastic recycling system is no more.

City residents will no longer have to remember what it means when the bottom of their iced coffee cups has a triangle-bound one or two or three: the Department of Sanitation has a new system that can take any and all hard plastics.

“Previous New Yorkers could only recycle plastic ones and twos, which were essentially just plastic bottles,” explained Ron Gonen, the city’s deputy commissioner of sanitation, recycling, and sustainability.

Now, he says, the recycling system can process cups, containers, toys, laundry bottles, even plastic bottle caps—any rigid plastic can go in with metal and glass recyclables.

If the object can be ripped or torn, however, Gonen asks that it be placed in a separate receptacle for paper recyclables.

There are a few things that still can’t be recycled: plastic shopping bags, which can be returned to any grocery store citywide; styrofoam; and plastic wrapping.

It is especially important to avoid including styrofoam, Gonen cautioned, as it can break the recycling machinery.

But “every other kind of plastic that’s out there,” Gonen said, “We ask that people please put it in their recycling containers, because now we can keep it out of landfills.”

Gonen is hoping that simplifying the plastic system will result in more metals and glass being recycled as well.

The Department of Sanitation recycling program expects to collect over 50,000 tons of additional material per year due to the inclusion of all these plastics, as well as save the city over $600,000 a year in costs typically associated with landfills.

The city’s landfills are located in South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and the city must pay to put waste into those landfills, as well as cover the cost of the truck, barge or train that transports the waste there to return to the city.

New Yorkers are urged to recycle paper as well: the recycling of paper apparently brings in significant revenue for the city.

Ultimately, Gonen said, the benefits of recycling don’t just stop at the environment: it saves tax dollars and and contributes to local employment, as our recycling facilities are based in Staten Island and Brooklyn.

What can be recycled?

GOOD:

  • all rigid plastics: iced coffee cups, yogurt containers, laundry bottles, broken toys, etc.
  • paper: anything that can be ripped or torn, even paper towels with a little bit of food on them
  • metals
  • glass

BAD:

  • plastic wrap
  • plastic bags — return to any grocery store in the city instead
  • styrofoam
  • significantly dirty paper towels, with more than a little bit of food on it—but as the city expands the compost program, New Yorkers will be able to put these in with “organics”

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…