Waste Management


The City of New York under its OneNYC sustainability initiative is has pledged a commitment to divert waste towards its Zero Waste Plan 2030. New York City Businesses generate approximately 4 million tons of trash per year.  Only about 25% of that is currently recycled.  A hotel can generate as much as three tons of waste per day.  Depending on operations and facilities, 50% – 80% that waste can be recycled saving money and resources.  We also send 1.5 million tons of food waste to landfill every year producing methane emissions which is a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Removing organic material from landfills not only benefits the atmosphere, it also presents an opportunity to harness its positive value as a potential clean energy source.

Separated correctly, generated NYC recyclables are diligently collected, transported and processed by the private city waste hauling industry. Materials are separated by type and grade and shipped to manufacturers closing the loop on our recycling efforts.

Properties of all sizes are required to install and maintain recycling systems in front and back of the house and in all departments.  Hotels operating over 150 rooms and F & B outlets of any scale are also required to comply with the new business organics rules and source separate and recycle food waste.  DSNY and DOH inspectors are monitoring compliance and violations are subject to fines.

As of August 1, 2016, all NYC businesses have been required to comply with business recycling rules.   Establishments are regularly visited and audited by both DSNY and DOH inspectors and subject to violations if programs are not installed correctly or required signage, decals and paperwork are not properly displayed.

More information can be found here at DSNY:

Regulations at-a-glance:

  • Recycling must be installed in all areas, departments and outlets.
  • Organics separation must be installed and removed by reputable hauler from all properties over 150 rooms.
  • Trash storage areas must be set up according to code and required signage and decals displayed at all times.
  • All staff must be trained and aware of all regulations pertaining to their duties and waste they generate or transport.


Universal Waste

The Mattress Challenge

The Mattress Challenge



The Universal Waste Rule (UWR), 6 NYCRR Part 374-3, has been in effect in New York state since January 6, 2000. Due to mercury and other hazardous waste components, lamps, batteries and electronics have been regulated and required to be removed by a licensed, registered recycler.

The NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act (PDF, 39 KB), requires manufacturers to provide free and convenient recycling of electronic including individuals and businesses.  Many office supply and electronics chains offer this service as well as collect toner and ink cartridges throughout the city.

Universal Waste Transporter processes and recycles Universal Waste keeping toxic chemicals out of the landfills and prevents them from seeping into our water systems.

Contact us to set up a program or for more information.

The Mattress Challenge

The Mattress Challenge

The Mattress Challenge



Did you know that an estimated 20 million mattresses were dumped into landfills last year and up to 90% of a mattress can be recycled?

Hotels can make a great impact on disposing of mattresses responsibly, transforming them into reusable materials:

  • It takes up to 90 years for a mattress to decompose in a landfill.
  • Every mattress dumped in a landfill takes up 23 cubic feet of space and absorbs up to three times its weight in moisture.
  • At landfills, mattresses decompose letting different chemicals used to compose foam and fibers to seep into the ground and into the waste stream.
  • It can cost less to recycle a mattress than to throw it out.

Renewable Recycling, Inc. disassembles mattresses and box springs on site, then proceeds with bundling the parts, (metal, wood, wool, foam), bailing and distributing these parts to vendors that re-purpose the parts. The company certifies that 100% of the mattresses will be properly processed making the metal, wood, fabric, cloth, and foam available for purchase. Renewable Recycling extracts the maximum amount of reusable materials from each mattress for recycling. Learn more and sign up for a pick up here:

Materials and Food Donation

Materials and Food Donation

Materials and Food Donation



Hotels dispose of many reusable items that would benefit the local community.  Items kept out of the landfills also save money on disposal and benefit our environment.

Some of the readily accepted items generated in the hospitality industry include but not limited to:

  • Office and art supplies
  • Furniture and appliances
  • Glass and building products
  • Books, media and electronics
  • Housewares containers and packaging
  • Textiles and clothing

For surplus food, in addition to City Harvest, numerous other food pantries and missions accept and pick up food from restaurants and hotels.  Search and connect here to reduce food waste and reduce your hauling costs.

Its easy to set up an account and start donating, saving money and helping the needy:

Commercial Organics Program

Materials and Food Donation

Materials and Food Donation



DSNY states that food scraps and other organic waste make up more than one-third of all commercial waste in New York City. Diverting this material from landfills to use for soil-enhancing compost, is a significant part of the City’s Zero Waste 2030 goal.

Since July 19, 2016, food establishments, hotels and arenas have been required to source separate food waste for removal by a licensed carter. As of August 15, 2018, DSNY is expanding the current commercial organics program to a wider range of city businesses now including:

  • All properties and food service establishments in hotels with 150 or more rooms
  • Food service establishments with a floor area of at least 15,000 square feet.
  • Food service establishments that are part of a chain of 100 or more locations.
  • Food manufacturers and stores with a floor area of at least 25,000 square feet.
  • Arenas and stadiums with a seating capacity of at least 15,000 people
  • Food wholesalers with a floor area of at least 20,000 square feet.

There are two options for organic food waste collection and disposal.  A private, licensed waste carter can be contracted to remove all collected food waste at the property.  A bio-digester available for installation from several manufacturers can process the food waste on site and turn it into water approved by DEP and DSNY to travel down the drain. Participating in a food donation program is also a great way to support the city food donation systems, reduce waste and costs of food disposal.