IMPORTANT: School Organics Collection Suspended in July & August 2015

There will be no NYC Organics Collection from schools after the last day of public school attendance, June 26, 2015, until school recommences in September.  The Organics Collection Program is currently in 40% of NYC Department of Education locations. During the summer, DOE buildings host a variety of outside programs and students attend from all across the city in new locations not necessarily in their regular school. This makes short-term training of the staff and students very difficult, often resulting in organic material that is contaminated with non-organic material.

DOE and DSNY are whole-heartedly committed to making the Organics Collection Program an effective way to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill. We are working closely together to increase the effectiveness of this program, including working with SchoolFood, which is now distributing the new compostable round plates that will be in use by all schools by September.

If you have any questions about your sanitation service, please contact our waste coordinator Liz Colon at ecolon24@schools.nyc.gov



All schools are required to recycle in accordance with the New York City Recycling Law and Mayoral directives. Chancellor’s Regulation A-850 prescribes how schools should implement recycling plans, including the principal’s appointment of a Sustainability Coordinator from school-based staff, who can lead recycling efforts and will be the point person for sustainability related initiatives

The Office of Sustainability collaborates with the Department of Sanitation on a daily basis to provide recycling information, disposal guidelines, free promotional materials, speakers and field trip ideas. DSNY's website provides links to free stuff, composting resources, and student activities.

The DOE and DSNY have partnered with GrowNYC to create the Recycling Champions Program, which provides outreach coordinators to work in the school with Sustainability Coordinators on how to set up and improve the school's recycling program.

Organics Collection

The Organic Collection program was piloted in 2012-2013 in 90 public schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, diverting over 490 tons of food waste. In 2013-2014, the program expanded within those boroughs to total over 360 schools. 

The NYC Organics Collection Program is currently operating in over 720 schools, which represents 40% of DOE schools. Find complete information here.

Click on the links below to see which schools are participating in the Organics Collection Program:



The Sustainability Initiative follows the e-waste disposal guidelines that the DOE Division of Instructional and Information Technology provides through their contractors. 


Review New York City Environmentally Preferable Purchasing laws governing “green purchasing” for various products and goods.

Green Gleaning

Learn how New York City Department of Education procures cleaning products that meet the New York State cleaning requirements and recommendations.