Long Island produced about 2.2 million tons of solid waste in 2016 and recycled about 582,000 tons of it, which works out to a rate of 26.5 percent, according to the most recent data provided by cities and towns*. That rate was down from the 27.1 percent recorded in 2014-2015, and the individual rates for the municipalities can vary. For example, tiny Shelter Island reports recycling 88.6 percent of its solid waste, while the city of Long Beach reports recycling 13.9 percent.
Obviously towns with larger populations, such as Hempstead or Babylon, will have larger overall numbers than smaller towns. This data, compiled by Newsday from reports submitted to the state's Department of Environmental Conservation, was posted on Oct. 26, 2018.
Tons of recycled and unrecycled waste
* Islip failed to file a 2016 report, so we used its 2017 report; all other town and city data are from 2016, the most recent year available from all other municipalities.
How much recycling per person
Another way to measure recycling is to look at the number of pounds of solid waste that are recycled per resident.
|Town||Tons of waste not recycled||Tons of waste recycled||Total tons||Percent recycled||Tons per person recycled|
|Town Babylon||Tons of waste not recycled 241,123.0||Tons of waste recycled 61,467.0||Total tons 302,590.0||Percent recycled 20.3%||Tons per person recycled 0.29|
|Town Brookhaven||Tons of waste not recycled 178,072.0||Tons of waste recycled 92,819.5||Total tons 270,891.5||Percent recycled 34.3%||Tons per person recycled 0.19|
|Town East Hampton||Tons of waste not recycled 12,520.3||Tons of waste recycled 60,840.3||Total tons 73,360.5||Percent recycled 82.9%||Tons per person recycled 2.76|
|Town Glen Cove||Tons of waste not recycled 13,311.7||Tons of waste recycled 37,359.9||Total tons 50,671.5||Percent recycled 73.7%||Tons per person recycled 1.36|
|Town Hempstead||Tons of waste not recycled 530,232.0||Tons of waste recycled 95,578.5||Total tons 625,810.5||Percent recycled 15.3%||Tons per person recycled 0.12|
|Town Huntington||Tons of waste not recycled 102,289.0||Tons of waste recycled 24,872.0||Total tons 127,161.0||Percent recycled 19.6%||Tons per person recycled 0.12|
|Town Islip*||Tons of waste not recycled 170,599.0||Tons of waste recycled 70,148.0||Total tons 240,747.0||Percent recycled 29.1%||Tons per person recycled 0.21|
|Town Long Beach||Tons of waste not recycled 18,866.0||Tons of waste recycled 3,056.7||Total tons 21,922.6||Percent recycled 13.9%||Tons per person recycled 0.09|
|Town North Hempstead||Tons of waste not recycled 153,148.0||Tons of waste recycled 27,873.0||Total tons 181,021.0||Percent recycled 15.4%||Tons per person recycled 0.12|
|Town Oyster Bay||Tons of waste not recycled 115,417.4||Tons of waste recycled 42,566.1||Total tons 157,983.5||Percent recycled 26.9%||Tons per person recycled 0.14|
|Town Riverhead||Tons of waste not recycled 15,553.0||Tons of waste recycled 5,336.4||Total tons 20,889.4||Percent recycled 25.5%||Tons per person recycled 0.16|
|Town Shelter Island||Tons of waste not recycled 676.9||Tons of waste recycled 5,252.7||Total tons 5,929.6||Percent recycled 88.6%||Tons per person recycled 2.17|
|Town Smithtown||Tons of waste not recycled 51,205.6||Tons of waste recycled 35,926.3||Total tons 87,131.9||Percent recycled 41.2%||Tons per person recycled 0.31|
|Town Southampton||Tons of waste not recycled 5,719.4||Tons of waste recycled 4,120.0||Total tons 9,839.4||Percent recycled 41.9%||Tons per person recycled 0.07|
|Town Southold||Tons of waste not recycled 8,882.0||Tons of waste recycled 15,017.0||Total tons 23,899.0||Percent recycled 62.8%||Tons per person recycled 0.67|
|Town Islandwide||Tons of waste not recycled 1,617,615.2||Tons of waste recycled 582,233.2||Total tons 2,199,848.4||Percent recycled 26.5%||Tons per person recycled 0.20|
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