Did you know…?
What is recycling?
Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. Recycling can benefit your community and the environment. Recycling has three steps: collection & processing, manufacturing, and purchasing new products made from recycled material. These steps create a continuous loop, represented by the familiar recycling symbol.
What are we doing about it?
Pennsylvania made recycling the law in July 1988 with Act 101, the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling, and Waste Reduction Act. This act requires landfills and resource-recovery (waste-to-energy) operations to establish recyclable drop-off centers accessible to the public so that people who take their own trash to a landfill can also recycle. All of these elements of Act 101 create a comprehensive program that will allow everyone to participate in the recycling and waste reduction effort.
By 2006, nearly 10.2 million people and all state agencies participated in the recycling effort. While curbside recycling is mandatory in 457 communities with populations greater than 5,000, over 500 additional communities have developed curbside recycling programs voluntarily. More than 420 other communities are served by municipal drop-off centers for recyclables. Plus, over 3,000 commercial drop-off centers provide recycling opportunities throughout the Commonwealth.
The recycling of aluminum and steel cans, cardboard, glass, newspapers and certain plastics is a growing industry in Pennsylvania. Already more than 140 Pennsylvania businesses are using recyclables collected by the state’s recycling programs to make new products like glass containers, office paper, laundry detergent bottles, steel framing, roofing, and pipes, steel sheet for cars and cans, and much more. Recyclables kept separate from household waste are collected at recycling programs. Collected materials are further sorted and processed for sale to manufacturers in Pennsylvania and other states.
Money earned from the sale of recyclable materials can benefit the individual recycler or help communities and companies offset operating costs for recycling. Recycling also allows some communities to reduce waste disposal costs.
What are some common household recyclables & how should you handle them?
The following materials take up valuable space in landfills and can interfere with the burning process in waste incinerators.
**Check with your municipality for curbside programs in your area or visit the Waste Authority’s list of acceptable & unacceptable items for deposit at our drop-off locations.**