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Recycle Right NY Campaign

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Background

Recycle Right NY is a 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:

2020

January: Bring Your Own Bag

Bag waste reduction starts with reusable bag education and reminders. New York State's plastic bag ban begins March 1, 2020. These resources can be used to help remind the public to #BYOBag and inform consumers about the plastic bag ban.

February: Paper Recycling Do's and Don'ts

Show paper recycling some love! Paper is the most recycled material in the United States- let's make sure we're recycling it properly. Use these resources to explain what paper products can and cannot be recycled and educate about reduction strategies such as opting out of junk mail and reuse options for paper.


March: Film Plastic Recycling- Beyond the Plastic Carryout Bag​

There are many film plastics beyond plastic carryout bags that can be recycled at convenient retail drop-off locations in NY. These resources can be used to educate the public about other film plastics that can be recycled in retail drop-off bins, inform them that these bins will be maintained after the statewide plastic bag ban goes into effect, remind residents not to put film plastics in their home recycling bins, and help them learn to BYO Bag wherever possible to reduce waste.

April: Sort It All Out! Product and Packaging Labeling

Symbols and text on products and packaging can be confusing, especially when trying to figure out how to properly recycle, compost, or dispose of something in the trash. These resources can be used to teach residents how to sort it all out with easy tips and suggestions.

*COVID-19 Guidance: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, April 2020 resources include special materials and guidance regarding COVID-19 and recycling/waste management services. This guidance is subject to change as the situation evolves.

May: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle While You Spring Clean!

It's time for some Spring cleaning! While it can be tempting just to get items into trash bags as quick as possible, it's important to remember that everything we own requires natural resources to produce, and many of the things we might think are trash can be reused, repaired and recycled. These resources can be used to help residents recycle right while spring cleaning, learn how to properly dispose of certain items, and learn about reuse and repair.

*COVID-19 Guidance: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, May 2020 resources include special materials and guidance regarding COVID-19 and recycling/waste management services. This guidance is subject to change as the situation evolves.

June: Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle Right This Summer

The start of summer means BBQs and fun in the sun! These resources cover common summer items like ketchup and mustard bottles, foil, grills, gas tanks and cylinders, pool toys, outdoor furniture, sunscreen bottles and more. The resources include tips to help residents recycle right, reduce waste at cookouts and during recreation, and reminders to celebrate World Environment Day and World Oceans Day in June.

July: Think Before You Buy and Think Before You Throw

Now more than ever, many of people are relying on online shopping, takeout meals, and single-use disposable items. These resources focus on paying special attention to thinking about the items we're purchasing and the things we're placing in our recycling bins to find opportunities to prevent unnecessary waste and recycle properly. Tips include reflecting on online shopping habits and understanding different types of packaging materials. Resources are also included to engage residents in the global Plastic Free July challenge.

2019

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.