Central Park installs new pizza box recycling bins

May 13, 2024

All photos courtesy of the Central Park Conservancy

Central Park has a solution to a very New York problem. As first reported by NY1, the Central Park Conservancy introduced a clever recycling bin designed specifically to fit pizza boxes to address the pileup from picnics and parties. Located in the busy East Pinetum section of the park, near the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the bin can store up to 50 pizza boxes. Conservancy staff will check the bin up to three times a day.

The difficulty of fitting a square box into a circular trash can leads to pizza-eating parkgoers leaving empty cardboard boxes on top of, or next to, the cans, resulting in a pileup of garbage. The Conservancy said it typically disposes of more than 100 empty boxes left on top of the cans on busy days.

“People stack them in the pathways or bend the box and stuff it in the trash bins, which leads to overflowing cans, which also attracts rodents,” Jonathan Vasquez, a groundskeeper for the Central Park Conservancy, told NY1.

The introduction of these nifty bins simplifies the process for visitors. After emptying the box of its contents, parkgoers can easily deposit their empty box into the designated pizza box bin.

The new bins are part of the Conservancy’s ongoing effort to keep more items disposed of in the park from ending up in a landfill.

“Create a stream of clean cardboard, that we can then bag up, bring to our drop spots, and then it’s moved to a larger container here in the park, and that container of clean cardboard and paper is picked up by Sanitation and brought to their recycling facility in Brooklyn,” Margaret Asaro, vice president for Park Maintenance and Facilities at the Conservancy, said to NY1.

If successful, additional bins could be installed at other popular picnic spots.


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  1. M

    Pizza box recycle bin will be filled with so much other garbage. Good idea but it will never work too many people, to much garbage, not enough containers and people hate to recycle they never sort their garbage out to the right containers