Page 2                      Rational Solid Waste Management in New York                February, 2002

  • New York City has not achieved the State's 10% waste prevention goal, for 1997, and has not demonstrated how it will be achieved.


Non-compliance with City law.  The City has not achieved the 25% recycling rate required by Local Law 19, passed in 1989.  Residents and institutions are diverting 20% of their waste for recycling.

More materials should be targeted for recycling.
The City targets less than half of the waste stream for recycling.  This is the most serious limitation on our ability to increase recycling rates.

More outreach & education are needed.  Too many recyclables end up in the trash, exported to landfill.  Roughly 27% of the contents of black (garbage) bags is estimated to be currently-targeted recyclables.

No public space recycling.  There is no systematic recycling in the City's parks, subways, or streets.

Contamination.  Included in the City's 20%  recycling rate is garbage thrown into recycling receptacles.  DOS has stated that contamination of glass, metal and plastic is as high as 30% and contamination of paper is about 5%.

Commercial recycling sector is in complete disarray.
  Regulations requiring recycling by the commercial sector are outdated and poorly enforced.  Even when commercial generators participate properly by setting out source-separated recyclables for collection, these materials are often not