Department of Environmental Conservation

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Let's Precycle

Hey, New York! . . .

PREvent waste before you reCYCLE!

What is PREcycling?

  • Stopping waste before it happens
  • Preventing waste at its source
  • Reducing the amount of waste we produce,
  • Making less garbage!

Did you know in 1996, New Yorkers disposed of more than 17.7 million tons of solid waste? It is becoming more expensive to safely dispose of our wastes. Recycling helps, but it is not the whole solution!

If you're not PREcycling, you're wasting resources!

Be An Environmental Shopper

Look for..

No Packaging
  • Buy in the bulk food section.
  • Buy fruit & snacks loose instead of in packages.
  • Bring your own canvas or reusable bags to the store.
Minimal Packaging
  • Look for concentrates.
  • Buy larger sizes of products.
  • Reusables and Refillable Packaging
  • Refillable milk & soda containers


At Home . . .
Choose the reusable alternative to disposable products . . .

  • A cloth towel instead of paper towels.
  • A reusable razor instead of disposable ones.
  • A mug instead of paper or plastic disposable cups.
  • Washable plates or china instead of disposable plates.
  • Cloth napkins instead of paper napkins.
  • Rechargeable batteries instead of disposable batteries.
  • Donate used clothing and appliances to charities.

At Work . . .

  • Make double-sided copies.
  • Circulate, instead of distributing individual copies of memorandums, letter and magazines.
  • Periodically review mailing lists, remove duplicates
  • Consolidate mailings whenever possible.
  • Use E-mail whenever possible.
  • Get off unwanted mailing lists.
  • Bring reusable dishes, mugs/cups and silverware to the office instead of disposables.

Reusing office supplies is a great idea!

At School . . .

  • Use both sides of paper.
  • Save and reuse boxes, mailing tubes, and Styrofoam "peanuts."
  • Reuse three-ring binders, Manila folders, pocket folders, report covers and other school and office supplies. Use reusable dishes, cups/mugs and silverware.
  • Bring "reusable lunches" to school (bring your lunch in a lunch box or canvas bag, plastic sandwich holder and reusable drink container).

For More Information...

Any questions, call the Bureau of Waste Reduction & Recycling at (518) 402-8706.

What Are Your Ideas?

Send your PREcycling ideas to:
Division of Materials Management
Bureau of Waste Reduction & Recycling
625 Broadway
Albany, New York 12233-7253

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  • Contact for this Page
    Division of Materials Management
    Bureau of Waste Reduction & Recycling
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-7253
    Send us an email
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