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
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox beat White Sox…

Red Sox walk 15 times in extra innings win

NBA

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics:…

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics: 'I hope to be back'

NBA

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery…

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery odds with loss

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.