New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



Don’t Send It To a Landfill

What do sweatpants and smartphones have in common? They’re both eligible for in-building recycling programs run by the city’s Department of Sanitation (DSNY), part of its ambitious campaign to end all shipments to landfills by the year 2030. Here are three programs available to co-ops and condos:

ecycleNYC. “We target hazardous electronic items – such as smartphones, televisions, laptops – that state law forbids from going to landfills,” says Ashlee Barker, DSNY’s senior manager of apartment programs. “This is a relatively small part of the waste stream, but it’s extremely toxic.”

DSNY staff will assess a building and find a safe drop-off space, and crews will collect the electronic discards within five days of being notified by building staff. Buildings with 100 or more units qualify for a free bin.

For more information, visit

refashionNYC. “The city now sends 200,000 tons of clothing and textiles to landfills every year,” Barker says. To stem the flow, DSNY will install a bin in a building with 10 or more units where residents can drop off unwanted clothing, bedclothes, and other textiles. The nonprofit Housing Works offers some of it for resale and sees to it that the rest is recycled for such things as insulation and car seat stuffing. For more information, visit

Zero Waste Building Maintenance Training. This is a pair of free eight-hour training sessions for building staffs to help them fine-tune their recycling operations and avoid fines.

Those interested in upcoming spring classes should send an email to

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