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Recycle Right NY Campaign

The Recycle Right NY initiative began in 2018 and is a collaborative effort of more than 100 recycling professionals from throughout New York State working to improve our recycling system. Recycling generates many benefits for our ecosystems, communities, and economies. By keeping valuable materials in productive use, recycling conserves natural resources, reduces litter, saves energy, creates jobs, and so much more.

The main goals of the campaign are to increase recycling participation, reduce recycling confusion, reduce the amount of unaccepted items that are put into recycling, and promote waste reduction and reuse practices as alternatives to landfilling and incineration.

The campaign is coordinated by the NYS Center for Sustainable Materials Management, which is housed at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), in partnership with the Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions (SU-CSCS). Funding is provided by the Environmental Protection Fund administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).

Stay Up to Date with the Recycle Right NY campaign

Subscribe to the campaign online: To receive periodic updates about the campaign via email, go to­, scroll to the bottom of the page, and enter your email address in the "Newsletter Signup" box.

Get Social: follow the campaign for regular content on Facebook (@RecycleRightNY), Instagram (@recyclerightny), and Twitter (@RecycleRightNY). is NY's first-of-its-kind statewide recycling website dedicated to helping New Yorkers easily access recycling related information, interactive tools, downloadable resources, and more. The site provides helpful, interactive tools such as a page that links visitors directly to their local recycling guidelines, and a searchable "Recyclopedia" - an encyclopedia for recycling - that instructs users on how to properly handle more than 300 common household items. In addition to learning about the recycling process and how to recycle correctly, residents will learn how to achieve greater benefits through guidance on waste reduction and reuse.

Recycling Right Matters

Recycling incorrectly is bad for the recycling industry: Some materials that do not belong in the recycling bin can cause serious issues such as contaminating and decreasing the value of other recyclables, damaging recycling equipment, or injuring people who work at the facilities.

Recycling right is good for the economy, environment, and society: Recycling, when done correctly, helps to create jobs, protect public health, reduce pollution, save energy, conserve natural resources, and more by keeping materials in productive use instead of sending them to a landfill or waste combustion facility where they are unable to be used again.

Wish Cycling

"Wish-cycling" is throwing without knowing: "Wish-cycling" is the act of putting items in the recycling bin - without knowing if they are accepted by your local recycling program or not - and hoping that someone will figure out what to do with them.

What can We Do to Recycle Right?

Know your local recycling guidelines: The best place to start is to check your local recycling guidelines. Learning which items are accepted and which are not, along with other important recycling guidelines, will help your local recycling system to be successful.

Learn how to properly prepare your recyclables: Different items require different preparations to ensure that they are successfully handled by your local recycling service. Empty, rinse, and dry your container items, and flatten all cardboard and paper products.

Buy products made of recycled materials: Recycling only works if people use products made with the recycled material! Look for products made from "post-consumer recycled content" to close the loop and help support the recycling system. All of this information and more can be found on

Find your local recycling guidelines

Recycle Right NY has developed a tool that provides direct links to county-level recycling guidelines for most of NY. Explore the directory of local recycling guidelines to learn what's accepted for recycling in your community. Please note, if you have a private recycling hauler, you may need to contact them directly for their specific recycling instructions.

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    Albany, NY 12233-7253
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