New Yorkers are throwing away less stuff than they were 12 years ago even though the city’s population has grown, according to the city’s latest Waste Characterization Survey published last week.
Last year, DSNY collected 3.1 million tons of residential material; 2.5 million tons of that was sent to landfills or waste-to-energy facilities. Those totals present a decline in disposal, but also show how much farther there is to go toward the goal of “zero waste” by 2030.
Less than a quarter of what goes on the curb actually belongs in a landfill. Recyclable paper, plastic, metal and glass, along with organic materials such as food scraps, made up 68 percent of the 3.1 million tons of waste the city’s residents pitched in 2017.
Other recyclable materials that aren’t collected at the curb — such as textiles, plastic bags and electronics — made up another 9 percent, the survey found.