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  Conserving Resources  
  On this page we've gathered together some resources on conserving energy, recycling waste, less toxic cleaning products, etc.  

Here are a few more websites which can help you safely recycle your older computer and consumer electronic products.



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USEPA’s ENERGY STAR® appliance page provides information on purchasing energy-efficient appliances.

Visit Consumer Reports online. For detailed information on specific appliances, you may be required to subscribe. Or, read Consumer Reports magazine to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of an appliance before purchasing it.

Appliance411 Information provides information about purchasing and repairing appliances. The site discusses warranties, purchase tips, and brands. It also discusses myths about appliances, and maintenance tips to prolong the life of your appliance.

To review DOE regulations, specifications, and tips to cut your energy costs, visit the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network.

Check out a quick list of organizations that accept donations. Or call the NYC Stuff Exchange at 1-877-NYC-STUFF for donation opportunities in your neighborhood.

New Yorkers are required to recycle small and large appliances that are at least 50 percent metal.

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You can recycle rechargeable batteries at many Radio Shack and other retail locations. Visit the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation or call (800) 8- BATTERY for more information and additional recycling locations.

Bring your used household batteries to any NYC Department of Sanitation Special Waste Collection Center or dispose of them with your regular garbage.

Visit Energizer to learn more about products powered by rechargeable batteries.

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Buying Products Made with Recycled Content

The Buy Recycled Business Alliance offers information and resources on buying certain recycled products.

The Pennsylvania Resources Council offers a Buyer’s Guide to Recycled Products.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has a list of web resources for recycled products.

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection provides tips on How to Buy Recycled Products.

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The NYC Compost Project provides information on home composting, grass recycling, autumn leaf collection, and compost givebacks.

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Computer Donations & Recycling

Check out a quick list of organizations that accept donations. Or call the NYC Stuff Exchange toll free at 1-877-NYC-STUFF for donation opportunities in your neighborhood

PEP’s (Resources for Parents, Educators, Publishers) National Directory of Computer Recycling Programs offers information about organizations that refurbish and/or redistribute used computers to schools, nonprofits, and economically disadvantaged families.

Per Scholas and the National Cristina Foundation also accept used computers that are then recycled or refurbished and placed with educational and nonprofit organizations.

Check out IBM’s PC Recycling Service for more information about sending any brand of electronic equipment to IBM for reuse or recycling.

Visit Hewlett-Packard for information about computer hardware returns for recycling.

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Donating, Buying or Selling Used Goods

Check out a quick list of organizations that accept donations. Or call the NYC Stuff Exchange toll free at 1-877-NYC-STUFF for donation opportunities in your neighborhood.

To locate thrift shops, second-hand shops, vintage and consignment stores in each of the five boroughs, visit NY.Com.

Consider an internet auction site, such as eBay, where you can sell everything from an antique oriental rug to a Barbie™ boat. You post a description of what you want to sell, and buyers place electronic bids.

Recycle-a-Bicycle has information about donating bicycles in any condition to an innovative youth program. Visit the retail store at 75 Avenue C (between 5th & 6th Streets) in the East Village, or call (212) 475-1655 for more information.

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Energy Efficiency

Energy Savers: a guide to increasing your energy efficiency from the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (EREN) at the Department of Energy.

ENERGY STAR®: USEPA’s guide to energy efficiency and energy-efficient products.

The Department of Energy Insulation Fact Sheet can help you choose the right insulation. The guide discusses R-values (measure of insulating power) for insulation and tells you how much insulation to install.

Evaluate your home’s energy performance by using the home energy yardstick tool. You will need to know your home’s square footage, and the amount you spent for gas and electricity for the previous year.

Tips on energy efficiency are also available from Con Edison.

Use the calculator from This Old House Online to choose the appropriate size air conditioner.

NYSERDA, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, offers technical assistance and resources to improve your home’s energy efficiency. For more information, call 1-877-NYSMART or visit their Get Energy Smart website.

For more information on compact fluorescent light bulbs, go to the Department of Energy’s Consumer Information Brief on Compact Fluorescent Lamps.

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Junk Mail Reduction

The Direct Marketing Association offers tips for getting off mailing lists and reducing those annoying telemarketing calls.

Print out the Stop Junk Mail Card and mail it to the Direct Marketing Association to remove your name from national direct-mail lists.

Obvious Implementations Corporation’s Do It Yourself: Stop Junk Mail page offers numerous suggestions for reducing junk mail.

Visit Washington State’s King County Reduce Junk Mail site for helpful resources.

More information on how to reduce junk mail can be found in a publication called Stop Junk Mail Forever, produced by Good Advice Press, Box 78, Elizaville, NY 12523. Call them at (914) 758-1400.

To remove your name from lists for credit card offers, call this toll-free number: 1-888-5-OPTOUT.

Junk mail can be recycled in New York City. The NYC Department of Sanitation provides details about what to recycle in New York City.

The Greenfield Paper Company offers greeting cards made from recycled junk mail.

Reuse greeting cards, or solicitations including sample card fronts, by sending them to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, where disadvantaged children from across the country raise money by creating new greeting cards from old.

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Less Toxic Cleaning Products

Visit Bio-Organic Inc. to find out about cleaning materials which are truly free of toxic agents (no MSDS needed for these cleaning materials).

View the NYC Department of Sanitation publication, Safeguarding Your Home from Harmful Products for information on safe cleaning products.

USEPA’s fact sheet on non-toxic household products has information about product hazards and safer substitutes.

Washington State’s King County site on household cleaners provides information about the hazards of specific products and alternatives that can be purchased or made at home.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) water protection tips offer a list of homemade cleaner recipes.

Shop online for safer household cleaning products offered by Seventh Generation®, or locate stores that sell these products by using the site’s “Where to find our products” option.

Home-Safe-Home provides information about a variety of cleaning and maintenance products and their alternatives.

Learn about the environmental health risks children face in the home through a virtual tour of the Health-E-House, sponsored by the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition.

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Washington State’s King County offers Six Steps for a Successful Paint Project, including everything you need to know about buying and using paint products. Use their calculator to help you figure out how much paint to buy.

Use Benjamin Moore’s paint calculator to determine exactly how much paint you need for your project.


E-Coat® Recycled Paint Products, a division of Kelly-Moore Paint Company, sells paint manufactured with post-consumer recycled paint. Recycled paint is filtered, mixed, and adjusted for quality, and new ingredients may be added to ensure consistent performance, coverage, and color consistency.

See information about Benjamin Moore’s Pristine EcoSpec low-VOC paints.


Chem-Safe Products Company, PO Box 33023, San Antonio, TX 78265, 210-657-5321

ICI/Glidden’s Lifemaster 2000 series, ICI/Glidden Company, 925 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115, 800-221-4100, 216-344-8000


Paint & Coatings Industry Information Center provides extensive information about paint, both interior and exterior. If you have an old house, check the lead paint link.

USEPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Lead page offers information on residential lead hazards, regulations, and links. Speak to an information specialist, or order materials by contacting the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD 95323).

Check out the NYC Department of Health’s Guide to New York City Local Law 38 of 1999: Keeping Your Home Safe from Lead-Based Paint Hazards.


Materials for the Arts accepts donations of paint for distribution to nonprofit cultural organizations and arts programs. Call them at (718) 729-3001.

Up to five gallons of unwanted latex paint per visit can be dropped off at any NYC Department of Sanitation Special Waste Collection Center.

Recycle empty metal paint containers.

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View the NYC Department of Sanitation publication, Safeguard Your Home from Harmful Products for information on pesticide alternatives.

New York Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NYCAP) operates a comprehensive Information Clearinghouse which can provide detailed information on safe, effective means for controlling just about any type of pest without the use of dangerous chemical pesticides.

The National Pesticide Telecommunication Network provides objective, science-based information about a wide variety of pesticide-related subjects. Call them at 1-800-858-PEST (7378).

How to Handle Household Pesticides, from the Michigan Department of Agriculture, offers tips for how to use household pesticides.

Visit the Real Goods Catalog and review the alternative pest control products that are available in the Indoor home section of the website.

Try ultrasonic products that keep pests away with sound waves. Mag Enterprises and Pure N Natural provide information on such devices.

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Recycling Requirements For New York City

Recycling is required by law in New York City. All residents, institutions, agencies, and commercial businesses must recycle:

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School Resources

For information on educational materials that focus on waste prevention and recycling, visit School Resources.

To recycle toner cartridges, click here.

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Learn what packaging you can recycle in New York City.

Donate excess packaging peanuts to Mail Boxes Etc. or other commercial packaging services.

Call the Plastic Loosefill Council’s Peanut Hotline toll free at 1-800-828-2214 for a list of convenient drop-off locations in New York City.

University of California — Santa Cruz’s Waste Reduction Program offers tips on how to be a smart consumer.

Shopping Tips to Help You Reduce and Recycle from Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency.

Grocery Shopping with the Four Rs in Mind provides advice on packaging reduction from the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

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Waste Prevention at Work

Encourage your work cafeteria or food vendor to donate edible food to City Harvest, Food for Survival, or other food banks in the City.

Your business may generate waste materials that could be used by another business. Contact New York Wa$teMatch, a citywide materials exchange program involving high quality secondary and surplus materials and equipment. Items that can be exchanged include building materials, packaging products, wood and pallets, glass, metals, plastics, rubber, textiles, and industrial and office equipment.

Unwanted office equipment and furniture, materials, fabric, paint, paper, and industrial by-products can also be donated to Materials for the Arts. They will pick up your surplus office equipment, supplies, or other donated items and make them available, free of charge, to nonprofit cultural organizations and arts programs. Call them at (718) 729-3001.

There are many other nonprofit organizations in New York City that accept donations of office equipment, furniture, and supplies, as well as computers.

See reducing toxics in NYCWasteLe$$ government for more information on the potential hazards of and safer alternatives for commonly used products in the workplace.

Visit Bio-Organic Catalyst Inc. to find out about truly toxics-free cleaning materials.

Visit the Janitorial Products Pollution Prevention Project for fact sheets on less-toxic janitorial products.

For additional resources on less-toxic cleaning products, check out Healthy Clean Buildings.

For in-depth information on waste prevention opportunities for specific New York City business sectors, visit NYCWasteLe$$ business. NYCWasteLe$$ government also provides waste reduction case studies and tips that can easily be applied to almost any workplace.

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