Letter from Christine Quinn, Speaker, New York City Council

April 15, 2010

Dear New Yorker, 

The Big Apple is about to get a whole lot greener!

This past Sunday, we joined environmental leaders and NYC Council Members Mathieu Eugene, Julissa Ferreras, Jim Gennaro, Jessica Lappin and Melissa Mark-Viverito in announcing a new package of legislation that will greatly improve and expand the City’s residential recycling program.

With the 40th anniversary of Earth Day less than two weeks away, this is the perfect time for us to be looking at ways to make our City even greener.

These bills, which were officially introduced in the City Council yesterday, represent the first major expansion of the City’s residential recycling program since its inception in 1989.  If passed, this new legislation will dramatically improve the way we recycle in New York City by:

  • increasing plastics recycling by making it possible for New Yorkers to recycle all rigid plastic containers, like those used as take-out containers, produce tubs and yogurt containers; 
  • establishing drop-off locations citywide for the recycling of clothing and textiles;
  • holding annual collection events in each borough so that folks can recycle their household hazardous waste; 
  • ensuring that recycling bins are placed in each New York City classroom, and in other important locations such as lunchrooms and school entrances; and
  • placing 300 more recycling bins in public areas in the next three years and 700 within a decade.

We also expect these changes to save precious taxpayers’ dollars as the money that we spend to ship our waste outside of the City decreases with every ton of material that we recycle. 

Our Sanitation Committee will be holding a public hearing on these bills on Monday, April 26th at 1:00 p.m. at the Council Chambers located in City Hall.  (For a complete list of the bills, click here.)  We encourage you and anyone else who cares about recycling to attend this important hearing.  If you would like to testify, please be sure to register with the sergeant-of-arms at City Hall prior to the start of the hearing.  In planning your trip to City Hall that day, we strongly recommend checking the Council’s online calendar at http://www.council.nyc.gov/html/home/home.shtml to verify the date and time of the hearing, as hearings are subject to changes. 

You can read more about our efforts to expand the City’s recycling program by clicking on the links below:




Thanks for allowing us to share this important news with you.  We promise to keep you updated on our progress going forward.  


Christine C. Quinn

Speaker, New York City Council


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