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If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact the Westchester County Recycling Helpline at (914) 813-5425.
Recycling is the law. If your recyclables are mixed with your garbage, they will not be picked up and you'll receive an orange Oops! sticker. Don't let your garbage be left behind. Make recycling a priority. Please keep glass, plastics, metal and paper (including newspaper, magazines, catalogs and junk mail) out of your garbage. If you are an owner of a multi-family dwelling, contact us for assistance to improve your recycling program.
Retrofit for material recovery facility
The Daniel P. Thomas Material Recovery Facility ("MRF"), where 90 percent of the residentially collected recyclable material in Westchester County is processed, recently underwent a five-month retrofit. Now high tech optical sorting equipment shoots thousands of laser beams per second through each plastic container to identify the resin type. This allows the county to continue recycling plastic containers coded 1 and 2 and also collect and recycle containers coded 3 through 7, including yogurt containers, plastic cups and take-out food boxes.
- On June 1, 2011, plastic containers coded 3 through 7 were added to the county’s list of mandated recyclables, under the Westchester County Source Separation Law, and now residents must recycle plastics coded 1 through 7.
- Do not put plastic bags in your bin, these should be brought to retailers that are required by law to collect and recycle them. Also, continue to put styrofoam in the garbage.
- Read the Quick Recycling Guide for information about everything else.
- You can also call (914) 813-5425, the Recycling HelpLine, for more information or if you have additional questions.
- Also, paper and commingled recycling bin labels are available to be printed and used in your home, office, school, institution or business.
- Many household items that cannot be set out for curbside collection can be safely disposed of at our Household Material Recovery Facility (H-MRF).
- Confidential documents can also be safely recycled using the county's Mobile Shredder.
Miss a recycling pick-up at your curb?
Contact your local sanitation department for a schedule of pick-ups of paper and "commingled" (glass, plastic and metal) recyclable materials.
If your city, town or village sanitation department picks up your recyclables, you can contact your Municipal Recycling Office directly. If you have a private hauler, contact them. If you live in an apartment building, your building manager or superintendent can tell you how trash should be separated in your building.
Waste reduction by donating and recycling used items
One significant way that everyone can contribute to environmental conservation is through waste reduction. In addition, old products can also be donated to reduce additions to the waste stream. Charities accept old furniture, clothing, toys, and other items for reuse.
To report a suspected violation, file the Recycling Complaint Form with the Westchester County Department of Environmental Facilities.
The Source Separation Law sets the parameters for recycling in Westchester. Westchester County considers any violation of the law to be a serious offense. Enforcement is conducted through a multi-step program ranging from warnings (following inspections) to violation notices and ultimately to fines. Residents, businesses, municipalities, schools and organizations are all subject to possible penalties for non-compliance.
Read the Source Separation Law Executive Summary for Residential and Commercial Multi-Tenant Buildings and the Source Separation Law Executive Summary for Non-Residential Waste Generators, to know the requirements under the law.
Besides civil and criminal penalties, licensed haulers, who collect solid waste and recyclables, may get their licenses revoked for non-compliance. In order to operate in Westchester, all haulers are required to be licensed. The licensing program is managed by the Westchester County Solid Waste Commission.
As requested, municipalities will be given assistance in levying and collecting their own fines.
While they are still available, Oops! stickers can be used by municipal sanitation departments to label improperly separated waste and recyclables that is left at the curb. There are five types of Oops! stickers:
- recyclables mixed with garbage (English)
- recyclables mixed with garbage (Spanish)
- Freon containing devices
- TVs and monitors (CRTs)
- recyclables in plastic bags
Contact us to request stickers.
Provisions within the county's Source Separation Law require private haulers and municipal haulers to report on solid waste collected in Westchester County. These reports enable Westchester County to fulfill one of its responsibilities as a New York State-designated "Solid Waste Planning Unit," which is to coordinate and analyze the solid waste generation and recycling efforts of all the municipalities and private haulers within its borders.
Private Hauler Report Form: Second half 2015 report due February 22
Reporting is also a part of each company’s obligations for licensure by the Westchester County Solid Waste Commission. The current reporting period, which covers July 1–December 31, 2015, is due on February 22, 2016. The cover letter and Private Hauler Report Form was sent to each licensed hauler and is also available here.
Recycling in Westchester
In 2014, the latest full year of data available, the county posted a high recycling rate, with 50 percent of solid waste collected by municipal and private haulers being recycled.
The Source Separation Law
Westchester County considers any violation of the Source Separation Law to be a serious offense. The county examines the practices of licensed private haulers, municipalities, and waste generators at transfer stations, along collection routes and where garbage is generated and collected.
Be advised that on October 18, 2010 the Westchester County Board of Legislators voted to expand the list of mandated plastic recyclables under the Westchester County Source Separation Law (SSL) to include plastics with resin identification codes 1 through 7. This law took effect on June 1, 2011, at which time all haulers must provide regular, reliable and separate collection of recyclables (including the expanded list of recyclable plastics) to any customer to whom they provide recyclables collection services; and, deliver any recyclables that they have collected or picked up to a recyclables transfer, storage or processing facility that accepts these materials. You can provide copies of the Expanded SSL & Plastics 1 - 7 Summary to your customers, to ensure their compliance under the expanded SSL.
Municipalities and haulers may help businesses and schools assess their own recycling programs to make sure they are recycling all that they can and as effectively as possible, using the businesses self-audit and school self-audit. They can also distribute the Curbside Recycling Guide to residents who need to learn how to separate recyclables for curbside collection. In addition, printable paper and commingled recycling bin labels are available for use at home, office, school, institution, or business locations.
Private haulers are offered access to all three county transfer stations to dispose of commingled recyclables at a rate of $62 per ton. If you are interested in using county facilities, complete the Private Hauler Application for Entry to MRF & Northern Tier for Tipping of Recyclables form and send it directly to the address listed on the form.
Tours of the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) educate visitors on the recycling process in Westchester County. MRF tours are free of charge and by appointment only for groups starting at the kindergarten level, including school classes, scout troops, and special interest groups. Tours may be scheduled for weekdays only.
Please note: Tours are limited to groups of at least 10 people and no more than 40.
Groups are taken to an observation tower to view machinery that separate, sort, and prepare materials to be sold to third-party manufacturers. The manufacturers recycle the materials into new end products. From the tower, viewers can also see the tipping floor, where truckloads of recyclables are delivered and dropped off. A brief presentation and educational video is shown to explain the purpose and benefits of recycling.
Tours typically last between 45 minutes and one hour. Teachers: when planning your tour, please make certain that you have adequate supervision for the children in your group. The MRF is a working waste transfer station and recycling center and safety is always a primary concern.
The MRF is located in Yonkers; Exit 6A/Stew Leonard Drive off the NYS Thruway/Interstate 87, just opposite Home Depot and Stew Leonard's. It is a busy transfer station that is closed to the public - except for pre-scheduled group tours.
MRF tours are available Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., except on county holidays. Groups are encouraged to visit the MRF in the morning, when the facility is most active. Depending on staff availability, tour hours can at times be extended until 3:30 p.m. to accommodate after school groups.
The MRF's Recycled Material Art Gallery
Westchester County’s new Recycled Material Art Gallery is located within the MRF’s Education Center and features artwork from six local artists. All the pieces are constructed out of recycled or reused materials, with the exception of hand-painted murals, which focus on environmental themes. The installation of the ‘Trash as Treasure’ themed exhibit took six months and thousands of pounds of various recycled and reused materials.
The Recycled Material Art Gallery was officially unveiled in celebration of Earth Day on April 22, 2014 by County Executive Robert P. Astorino. In August 2015, the Westchester County Department of Environmental Facilities was recognized with the SWANA Bronze Excellence Award in the Education Program category by The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) for the gallery.
View the guide to the gallery, including pictures of the artwork, descriptions of the materials used, and artist biographies.
The graphic to the right is a free-style, hand painting entitled "Turtle Swim" by Piero Manrique. He used semi-gloss house paints.