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Recycling and Waste Diversion Info for the State of New York

The recycling rate is below average in the State of New York

The national recycling rate is about 34%, and the State of New York falls far short of that at around 20% (2010). New York City is hurting even worse with a waste diversion/recycling rate of just 15.1% (2013).

Cities like NYC are looking to introduce new legislation and recycling programs aimed at boosting these figures. The Mayor of NYC vowed to double the recycling rate by 2017. If achieved, it would save tax payers $60 million per year.

New York State’s Beyond Waste Plan drafted in 2010 sets forth a comprehensive plan to reduce waste generation and increase recycling efforts statewide. The benefits of the plan, according to the report, are plentiful and include:

  • A reduction of 21 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions
  • Saves enough energy each year to power 2.6 million homes
  • Creates 67,000 new recycling-related jobs by 2030

Read the entire Beyond Waste Plan

Why is recycling so important?

We all know recycling is beneficial to the environment, but its economic benefits are not as well known. The recycling industry bring jobs to the community.

According to the EPA, for every 10,000 lbs. of waste disposed of in landfills, there is only 1 job created. On the other hand, the same amount of waste processed at recycling facilities creates 10 recycling-related jobs or 75 material reuse jobs.

In summary, recycling offers:

  • New jobs, more money flowing through the state and local economies
  • Fewer landfills, illegal dumping sites, and less need for virgin materials to manufacture new products

Don’t throw it away; recycle or reuse

There are a number of material exchange facilities located throughout the state which accept things like clothing, books, kitchen items, gardening tools, furniture, appliances, toys, cellphones, bedding and much more. Consider this option before tossing it in the trash.

A second eco-friendly option for disposing of waste is to recycle. You can contact your local recycling coordinator to determine the closest facility, or get in touch with a materials exchange facility that accepts the type of material or debris you are disposing of (e.g., building materials, furniture, chemicals, e-waste)

Separate C&D debris if possible

New York recovered 6.3 million tons of construction and demolition (C&D) debris in 2010. This includes bricks, concrete, drywall, flooring, shingles and more. Most of these materials are recyclable.

The key is to separate different types of material so that it can be recycled. If possible, separate C&D debris during your next renovations, roofing or new construction project. By using separate dumpsters for each type of debris, you’ll be helping to recover valuable resources that would otherwise rot in landfills.

***Talk to your dumpster rental provider about these options. You may get a better rate if you plan to source separate C&D debris because recycling debris rather than dropping it off at a landfill is a more cost-effective option for the waste hauler.

Tips for renting a roll-off dumpster in New York

5 most common dumpster styles

Commercial dumpsters – Businesses use these dumpsters for weekly or monthly garbage hauling service. They are not for temporary use.

Roll-off dumpsters – These are the containers you rent for temporary uses, such as household cleanouts, roofing projects or commercial construction.

Trailer dumpsters – Used by some dumpster rental companies, these trailers are used similarly to roll-off dumpsters but are different in that they are on wheels – this offers the benefit of being easier on your driveway.

Bag-style containers – These small bins are made from durable fabrics and plastics and range in size from 1 to 3 cubic yards and hold less than 2 tons of debris. The “Bagster” container is one such dumpster.

Lowboy dumpsters – Similar to traditional roll-off dumpsters but with low sides, making it ideal for loading heavier debris, such as dirt, roofing material, concrete, tiles and masonry.

Information about dumpster rental weight limits and overage charges

Dumpster rental providers typically put a cap on the amount of weight you can load into a dumpster due to the fact it costs them more money to dump heavier loads at local landfills. This weight limit can range from 1 ton (2,000 lbs.) to 8 tons (16,000 lbs.) or more.

Overage fees typically range between $50 per ton and $100 per ton. For example, if the weight allowance is 2,000 lbs. and your load weighs in at 2,500 lbs., you’d owe an additional 1 ton of overage charges at the $50 to $100 rate, or whatever rate your dumpster rental agreement specifies.

TIP: Be particularly careful of going over the allotted weight limit when dealing with heavier debris, such as concrete, roofing shingles, dirt or masonry.