RESOURCES

Background & Landscape:

The New York City recycling landscape is complex and nuanced, to the point where some information is not easily accessible. Below, you will find a brief overview of the waste and recycling landscape in NYC to help inform your business plan. 

In New York City, the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) handles roughly 50% of the waste the City produces, including all residential, governmental and school waste. Between 90 and 200 commercial haulers handle the other 50%, contracting with businesses around the City to take care of their waste. The commercial side of recycling in NYC is a constantly shifting environment with little public information easily available, so the below information focuses on the public side.

The contest is, however, open to receiving submissions of business plans looking to source recyclable waste from public, commercial or any other waste streams available in the city.  

All of the residential paper, plastic, glass and metal recyclable materials DSNY collects is transported to either Pratt Industries in Staten Island or Sims Municipal Recycling, a massive facility in Brooklyn that sorts and bales almost all of the residential recyclables produced by NYC. Because Sims is the largest aggregator of recyclable materials in New York City, we recommend that all applicants begin by looking into Sims as a potential source of material (especially for metal, glass and plastic).

Additional reading:

 

The Shining Example:

Pratt Industries, a paper mill on Staten Island, is the shining example of the type of business the NYC Curb-To-Market Challenge is seeking to cultivate. Every day, 75% of DSNY's recycled paper is directly or indirectly transported to Staten Island, where it enters Pratt's facility. The paper is then broken down and reprocessed into new 100% recycled paper, which is then converted into corrugated boxes for major Fortune 500 companies or into pizza boxes. In fact, if you are eating a pizza in New York City today, it was probably served to you in a box made from a recent edition of The New York Times.

This tight loop is exactly what we are hoping to create with CTMC: a recycled material is collected, reprocessed and then sold back into its market of origin, where it begins the cycle all over again.

Additional resources:

Resource Streams:

Glass

Recycling Method:        

Curbside

Amount Recycled:        

52.2 lbs per household annually

82,467 tons annually

Supplier/Source:

Sims Municipal Recycling

Other Important Information:    

  • Glass packaging has been slowly declining in discards over the past decade as it is replaced by lightweight plastics.

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Rigid Plastics

#1 PET Bottles

Recycling Method:

Curbside

 

Amount Recycled:

11.1 lbs per household annually

17,536 tons annually

Supplier/Source:

Sims Municipal Recycling

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#2 HDPE Natural Bottles

Recycling Method:

Curbside

Amount Recycled:

5.8 lbs per household annually

9,163 tons annually

Supplier/Source:

Sims Municipal Recycling

 

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#2 HDPE Pigmented Bottles

Recycling Method:

Curbside

 

Amount Recycled:

6.1 lbs per household annually

9,637 tons annually

Supplier/Source:

Sims Municipal Recycling

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Single Use Plastic Plates/Cups/Cutlery

Recycling Method:

Curbside

 

Amount Recycled:

1.3 lbs per household annually

2,054 tons annually

 

Supplier/Source:

Sims Municipal Recycling

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Plastic Appliances

Recycling Method:

Curbside

 

Amount Recycled:

0.6 lbs per household annually

948 tons annually

Supplier/Source:

Sims Municipal Recycling

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Non-bottle Rigid Plastic Containers & Packaging

Recycling Method:

Curbside

 

Amount Recycled:

11.8 lbs per household annually

18,642 tons annually

Supplier/Source:

Sims Municipal Recycling

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Bulky & Other Plastics

Recycling Method:

Curbside

Amount Recycled:

13.6 lbs per household annually

21,486 tons annually

Supplier/Source:

Sims Municipal Recycling

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Plastic Films

Recycling Method:

Collection bins through Plastic Film Recycling

Collection bins in retailers with more than 10,000 sq.ft. or retail space, or those with more than 5 stores larger than 5,000 sq.ft. (required by NY state law)

Other Important Information:

  • Plastic films and foam make up 7.5% of the residential waste stream, amounting to a total of 137.6 lbs per household annually, or 217,386 tons annually. This is divided among the following categories:

    • “Other wraps, baggies, tarps, bags and films”: 45.0 lbs per household annually

    • “Garbage and recycling bags”: 41.6 lbs per household annually

    • “Plastic shopping bags and newspaper sleeves”: 36.1 lbs per household annually

    • “#6 EPS Containers/Packaging”: 14.3 lbs per household annually

    • “Food/Drink Pouches”: 0.6 lbs per household annually

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Paper

Recycling Method:

Curbside

 

Amount Recycled:

174.3 lbs per household annually

275,366 tons annually

 

Supplier/Source:

Pratt Industries; Sims Municipal Recycling

Other Important Information:

  • Pratt Industries, a Staten Island paper mill, receives approximately 75% of the mixed paper that is collected by DSNY.

 

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Metal

Recycling Method:

Curbside

Amount Recycled:

38.4 lbs per household annually

60,666 tons annually

 

Supplier/Source:

Sims Municipal Recycling

 

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Textiles

Recycling Method:

refashionNYC, as well as various textile drop-off locations around NYC

 

Supplier/Source:

Goodwill; Housing Works; Salvation ArmyGreen Tree

Other Important Information:

  • Average household discarded 122.9 lbs of textiles in 2017

  • Textiles make up 6.3% of aggregate curbside discards

  • 200,000 tons thrown away in trash every year

  • NYC’s refashionNYC program diverted 1,800 tons of textiles from landfills in 2017

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Construction & Demolition

Recycling Method:

On-site containers    

 

Amount Recycled:

8,300 tons of C&D waste is produced daily (2.3 million tons annually)

Of this, on average in NYC 38% is actually recycled

 

Supplier/Source:

Cooper Recycling

 

Other Important Information:    

  • 87.7 lbs per household annually in residential curbside refuse

  • C&D waste makes up ~1/3 of NYC's total waste stream (by weight)

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Electronics

Recycling Method:

Collection and drop-off through DSNY

Supplier/Source:

ERI

Other Important Information:    

  • 5.4 lbs per household annually in residential curbside refuse

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Note #1: Unless otherwise noted, all statistical figures are taken from https://dsny.cityofnewyork.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2017-Waste-Characterization-Study.pdf

Note #2: Statistics and facts on this page will be added and updated on an ongoing basis as they are confirmed.

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