Eastern Long Island Chapter

Transparent Recycling Practices in Long Island

The goal of this campaign is to achieve greater transparency within the recycling practices in Long Island.

Launch Date: August 2017

Completion Date: December 2018

Background Story: In an attempt to launch an Ocean Friendly Restaurants Program, the Chapter encountered a hurdle. Proper recycling techniques is a requirement for restaurants to be certified as “Ocean Friendly.” However, most of the restaurants that we spoke with about this program were relying on carting companies to transport their waste to be “Recycled.” However, even if the landfill waste and recycling is separated in the front of the store, many carting companies throw the waste into the same dumpster to be transported.

The Eastern Long Island Chapter, has attempted to investigate the recycling practices of residential recycling facilities and common commercial carting companies, where the trash gets taken to, what is actually recycled, and if there is the possibility of improving the system. However, due to limited transparency and limited capacity, our efforts did not uncover any needed information.

The ELI Chapter Extends its Gratitude to the Southampton Press for addressing the Elephant in the Room. Grab a coffee, and dive in.

  1. “What Happens To Our Recycling, Part One: The Recycling Myth”
  2. “What Happens To Our Recycling, Part Two: The Work Of Recycling”
  3. “What Happens To Our Recycling, Part Three: The Way Forward”

One solid take-away that we can all learn from, “the transfer stations in East Hampton and Southampton towns provide the best option for residents who want to ensure their recyclables are being recycled.” 

So, if you are living on the South Fork and have access to the transfer stations/recycling facilities in Southampton and East Hampton Towns, bring your waste there on your own rather than hiring a carting company. This is your best bet for making sure your goods are actually being recycled.