Where does NYC's solid wastes go?

After garbage leaves the homes and offices of New York City, the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is the first in the sequence of waste collection and it's a huge municipal government enterprise.(1)DSNY collects more than 10,500 tons of refuse and 1,760 tons of recyclables a day.(1) The DSNY uses many different waste-processing facilities for recyclable trash.

“Pratt Industries' paper facility in Staten Island, recycle paper products; while others, like the Sims Metal Management processing plant in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, specialize in recycling metal products.”(1)

In the past, garbage that couldn’t be recycled was usually trucked or barged to landfills, such as the now-inactive Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island.1And many New York City residents certainly remember when almost every large apartment building had an incinerator—a situation that came to an end in the late 1980s, when recycling was introduced and incinerators were banned.(1)

Now days garbage is being exported from the city, whether by rail, by truck, or by barge.(1) DSNY trucks bring the refuse to the fully-enclosed plant, where it is tipped from the trucks and then placed into rail containers, which are then sealed.(1) Once the garbage leaves waste-transfer facilities, it often ends up at private landfills in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.(1) Waste Management Inc. also operates recycling plants, also known as materials recovery facilities (MRFs).(1) The materials run through a recycling plant facility are separated into different types (fiber, plastic, metal, glass), compressed, packed and shipped out to plants that convert these materials into new paper produces, containers, etc.(1)


  1. Where Does it All Go? - Garbage In, Garbage Out. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://cooperator.com/article/garbage-in-garbage-out/full

#nyc #solidwaste #waste #NYCsolidwaste

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