NYC's Brief Recycling History

Main

New Amsterdam passes lawa against casting water in streets

1657

USA first paper mill opens in PA making paper from recycled cotton and linen

1690

US newspapers printed on paper made from wood pulp not rags

1860

NYC Board of Health forbids garbage thrown out on streets

1866

NYC stops dumping its garbage from a platform built out over the East River

1872

The nation's first garbage incinerator is built on Governor's Island

1885

NYC requires residents to separate household waste

1896

NY's Street Cleaning Commissioner organizes sorting plant for recycling

1898

American cities begin to estimate and record collected wastes

1900

The nation's first aluminum recycling plants open in Chicago and Cleveland

1904

Shortages of WWI prompt the government to start the Waste Reclamation Service

1917

self-packaged goods increase in popularity increasing amount of disposability

1920

"reclaiming" or filling in wetlands becomes a popular disposal method

1920

Rationing of materials in WWII forces increased reliance on synthetic materials

1941

The Solid Waste Disposal Act is enacted

1965

Resource Recovery Act requires government to issue waste disposal guidelines

1970

Clean Air Act enacted leading to incineration shut downs

1970

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act creates important role for federal gov't

1976

EPA issues landfill criteria that prohibit open dumping

1979

Fresh Kills becomes the largest landfill in the world

1986

The Mobro, LI garbage barge, is turned away by six states and three countries

1987

Municipal Solid Waste landfill criteria become effective for most landfills

1993

Fresh Kills is planned to be closed by Dec 31, 2011

1996

Fresh Kills used temporarily as dumping grounds for 9/11 attacks' refuse

2001

NY conducts master plan to turn closed Fresh Kills into world class park

2001 - 2006

PlaNYC developed to improve city revitalization

2007

NYC Sims Municipal Recycling facility opened in Sunset Park

2013