July 31 2017 0Comment
nyc sanitation collection truck

New York City Sanitation | Collection Rules & Instructions

New York City is home to the largest population of residents in the United States with more than 8.5 million people. In order to maintain a sanitary environment with so many residents in such a densely populated area, the New York City Department of Sanitation plays a huge role ensuring the collection of waste is properly removed in a timely manner.

The New York City sanitation department’s primary role is to facilitate and remove rubbish from all five boroughs comprising Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. Pick-up is generally in the morning when less cars and pedestrians are out.

Sanitation Collection Setout & Schedule for New York City Residents

Set out your garbage, recycling, and organics curbside after 4 pm the evening before your scheduled day of collection pick up. 

Plastic garbage cans used to hold garbage and recycling bags must be removed by 9 pm on collection day or by 9 am the following day if your collection occurs after 4 pm.  

Collection Schedule Example

Collection Pick-Up Day: Wednesday
Set Out Schedule: You should set out your garbage after 4 pm on Tuesday evening so that it can be picked up on Wednesday.

Trash and Recycling Cans

Holiday Collection Schedule for New York City Residents

There is no sanitation collection of any landfill, recycling, organics, electronics or any other rubbish on nationally recognized holidays. Additionally, there may be other days throughout the year such as during a snowstorm that collection is disrupted while garbage trucks are being used to spread salt and plow streets. If your collection falls on a holiday, you should not put out garbage the evening before the holiday.  Instead you should put garbage out after 4 pm on the evening of the holiday.

List of Federal Holidays in 2017

Holiday Collection Schedule Example


Garbage Pick-Up Day: Thursday, December 25th (Christmas Day)
Set Out Schedule: You should set out your garbage after 4 pm on Thursday, December 25th (Christmas Day) for pick up on Friday.


Recycling Pick-Up Day: Thursday, December 25th (Christmas Day)

Set Out Schedule: You must store the recycling and hold it until the next recycling day which is normally the following week.  However in this example, the next recycling day would actually fall on Thursday, January 1st, which is New Year’s Day.  Since the next collection day falls on another holiday, recycling pick up would normally be performed on the day following the 2nd holiday, which is Friday, January 2nd.

Important Links for Collection Schedule and Pick-Up

New York City’s Official Collection Set Out Schedule

You May Request a Residential Sanitation Pick-Up by Contacting the NYC Department of Sanitation

If You Want to File a Missed Collection, Use This Form to Contact the Sanitation Department

Garbage Disposal Etiquette

Ensure that your building super or commercial cleaning company sets your garbage and recycling out with proper etiquette. The bottom line is you want to make collection as easy as possible for the sanitation workers, because they are helping you to remove waste from your residence. Here are some to-dos:

1. Bags Shouldn’t Be Too Heavy or Too Full. If bags are too heavy they can break at the bottom, and if they are too full, they can accidentally open at the top or be knocked over. In both instances, they can leave your curb with a mess of trash which will result in rodents, roaches, other animals, nasty glares from neighbors, and potential fines from the department. Additionally, the sanitation department workers may find that the bag is too heavy and leave it.

2. Place Bags Neatly in a Tidy Pile. The pile should be along the curb and not in the middle of the sidewalk. The pile should also be neatly stacked. This will make it easier for the sanitation workers to retrieve and dispose of your trash. Additionally, you want to prevent your garbage bags from being the target of a group of teenagers’ adolescent games. In the end if they kick or rip your garbage bag, you end up losing so it’s best to keep them out of the way of pedestrians.

neat pile of garbage bags in nyc

3. Place Like Items Together. All of the regular garbage going to landfills should be placed in the same area or stacked together. Likewise the different types of recycling should be grouped together to make it easy for the sanitation works to decipher which bags they’re picking up. If you leave one recycling bag with the regular trash and it doesn’t get picked up with collection, you will end up losing by having to move it back to your house or potentially receive a fine.

Sanitation Department’s Impact on Cleanliness and Environmental Policies

The New York City Sanitation Department plays a significant role in the cleanliness of the city. If kept in homes or on curbs, household waste can lead to disease causing bacteria, fires, toxic odors, reactions, and corrosivity. Collection of these items is vital to the health of humans and protection of the environment and the NYC Department of Sanitation does an excellent job of collecting, treating, disposing, and managing the waste that comes out of our residences.

EPA Facts About Hazardous Household Waste


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