Party Aftermath: Recycling Reminder

Party Aftermath: Recycling Reminder

Annie Werbler
Nov 2, 2009

As we enter the holiday season, it might be helpful to review the everyday recycling rules in New York City. I know that I'm always challenged by questions as to whether or not found party debris is considered trash. Here's a handy guide to make messes like this post-Halloween chaos seem a bit less scary.

From NYCWasteLe$$:

Paper and Cardboard:
* white, colored, and glossy paper (staples okay)
* mail and envelopes (window envelopes okay)
* wrapping paper (remove ribbon and tape)
* smooth cardboard (food boxes — remove inside and outside plastic wrappers — shoe boxes, tubes from paper towel and toilet paper rolls, cardboard from product packaging)
* paper bags
* cardboard egg cartons and trays
* newspapers, magazines, and catalogs
* phone books, softcover books (paperbacks, comic books, etc.; no spiral bindings)
* corrugated cardboard (flattened boxes)

Place all paper together in CLEAR bags.

Do NOT Recycle:

* hardcover books
* napkins, paper towels, or tissues
* soiled paper cups or plates
* paper soiled with food or liquid
* paper with a lot of tape and glue
* plastic- or wax-coated paper (candy wrappers, take-out containers, etc.)
* photographic paper

Beverage Cartons, Bottles, Cans, Metal, and Foil:
* metal cans (soup, pet food, empty aerosol cans, dried-out paint cans, etc.)
* aluminum foil wrap and trays
* household metal (wire hangers, pots, tools, curtain rods, knives, small appliances that are mostly metal, etc.)
* bulk metal (metal furniture, cabinets, large appliances, etc.)
* glass bottles and jars only
* plastic bottles and jugs only
* milk cartons and juice boxes (or any such cartons and aseptic packaging for liquids)

Empty and rinse containers before recycling. Place all together in CLEAR bags. Remove caps and lids. Place METAL caps and lids in the recycling bin; put plastic caps and lids in the garbage. Wrap knives or similar sharp metal objects in cardboard (such as a piece of cereal box) and secure with tape.

Do NOT Recycle:
* plastic items other than plastic bottles and jugs (such as deli and yogurt containers; plastic toys, cups, wrap, etc. — if it's not a bottle or jug, DON'T put it in the recycling bin, place in trash)
* any glass items other than glass bottles and jars (mirrors, lightbulbs, ceramics, glassware, etc.), place in trash
* Styrofoam (cups, egg cartons, trays, etc.) place in trash
* batteries
* plastic bags

Visit NYCWasteLe$$ for more information on recycling in your neighborhood, and some facts on what happens to our castoffs during the process. And remember, there's no garbage, recycling collection, or street cleaning tomorrow on Election Day. Vote early and vote often!

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