NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There are plenty of trash baskets around New York City street corners, but some say they can’t find a place to drop a recyclable.

CBS2’s Alice Gainer looked at the numbers and sat down with the Department of Sanitation’s commissioner to find where people are supposed to dump their cans.

“I find it very easy to find a recycling bin they’re pretty much everywhere,” Liz Franco of the Upper West Side said.

“I’m up on 91st so yeah my neighborhood on Broadway seems to have it,” neighbor Alan Laytner said.

“It’s pretty easy… I mean some areas don’t have it,” Kit Efraimson added.

That is the complaint from some in New York – you can walk for blocks in some areas and look on every corner and never find a recycling trash bin.

The Department of Sanitation reports that there are 23,500 standard trash bins around New York. (Credit: CBS2)

“I’d say often times I don’t even see recycling bins,” Jahmire Cassanova of the Bronx argued.

“It is surprising considering the amount of efforts being used to recycle more… it’s not happening,” Jeffrey  Eisenberg added.

“It’s just trash cans on the street,” Marc Murphy admitted.

According to the city’s Department of Sanitation, there are 23,500 corner trash baskets in New York City but just 2,300 recycling baskets.

These numbers don’t include baskets in parks, subway stations, or other private baskets.

So why aren’t there more recycling baskets on street corners?

That same report shows there are only 2,300 recycling trash cans around New York City. (Credit: CBS2)

Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said there’s more regular waste than recycling and it comes down to needing more “green” to keep it green.

“It’s not just about having the basket, it’s also about having the truck and if we’re gonna keep everything separate we need to make sure we have the service,” Garcia said.

“So is it a question of maybe the city needs more money to have these particular trucks? If you want to have more service for recycling then we would need additional funding.”

So what are you supposed to do if you have something to recycle and you can’t find a recycling basket nearby?

“I would assume that they recycle it for us,” one New Yorker said.

Wrong. The city does not sort the recycling from the regular garbage.

“We have tried… We actually ran it through the material recovery center to see if it was clean enough for us to get material out and it did not end up being successful,” the commissioner said.

Garcia suggests holding onto the bottle or can until you can recycle it at home or at a business if you don’t happen upon a recycling basket in the city.


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