Licenses, policies and certificates- Commercial Waste Disposal

Business Waste Disposal Law

All businesses in New York City are required to recycle certain materials and ensure to the best of their ability that those recyclable materials are properly handled by their private carter.

The City published new business recycling rules in the City Record on February 5, 2016, and mailed official notices outlining the requirements to all businesses. If your business did not receive an official notice or would like to receive training on the new rules, please visit the business resource page.

What to Recycle: Textiles, Yard and Food Waste

Some businesses that generate textile, yard and/or food waste must separate and recycle those materials. If your business does not meet the minimum threshold described below, DSNY still encourages you to limit the amount of waste your business sends to landfills by investigating how to reduce, reuse, or recycle all materials.


If textiles make up more than 10% of your business’s waste during any month, you are required by law to separate and recycle all textile waste, including fabric scraps, clothing, belts, bags, and shoes. You may be eligible for a free NYC textile recycling program; visit the refashionNYC page for more details.

Yard or Plant Waste

Food Waste

How to Recycle and Avoid Violations

Contract with a licensed private carter and develop a plan for how waste will be collected and set out for your building. If your building management handles waste, work with them to be sure your business complies with their plan and the City’s recycling rules. The plan should comply with one of the following types of recycling collection: source-separated collection, co-collection, or single-stream collection.

NOTE: It is never, under any circumstances, permitted for recyclable material to be collected in the same bag with garbage or be placed in the same compartment of a truck or container with garbage.

  • Your business must post a sign identifying all carters you might utilize and what material they collect. For recyclables, the sign must indicate how those recyclables are collected: source-separated, co-collected, or single-stream. This sign should be posted in a window or somewhere visible from outside the building.
  • Property owners and building management must notify tenants, at least annually, about the recycling and waste management policies of the building. Policies must be compliant with NYC rules and a copy of this notification must be available upon request by DSNY.

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