Where can I return bottles in New York City?
September 13, 2007 4:29 PM   Subscribe

Where can I return bottles in New York City?

I just moved to New York, and my building doesn't take plastic bottles for recycling. I also just noticed that I'm paying a deposit on them, and it would be nice to get it back.

I've seen this question, but it doesn't answer the question of where I can take bottles myself. Searching Google just turns up pages supporting and opposing bottle bills.

I live near Columbia University, in case you can recommend somewhere nearby.
posted by oaf to Grab Bag (8 answers total)
Any supermarket.
posted by astruc at 4:38 PM on September 13, 2007

D'Agostino's at 110th and Broadway takes bottles and cans. But it's a pain in the butt because you have to stand around waiting for someone to notice you and take time out from their regular functions. They aren't really set up for this. It seems pretty clear they are trying to discourage us from returning containers for deposits.

I suppose this is why the new Westside Market across the street doesn't sell soda in cans; they want to reduce their recycling obligations.

Every store is required by law to take back the cans and bottles that it sells.
posted by JimN2TAW at 4:43 PM on September 13, 2007

I haven't hung out around Columbia enough to be sure it works this way up there, but anywhere in Manhattan I have hung out, you can just leave the bottles in the sidewalk trash can and bums / old Asian people will return them for you.

You could try to return them yourself, but you're likely to find yourself behind a line of bums / old Asian people with a shopping cart full of bottles each.

So, you are getting recycling done, and you're making a sort of donation to those less fortunate.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:56 PM on September 13, 2007

People will return them for you in the same way in the Columbia area. My building takes plastic bottles, but when they're set outside people will swoop in to make sure the deposit gets claimed.

There is "mandatory recycling," in fact, for plastic bottles in NYC. Are you sure your building doesn't take them? Rat them out to the Dept. of Sanitation, if so.
posted by deeaytch at 6:59 PM on September 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

your building ought to recycle--are there not special cans? if not, you can recycle yourself. buy blue trash bags and clear trash bags. plastic and cans go in the blue, paper goes in the clear. just put 'em out on the curb on trash day with everything else.

alternatively, i second the above: keep all your plastics and bottles and cans in a separate bag (clear, so the contents are visible) and set them out on the curb whenever it gets full. there will be some impoverished soul who will make use of it. new york offers many and strange ways to do good in the world--it's really quite remarkable.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:27 PM on September 13, 2007

A lot of garbage is passed through reclamation points and single-stream recycling facilities. In SF, even if you throw it out, it'll probably be recycled if it can be. This doesn't help you with your financial interests, but at least you know we're still selling it to China if you throw it in the garbage.
posted by kcm at 7:34 PM on September 13, 2007

There are special receptacles, but they say they're for metal only.
posted by oaf at 4:59 AM on September 14, 2007

Have you talked to your super about it? The fact that the garbage cans say "metal only" makes me think it's a throwback from 2002 when they suspended plastic recycling.
posted by veronica sawyer at 9:16 AM on September 14, 2007

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