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New York City’s Business Recycling Compliance

Mikayla Richards | July 24th , 2017

The countdown has begun, on August 1, 2017, ALL businesses in New York City must be following the new commercial recycling rules. The warning period lasting a year is almost up and if any businesses need help meeting the compliance before the deadline date, we've got you covered with all the important information!


What Are the New Business Recycling Rules?

These new business recycling rules are in place to help increase businesses recycling rate. This is to help achieve the Mayor’s goal to reduce commercial waste by 90% by 2030.

The new law states that all New York City businesses must develop a waste and recycling collection plan and hire a private carter to help execute this plan. All businesses MUST recycle metal, glass, plastic, beverage containers, paper and cardboard.

There are other rules depending on what your business’ waste consists of. If your waste is composed of more than 10% textiles, your business must separate textiles and recycle them. This also goes for yard and plant waste. If your waste contains more than 10% yard and plant waste, you'll need to start separating and recycling it too.

Organic recycling follows a separate law that went into place on January 19, 2017. This law applies specific food waste generating business. Click here to find out more information about commercial organics recycling.

All businesses must provide recycling and waste containers for staff and customers to use. These containers must have separate compartments for recycling and waste. The compartments must be labeled as well. With the containers, the law requires signs in both public and maintenance areas explaining how recyclables and waste should be separated.

It's important to select a carter that's right for your business and how you decide to recycle. It's a good idea to have your recycling bins match your collection method, making everything the same will simplify your recycling. Carters can collect refuse in three different ways:

  • Source-Separated Recycling: This option involves three separate trucks. Each truck picking up a different stream. If you recycle your metal, glass and plastic separate from paper this would be the better option when deciding on a carter.
  • Single-Stream Recycling: This option involves two trucks. One truck picks up garbage and the other picks up both metal, glass and plastic and paper recycling. This carter option would be good if you recycle metal, glass, plastic, and paper together.
  • Co-collection: This option is collecting separate recycling in the same truck. Carters must have proper documentation to be permitted to do this.

Now that you've set up your bins and you have a contract with a carter, the law requires you put a sign outside of your business. This sign will state the carter your business uses, the materials collected and how they are collected.

You have your bins, you have hired a carter and you have put your sign outside! If you're working towards completing those three items, then you're well on your way to meeting the commercial recycling laws before August 1, 2017! To find out more information about the Business Recycling Law, check out New York City Department of Sanitation's website. Always remember that recycling helps divert waste from landfills and helps the environment stay healthy!

Mikayla Richards

Waste Diversion Coordinator

When Mikayla isn’t planning her next adventure or scoping out the best hipster restaurant for a photo op, she is keeping you updated on all topics of the environment, waste management and sustainability. Either that or she’s deeply exploring the aisles of Indigo. Since recently graduating university with an Honours Bachelor in Business Administration with a Minor in Environmental Sustainability, she is passionate about sustainability and believes it can be successfully integrated into the business world. As a member of Busch Systems’ Consulting team, she educates the community about waste diversion and sustainable practices while helping clients exceed their diversion goals.

You might also be interested in:
How To Create A Waste Diversion Team
Setting Yourself Up For Success: Best Practices For Recycling In Your Organization
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