Collection Schedule and Upcoming Recycling Events. To be added to the email list for upcoming events; please email


34 and More is Buffalo’s public initiative to increase the city’s recycling diversion rate—currently 28.36 percent—and exceed the national average of 34%. Recycling has never been easier, and benefits everyone. Use these guides to determine what goes in the green tote, what goes in the blue tote and what to drop off, as well as the city’s laws for refuse and recycling collection. See how easy it is to reach 34 and more!

Click Here to view the City of Buffalo 2-17 Annual Recycling report: RecyclingReport-2017

Do you want to see how your neighborhood is doing with its curbside recycling?  Check out this link that was created for the City of Buffalo by Zerocycle Inc.  The City uses this information to target specific neighborhoods that need extra help to boost their recycling!


2018 City of Buffalo Pilot Food Scrap Drop Off Program

Mayor Byron W. Brown announced that the City of Buffalo, in partnership with the Massachusetts Avenue Project, will sponsor a Food Scraps Recycling Pilot Program in the months of June and July.    The two-month food scrap collection will be from June 6 – July 25, 2018 (except July 4th) on Wednesdays from 4-6pm @ M.A.P. Farm Stand on Massachusetts Avenue Park, between Brayton Street and Shields Avenue.

Food scraps are a large portion of our waste stream and the ability to process food scraps locally can lead to opportunities to increase recycling rates and allow the City to become cleaner and healthier.  The creation of compost, a natural healthy fertilizer, can be useful for our community parks, gardens, and trees, instead of being sent to landfill.

"This is a safe, smart, and free way of disposing of food scraps that will be turned into valuable compost”, said Mayor Brown. “I thank residents for continuing to recycle more and encourage them to participate in this next phase of our 34andMore Buffalo Recycles program.”

Acceptable material:

Vegetable & fruit scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, cut or dried flowers, nut & egg shells

Unaccepted material:

Meat, chicken, fish, greasy & oily food, dairy, animal waste, litter or bedding, coal or charcoal, coconuts, diseased or insect-infested houseplants, or biodegradable /compostable plastics

Residents can collect and place food scraps within reusable plastic containers such as large yogurt bins, Tupperware containers, commercially available compost pails, milk cartons, or in paper or plastic bags.  They are being encouraged to store food scraps for a maximum of one week.  For odor reduction, store items within freezer or refrigerator, and add a layer of shredded newspaper to the bottom of the container.  All food scraps collected will be transported by the City of Buffalo to the Buffalo River Compost.




Dare to Repair Cafe

Mayor Byron W. Brown and The Dare to Repair Cafe are partnering on a community event where individuals can bring broken items (lamps, vacuums, toys, etc.) to the repair cafe and have expert volunteer “fixers” try to repair the item alongside them for free. While there is no guarantee that an item can be fixed,participants are sure to learn something new and have fun along the way. It’s not just about fixing things, it’s about reducing waste and building community! For information on the next Dare to Repair Cafe, please click here: DTRC85x11FlyerAug2018

Or you can visit

Recycle: Let's DO This!

Everyone wins when we recycle! The City of Buffalo is pleased to announce the winners of the second annual  "Recycling: Let's DO This!" for 2018!

Environmental Champions Program

The City of Buffalo is happy to announce the following schools are officially Environmental Champions:


          D’Youville Porter Campus School
          Early Childhood Center
          Native American Magnet School
          Hillery Park Elementary
          Bennett Park Montessori
          Occupational Training Center
          International School
          Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Multicultural Institute
          Dr. George E. Blackman School of Excellence
          Dr. Charles R. Drew Science Magnet Annex
          Fredrick Law Olmsted School (BPS 64)
          North Park Middle Academy
          Houghton Academy
          Lorraine Elementary
          Hamlin Park Claude & Ouida Clapp Academy
          Herman Badillo Bilingual Academy
          Pfc. William J. Grabiarz School of Excellence
          Highgate Heights Elementary
          School 81
          Dr. Lydia T. Wright School of Excellence
          Fredrick Law Olmsted School (BPS 156)
          Buffalo Academy for Visual & Performing Arts
          City Honors School
          Math, Science, & Technology Preparatory School

Mayor Byron W. Brown and Superintendent Kriner Cash have announced their commitment to enhance recycling across the Buffalo Public Schools.  The Environmental Champions Program (ECP) is an educational initiative for students, teachers, and school administrators to practice the 3R’s of waste management.

The ECP will incentivize school communities to strengthen recycling capacity.  Eligible schools will receive an award of $500 for stewardship items such as garden supplies, compost unit, or classroom recycling bins.  All K – 12 Buffalo Public Schools are eligible to apply.

Click here to see a copy of the application: EnvironmentalChampionsProgram-Booklet

Materials for Educators

City of Buffalo Recycling department has organized a list of resources for educators and even parents to teach and inform about recycling. We have included materials according to grade level and recycling topic.  Click here to learn more.

City of Buffalo Recycling staff is also available to give recycling presentations and tours of facilities to groups based on ability and request.


material list

More Info

Clothing & textile recycling

More Info

Laws for refuse & recycling collection

More Info

Food Waste

More Info


The wet strength of paper is a measure of how well the web of fibers holding the paper together can resist a force of rupture when the paper is wet. To increase wet-strength, additives are added to the paper to make it stronger.  These additives often make the paper product not recyclable.

City of Buffalo currently has a diversion rate of 26%.  The Diversion Rate, based on weight,  includes all materials that are pulled out of the waste stream and recycled for which there is data available.  The curbside recycling rate is 14%.  Mayor Byron Brown’s 2015 Annual Recycling Report is available here:


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation requires that the City submit an Annual Recycling Report as well.  That is available here:

2015 Annual Recycling Report

More household waste is produced between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than any other time of the year–about 6 million tons of added waste  nationwide.  Enjoy the holidays and recycle when you can!

Mayor Brown Holiday Recycling tips - 2016


Yes. The City of Buffalo has a mandatory recycling ordinance.

Multiple-dwelling buildings are required to provide recycling to their tenants.

Recycling helps the environment by conserving natural resources. Recycling helps stabilize the User Fee because recycling is less costly than garbage disposal. The more we recycle, the more we save.

No. Recyclables are not thrown out. They are valuable resources that are sold to make new products.

Recycling and garbage are picked up on the same day every week by different trucks—Republic Services, the City’s recycling contractor, picks up recycling; the City Sanitation Department picks up garbage. Please call 311 to determine your collection day, or visit the Collection Schedules tab at the top of this website.

If you miss your weekly recycling pickup, or if the truck misses your stop, please leave your green tote out and call 311. A truck will return.

Single-stream recycling is when all recyclables are collected in the same container. There was a time when paper had to be kept separate from the rest of the recyclables; that is no longer necessary.

Western New York Coalition for Donated Goods was formed to make it easier for residents to locate donation opportunities for used clothing and furniture. For a list of locations, please visit

Yard waste—trees, shrubs, grass clippings—that is left at the curb during the leaf pickup period in the fall are composted. If residents want to ensure that yard waste is composted other times of the year, they can drop off yard waste at the Engineering Garage, 1120 Seneca St., Buffalo, 14210.

All yard waste collected during leaf collection in the fall, as well as Christmas tree pickup after the holidays, is composted.

Compost and wood chips are available to residents at Engineering Garage, 1120 Seneca St., Buffalo, 14210.

Both Styrofoam and plastic bags present operational problems for the Material Recycling Facility, where recyclables are processed. Clean, white Styrofoam can be brought to Thermal Foams for recycling (call first for an appointment). New York State law requires that stores provide drop-off bins for plastic bags. Bring your plastic bags to the grocery store for easy disposal.

The City has many commodities that handle recycling and garbage:
Garbage—East Side Transfer Station
Recycling (collected curbside)—Republic Services Material Recycling Facility
Electronic waste—Electronic Recyclers International
Yard waste—Lardon Construction Compost Facility
Tires—Waste Management of WNY
Scrap metal—various metal recyclers in Buffalo

The City of Buffalo sponsors occasional special collection events throughout the year. Residents should call 311 for more information.

An “Oops Tag” will be placed on your green tote if it contained material that is not recyclable. Residents should remove the contaminant and put it in the blue tote.

Yes. All recyclable plastic that touched food should be rinsed with water.

The City of Buffalo curbside collection program accepts all plastic bottles and food containers labeled with recycling codes 1 through 7.

We recommend you first try to donate or resell unwanted furniture or household items, whenever possible. However, the City hosts bulk trash pickup days in each of the council districts. Residents should call 311 for dates.

Request a Tote

Every city address, including apartments, should have its own green recycling tote. If you do not have a green recycling tote, or need a new one, please call 311 or fill out this form and the City will contact you for arrangements.

Business Pledges

The City of Buffalo needs everyone's help to increase the city's recycling rate. That includes businesses as well as residents. The following businesses have already pledged to recycle, encouraging both colleagues and customers to do their part and recycle more. The city thanks them for their support. If you own or manage a business in the City of Buffalo, join this list and pledge today!