How To Get There > Recycling Policies > Mandatory Recycling: Onondaga County, New York, USA

Mandatory Recycling: Onondaga County, New York, USA

Onondaga County, New York

Since 1989, Onondaga County has required everyone in the county to recycle. This has resulted in an impressive 60% recycling rate.

Action(s) Taken

  • Recycling Policies

Who's Affected

  • Households
  • Businesses
  • Apartments
  • Government
  • Schools
  • Events



Year Enacted


Overview of Recycling Requirements

In 1989, Onondaga County passed a law requiring everyone in the county to recycle.

Materials that must be recycled are: cardboard, metal and glass bottles and jars, mixed paper, PETE and HDPE plastics, #5 PP plastic tubs, and beverage cartons.

Every property owner is required to provide recycling containers for their tenants. Businesses that serve food or beverages in recyclable containers for onsite consumption must also provide collection containers for customers.


The first line of enforcement is the county education and outreach program, including commercial outreach by business recycling specialists. There are also enforcement officers at the incinerator and out performing spot checks in commercial generators’ waste bins.

Violations carry a fine of $15 to $2,000. Fines are determined by the facility type, with households paying the least amount and waste haulers paying the most. Households, businesses, recyclables collectors, waste haulers, materials recovery facilities and drop-off centers can all be fined.


By 2010, 95% of households and 90% of businesses were participating in the recycling program. The county has sustained an overall recycling rate of 60% for over a decade.


2005 Solid Waste Management Law in Onondaga County

Onondaga Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) Update to Comprehensive Recycling and Market Analysis 2011, Onondaga County

Preparing for Mandatory Recycling in Onondaga County

More Information

Onondaga Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) Website

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