Department of Environmental Conservation

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Recycling Events You Can Organize

There are lots of ways you can recycle in your community and protect the environment- not only on Earth Day but EVERY day!

Litter Clean-up

A DEC crew at a roadside cleanup

You and your group will help the environment by removing garbage from bike paths, parks, school grounds, nature trails, community centers, etc. Use our Let's Pick It Up New York Litter Booklet (PDF, 279 KB) to organize your event. When your cleanup event is completed, and your Litter Report form is sent to us, we will send your group a "Certificate of Appreciation," a thank-you for a great job!

School Recycling Program

According to our latest numbers, New Yorkers generate about 5.0 pounds of trash each day. There is a tremendous cost to both society and the environment to collect and dispose of this waste material. In addition, if we are landfilling or incinerating our wastes, the resources contained in those waste materials are no longer available to us in a useful form. The advent of widespread recycling has changed the way many of us view our trash. Instead of a useless "waste", we have come to realize that much of what we once threw away can be used again many times over.

Your school can set up a recycling program. Use our "A School Waste Reduction, Reuse, Recycling. Composting & Buy Recycled Resource Book" (PDF, 1.1MB) to help set up a comprehensive solid waste management program.

New York Recycles! Poster Contest

a 2004 winning poster

We are once again inviting all of New York State's public and private school children and youth organizations to showcase their artistic talent and their commitment to the environment by participating in the Annual New York Recycles! Poster Contest. This poster contest will help us to achieve our goal of higher excellence in recycling, composting, and buying recycled products and packaging.

New York Recycles!

It is our way of promoting recycling and buying recycled in New York State. Various educational waste reduction, reuse, recycling, composting and buy recycled events will take place through out the year. This will lead to a celebration of New York Recycles! on November 15. Check out our website to find out more on New York Recycles!

Deposit Bottle & Can Drive

Photo from a fundraising bottle drive

The Great Bottle Round-Up is an opportunity for your school or youth organization to collect deposit cans and bottles! You collect deposit cans and bottles and return them for their deposits and then let us know how well you did. Call us at (518) 402-8706 for the booklet on setting up a Bottle Round-Up.

Office Recycling Program

Saving natural resources and energy, extending the life of our landfills and promoting environmental awareness are important reasons to recycle office paper. When paper making industries produce paper, they have a choice. They can make new paper out of "wood pulp" from trees, or they can produce new paper from used, recycled paper from your office or school. Check out our STOP - Save That Office Paper booklet to find out more on setting up a paper recycling program.

Reuse Exchange

Set up an exchange - books, plants (native), seeds, ties, clothes, kitchen, whatever you like. We have info on how to organize.

Food Scraps Collection and Composting Program

DEC has set up a voluntary food scraps and coffee grinds collection program. We have infomation on how to organize.

Adopt a School

Volunteer to make presentations to school classes on environmental issues

Alternate Transportation to Work Day

Take the bus, ride a bike, walk, kayak, whatever you want and record how many miles you didn't drive and the impact on greenhouse gas emissions. You can make it a contest within your agency or department by having people track their fuel savings for a week and the person who saves the most fuel gets a prize. You can track your commute savings on the Capital Moves Travel Calculator, and on the iPool2 Commute Cost Calculator via the links in the right-hand column

Odd Materials Recycling

Collect materials that most people don't think to recycle. View our odd recyclables document (PDF) (137kb).

Remember...Every Day is Earth Day!