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
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

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

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.