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Recycle Right NY Campaign

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Recycle Right NY is a 12-month public outreach campaign launched in January 2019 in coordination with recycling professionals in the public, private and not for profit sectors of the state.  In 2018, DEC held a series of stakeholder meetings across the state specifically to address current stressors to the recycling industry.  During the Education and Outreach stakeholder meeting, a recycling education committee was formed and agreed to develop a campaign supporting efforts to reduce contamination in household recycling across NYS.

The Campaign

The Recycle Right NY campaign focuses on one item per month that should either be “in” a recycling bin due to its value in recovery or “out” because it is either a contaminant to the recycling stream or appropriately recycled elsewhere. The top twelve items were identified by recycling stakeholders and became the structure of the campaign. By focusing on the same item and message each month across multiple platforms throughout the state, the message will be consistent and stronger.  Please join us and help tie all our efforts together by using the hashtag #RecycleRightNY on social media!  To stay up to date on the release of new monthly materials, please enter your e-mail into the DEC Delivers subscription box in the upper right-hand corner of this webpage.

Guidance on Using Recycle Right NY Campaign materials

The Recycle Right NY campaign provides free downloadable social media posts, images, and short paragraphs for articles and newsletters that organizations and individuals can use to promote good recycling habits. For past campaign materials, follow the link for each month’s topic. For further assistance with using the resources, check out the Recycle Right NY Guidance Document and other resources found in the Important Links box in the upper right hand corner of this web page. 


Recycle Right NY Campaigns and Resources:

January: Wishcycling/Know Your Program 

Don’t be a wish-cycler! Explain what wishcycling is and communicate the importance of knowing what does and does not belong in local recycling programs.

February: Tanglers 

Tanglers hurt recycling! Teach about tanglers like rope, electrical cords, hoses, and light strands that cause damage to recycling equipment and can harm workers at recycling facilities.

March: Aluminum & Steel Cans 

Let’s have a can-do attitude!  Explain the importance of recycling metal cans and the proper way to prepare cans for recycling.

April: Textiles 

Help residents understand that textiles (clothing, towels, sheets, blankets, etc.) do not belong in household recycling programs with plastic, metal, glass and paper. Textiles are recyclable but need their own special recycling programs.

May: Food Diversion/Composting

Keep it clean! Explain that food and liquids should not go in with household recycling (plastic, metal, glass and paper) because it can ruin recyclable material. Educate about composting and reducing wasted food.

June: Single-Use Plastics 

What’s up with single-use plastics? Promote reduction and proper disposal of single-use plastics. Explain that not all plastic items are recyclable in local programs.

July: Plastic Bags and Other Film Plastics

Don’t bag it! Help residents understand that unless their program states otherwise, household recycling should not be bagged. Explain what film plastics are and communicate the message that special recycling programs exist for film plastic but it should not go in with regular household recycling (plastic, metal, glass, paper).

August: Batteries

Batteries don’t belong! Explain that there are special recycling programs for batteries, but they should not go in with regular household recycling (plastic, metal, glass, paper). Batteries can cause fires and harm workers during transport and at local recycling facilities.

September: Sharps

Sharps are a hazard in household recycling bins! Explain the proper way to dispose of sharps.

October: Non-Container Glass 

Let’s be clear! Not all glass can go in with regular household recycling (plastic, metal, glass, paper). Non-container glass like drinking glasses, bowls, window panes, etc. do not belong. Only container glass like bottles and jars should go in with regular household recycling.

November: Plasic Bottles and Jugs

Teach about how to properly prepare plastic bottles and jugs for local recycling programs.

December: Cardboard 

Keep it dry! Cardboard is a valuable recyclable material- except when it becomes wet or greasy. Teach how to properly prepare cardboard for recycling and provide tips for keeping cardboard clean and dry in household recycling.