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Home > City Departments > Public Works, Parks & Streets > Street Sanitation > Annual Recycling Report

Annual Recycling Report


2015 Annual Recycling Report for the City of Buffalo


The City of Buffalo Department of Public Works manages solid waste generated by city residents.   This includes safe and proper disposal of municipal solid waste and recyclables.  The City of Buffalo is required by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to prepare and submit an Annual Recycling Report.  The Annual Recycling Report submitted this year to the NYSDEC can be viewed at the end of this document.

In 2015, 14,943 tons of recyclables were collected from households through the Single Stream Green Tote curbside recycling program. There are approximately 74,900 housing units in the City of Buffalo service area. Approximately 50% are multi-dwelling units. 

In addition to the curbside recycling collection tons listed above, City residents also recycle yard waste, electronic waste, scrap metal, tires, clothing and other durable goods and returnable beverage containers bringing the total amount recycled to over 40,200 tons for a total recycling rate of 26% (see Table 1).

The City of Buffalo DPW tracks and records recycling data of all material collection programs.

Mandated Recyclables (per local law Chapter 216 – Article X) in the City of Buffalo for both residential and commercial entities:

  • Office paper and discarded mail
  • Newspaper and magazines
  • Corrugated cardboard, brown paper bags, paperboard and pizza boxes
  • Milk and juice cartons, gable-top cartons, aseptic cartons
  • Glass food and beverage containers
  • Metal food and beverage containers
  • Aerosol cans
  • #1-7 plastic bottles
  • Rigid plastics
  • Soft cover books
  • Electronic waste
  • Yard waste

The City of Buffalo saw modest increases in all major recyclable commodities
Curbside recycling (residential) for the City of Buffalo in 2014, at 14,667.61 tons was 564 tons higher than 2013 (14,103.95). Commercial and business recycling data were not available as it is reported voluntarily.  As of March 1, 2014, the City did not receive any data from commercial and business entities. 

Curbside12,736.74  14,103.95    14,667.6114,943
Yard Waste480.385,523.435,866.9811,433
Electronic Waste212.88412.71419.17426.98


In addition, the City of Buffalo spearheaded the Western New York Coalition for Donated Goods (WNYCDG) – a consortium of nonprofit organizations whose mission is to educate the community about the environmental and economic benefits of recycling unwanted clothing and other donated goods, while providing easy access to donation opportunities.  In 2015 the City of Buffalo, was able to ascertain from data estimates provided by the WNYCDG, that 4,800 tons of clothing/textiles was diverted from the waste stream for reuse and recycling in the City of Buffalo. 


The City of Buffalo, through local ordinance, bans all scavenging of curbside material.  However, because of the value of scrap metal, white goods are typically scavenged prior to the City collection vehicle getting to the location to retrieve and recycle the item.  Therefore, the City uses estimates provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to estimate the scrap metal from white goods. 

Additionally, the City of Buffalo includes all returnable beverage containers (returned for the deposit) in its annual recycling numbers with the acknowledgment of the NYSDEC.

During 2015, The City of Buffalo’s DPW/Recycling Program managed:

  •  Curbside collection of single stream green tote recyclables; 
  • Yard waste compost drop off sites, open to the public from April to November located at 1120 Seneca Street and various City parks locations; Fall leaf and Christmas tree collection programs;
  • Two Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection events scheduled in June and October;
  • Year-long universal waste (fluorescent bulbs, rechargeable batteries, ballasts and mercury) collection at 1120 Seneca Street;
  • Special material collection events (clothing, shredding, composter sale; Xmas trees, E-waste); and
  • Special services and education programs for businesses, schools and apartment building managers and owners.

The City of Buffalo contracts with private companies to handle the proper disposal of its recyclables:

Recyclable CommodityCompany
Recycling collection and processingRepublic Services
Yard waste compostingLardon Construction
Electronic waste recyclingElectronic Recyclers International
Household hazardous WasteMXI
Universal waste recyclingAmerican Lamp Recyclers


Buffalo Public Schools Outreach— the City of Buffalo provides both operation and educational support to the Buffalo Public Schools.  In 2015, the City of Buffalo worked with Buffalo Public Schools to ensure that all schools had a recycling program.  The City of Buffalo provided single stream green tote recycling to 16 Buffalo Public Schools.  The remainder of the schools recycle paper and cardboard with Cascades Recovery or Republic Services.    The City of Buffalo also worked with two schools to conduct a Waste Audit to determine additional materials that could be diverted from the waste stream.   Additionally, the City of Buffalo Recycling Coordinator provided classroom programming to over 20 classrooms.


Table 1



Curbside Recycling14,943.01
Misc. Recycling from ESTS5,157.70
Bottle Bill3,800.04
Scrap Metal4,145.00
Tires - recycled278.48
Yard Waste      11,433.04
Household Hazardous Waste24.00
E-Waste   426.98
Curbside Garbage88,934.57
Monthly Total156,184.66
Residential Recycling Rate25.74%
Curbside Recycling Rate14.39%


YearRecycling Rate

The City of Buffalo and Mayor Byron W. Brown kicked off the city-wide recycling education campaign ” 34 and More – Buffalo Recycles”.   Visit to learn more.


For additional information, residents should feel free to contact Susan Attridge, Recycling Coordinator for the City of Buffalo at 716-851-5014 or

Click here to view the NYS Annual Recycling Report