Today, the Mayor signed a package of recycling bills that will revolutionize recycling in New York City through a variety of initiatives including expanded plastic recycling, a new clothing and textile recycling program, and improved public space recycling. The package of legislation represents the first significant expansion of the city’s residential recycling program since it was created in 1989.

Speaker Christine C. Quinn:
“I applaud the Mayor for signing this package of bills that will dramatically expand and overhaul the way we recycle here in New York City. Our legislation will divert over 8,000 tons of plastic every year away from landfills and incinerators. That’s equal to the amount of trash produced by nearly 10,000 people each year. This is one step closer to making New York City cleaner and greener for our current and future residents.”

Int. 156 – Improves recycling at City agencies by requiring each agency to establish sustainability coordinators and to implement plans to expand recycling with each agency.

Sanitation Committee Chair Letitia James:
“The City’s comprehensive residential recycling law provides a recycling infrastructure separate from home collection. I thank the Mayor for signing this package today and finalizing the last step in making this a reality. Upgrades to Local Law 19 include an expanded public space recycling initiative, which would require DOS to site a total of 700 public space recycling bins. These revisions promote a culture of recycling in New York City by making it available and convenient for both residents, as well as visitors. Therefore, public receptacles make it easy for everyone to readily discard their used bottles, cans or papers. This is a win for all New Yorkers and our visitors.”

Int. 165 – Requires schools to designate a recycling coordinator and provide recycling receptacles in each classroom and at other locations.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio:
“This new law will do more than reduce school waste; It will teach the youngest New Yorkers to grow up green. I am proud to have sponsored this legislation, and I thank Speaker Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg for making it into law.”

Int. 158 – Requires DOS to site 300 new recycling bins in public spaces over the next three years, and a total of 700 bins within the next ten years.

Council Member Jessica Lappin:
“We want people to be able to recycle more things in more places. That’s what we’re trying to do here and today, we can celebrate the last step of this package of bills becoming law. We know that people will recycle if they have the opportunity, but that too often it just isn’t possible when you’re walking down the street. By expanding public space recycling, we’ll ensure that New Yorkers who want to do the right thing actually can.”

Int. 162 – Mandates at least one DOS sponsored household hazardous waste collection event in each borough per year, with a long-term goal of increasing the number of events, or making such sites permanent.

Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito:
“Today, we have given people more opportunities to safely dispose of household hazardous waste. Every New Yorker has items like pesticides, cleaners, or leftover paint sitting in a closet or under a sink, and they often don’t know what to do with them. We need to make sure these materials are properly collected, before they end up polluting our soil or water.”

Int. 148 – Expands plastic recycling to cover all rigid plastic containers, including such items as yogurt tubs, take out containers and medicine bottles.

Int. 147 Improves recycling education, enforcement, and fine structure.

Council Member Lewis A. Fidler:
“Doing a better job of recycling costs us nothing in the present and is a great value to our future. Expanding the collection of plastics is particularly important as we know that plastics are not bio-degradable. By the Mayor signing this package of bills today, we have also made the rules simpler for law abiding citizens to follow. As such, it is a no brainer: a win-win at no budgetary cost.”

Int. 142 – Extends the DOS collection period from March 1 – November 30 beginning in 2012, and requires the Department of Sanitation to establish leaf and yard waste composting facilities in all boroughs where the Department provides yard waste compost collection.

Council Member Karen Koslowitz:
“As consumers and businesses generate more waste each year, this legislation will help make New York City a leader in recycling. I thank the Mayor for taking steps forward and signing this package of bills into law. These multiple pieces of recycling legistion will make a huge impact towards the livability and sustainability of our great city.”

Int. 141 – Requires DOS to complete a study of commercial recycling practices.

Council Member Mathieu Eugene:
“I applaud the Mayor for signing this package of legislation which will make several improvements to the city’s recycling system and help us better protect our environment. One critical step towards improving the way we recycle will be conducting a study with the Department of Sanitation to examine commercial waste, including how businesses can more effectively recycle and transport their waste with the least environmental impact. When complete, I believe this study will help bring much-needed changes to how commercial recycling is regulated, and I want to commend the Speaker and my colleagues for working together on this legislation.”

Int. 142 – Establishes a voluntary take-back program for retailers and manufacturers of unused residential paint.

Council Member Julissa Ferreras:
“Unused paint not only takes up space in our closets and garages: it too often finds its way into our sewer systems and waterways through illegal disposal. This bill, which I have co-sponsored with Speaker Quinn, will establish the first pilot paint recycling program in New York. I am very pleased to see Mayor Bloomberg sign this important package of green bills, which will improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers.”

Int. 164 – Improves recycling reporting requirements and requires additional studies to enhance the City’s recycling programs.

Council Member Annabel Palma:
“Today marks a historic move forward in expanding our City’s goals for solid waste recycling. This will result in a significant reduction in the volume of waste that ends up in landfills and reduce the quantity of harmful substances that enter the waste system. This package of bills together address our city’s need for an improved and expanded recycling system and here is no doubt that the combined efforts of these bills will make a real impact: not only will they help conserve natural resources, but they will also help reduce pollution and conserve energy.”

Int. 171 – Requires a report to study ways to improve food waste composting in New York City.

Council Member Deborah Rose:
“I am very excited to see this composting bill signed into law. As a city, we desperately need to explore new ways of reducing the amount of garbage we send to landfills each year. This composting initiative, in conjunction with more ambitious recycling goals, will do a lot to reduce the environmental and economic costs of transporting and burying large amounts of waste outside of New York City. I am thankful for Speaker Quinn’s leadership on this issue and I look forward to continuing to work with her to make New York a “greener” city.”