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How & What to Recycle in Central Pennsylvania

Posted April 6, 2023

We are pleased to share the final report and underlying data of the 2021 Waste Composition Study conducted by our department. The study provides valuable information on the types and amounts of waste generated in our community, helping us to make informed decisions about waste management and recycling programs. If you have any questions about the report or data, please direct them to

Pennsylvania has a long history of promoting recycling and waste reduction. Statewide recycling began in 1988 with the passage of the Municipal Waste Planning Recycling and Waste Reduction Act (Act 101), which requires larger municipalities to recycle. Today, over 11.6 million residents, or at least 94 percent of the state’s population, have access to recycling. Approximately 79 percent have convenient access to recycling through curbside pickup programs, and 870 drop-off programs extend recycling to Pennsylvania’s rural communities.

To help residents and businesses understand recycling in Pennsylvania, our department has issued “Guidelines for Recycling in Your Community,” a simple guide that provides recycling programs in your local area and helps you to understand the local rules to maximize the social, environmental, and economic benefits of recycling. The booklet is available as a printable brochure and a web-friendly brochure, and you can find links to both on this page.

The Act 101 also established a $2-per-ton fee on all waste disposed of at municipal waste landfills and waste-to-energy facilities. The fee generates approximately $48 million annually, which is used to support waste reduction, recycling, and planning in the Commonwealth. Grants are available for local collection programs, public education, materials processing, composting facilities, and equipment and technical training.

To learn more about our waste management and recycling programs, please use the tabs on the right side of the screen. We also have a section at the bottom of this page answering frequently asked questions that you may find helpful. And if you need to search for specific information, you can always use our search tool by clicking the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner of the page.

Frequently Asked Questions about Recycling

Q: Where can I recycle my used electronics?
A: You can recycle your used electronics at designated drop-off locations, which can vary depending on your area. Many electronic retailers, such as Best Buy and Staples, offer electronic recycling programs. You can also contact your local waste management facility or check your county’s website for information on electronic recycling programs. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s eCycling website provides information on electronic recycling programs and events throughout the state.

Q: Where can I recycle my old household chemicals?
A: It is important to properly dispose of household chemicals to protect the environment and avoid potential health risks. Many communities offer hazardous waste collection events where residents can dispose of household chemicals, such as paint, cleaners, and pesticides, safely and responsibly. Check your county or township’s website for information on hazardous waste collection events and drop-off locations. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Household Hazardous Waste website provides information on proper disposal methods and upcoming collection events.

Q: Does my community have a curbside recycling program?
A: Curbside recycling programs vary by community, so it is important to check with your local waste management facility or municipality to determine if your community offers curbside recycling. You can also check your county’s website or the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Recycling Programs website for information on recycling programs in your area. If your community does not offer curbside recycling, consider starting or joining a recycling program with your neighbors or local community group.

Q: How do I contact my county recycling coordinator?
A: To contact your county recycling coordinator, visit your county’s website or the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Recycling Programs website for a list of county recycling coordinators and their contact information. County recycling coordinators can provide information on recycling programs and initiatives in your area, as well as offer guidance on recycling practices and regulations.

Q: Am I eligible for a recycling grant?
A: Eligibility for recycling grants varies depending on the program and funding source. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection offers several recycling grant programs, such as the Recycling Development and Implementation Grants and the Small Business Advantage Grant Program, to support recycling initiatives throughout the state. Eligibility requirements and application procedures for each program can be found on the department’s website. Additionally, local municipalities and organizations may offer recycling grants for specific projects or initiatives.

Q: What materials can be recycled?
A: The materials that can be recycled vary by community and recycling program. However, common recyclable materials include paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and containers, glass bottles and jars, aluminum and steel cans, and electronics. It is important to follow your community’s specific recycling guidelines to ensure that you are recycling correctly and efficiently. Check your local waste management facility or municipality’s website, or the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Recycling Programs website, for information on what materials can be recycled in your area.

Q: Where can I dispose of my bulky items?
A: Bulky items, such as furniture and appliances, can be disposed of at designated waste management facilities or drop-off locations. Check with your local waste management facility or municipality to determine the proper disposal method for bulky items in your area. Many communities offer special bulky item collection events or curbside pickup programs. Some retailers also offer appliance and furniture recycling programs. Be sure to follow your community’s specific guidelines for bulky item disposal to ensure that you are disposing of these items safely and responsibly.