Compliance Guide For NYC Hotels


New rules began enforcement Jan. 2017. Fines are being issued now.

The new business organics rule applies to hotels and businesses with food and beverage operations.

  • Law includes hotels over 150 rooms with any size back-of-house food preparation and delivered provisions. Law does NOT cover retailers if their end product destination is the consumer.
  • For off-site organics separation, toters must be latched – any toters without a latch on the lid are not in compliance with the law and must be replaced or have a latch installed.
  • For on-site processing, bio-digestion equipment has been approved. Studies are being conducted regarding the BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) of the waste water being released by aerobic digesters. It is expected that maximum thresholds will be implemented by the DEP in the coming years.
  • Hotels are exempt if restaurant tenant has no affiliation with the property and has a separate waste removal agreement.


New rules will be enforced August 2017.  No fines will be issued until then. Affected businesses should start getting into compliance now.

Official Notice of Upcoming Recycling Rule and Current Recycling Code (still in force).

  • Hotels will be required to install recycling bins in guest rooms. Hotel rooms should have 3 bins in each room: one for trash, one for GMP, and one for paper. If the hotel has a certified single-stream carter, then each room should have 2 bins. Recyclables should be separated and in waste storage areas. Certifications will be awarded to haulers in the upcoming weeks.
  • Bulk waste must be separated as recycling and trash. Bulk recycling is defined as items with 50% or more metal or plastic – otherwise considered trash.
  • Hauler collection options and decals: All materials must be separated into 3 streams (paper, GMP, trash), and the separation maintained to collection point. For single stream separation of these materials, hauler must be certified to co-collect recyclables in one truck. A decal must be visible from the street indicating removal company and system. BIC will be sending these out when ready.
  • Recycling program signage: Program signage must be placed in all departments, central recycling areas, storage and holding areas, and tenant spaces. All bins and containers for transporting waste and recyclables must have a decal clarifying intended contents – this includes bins in common areas and bathrooms. If a building has no waste storage area (i.e. waste is taken straight from tenant floors to the street, then no storage/LD signage is necessary. However, trash/recycling bags must always be kept separate.)
  • Bag colors: Garbage must be in opaque (black) bags only. Recycling must be in clear bags.


Regulation Updates (NYC):  Q&A On New Organics, Waste And Recycling Rules – What Should Businesses Do?

Sign up for "3 to Zero (Waste)." Get 3 tips each month + insights.