Commercial Recycling

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Who Must Recycle?

empty dumptsterCommercial, municipal and institutional establishments are required to create and operate recycling programs. This includes apartment buildings with four or more units.

What Must Be Recycled?

The law requires the following items be recycled:

  • High grade office paper which includes white and colored paper, envelopes, computer paper and reports with covers
  • Cardboard and corrugated paper
  • Aluminum. This generally means cans. Our community includes anything made of metal.
  • Leaf Waste

Materials should be stored separately until picked up.

Why Recycle?

recycleFirst... it's the LAW ... but there are several appealing reasons. Why send something to a landfill if it can be reused? Recycling saves money and resources. Reducing trash lowers disposal costs and maybe you could get rid of the dumpsters. Now that's appealing.

There are companies that buy recyclable material ... which proves the old Pennsylvania Dutch adage, "Some man's trash is another man's deck plank.

Ok ... now you know recycling is the LAW and recycling has some very appealing features.

How Do You Start Recycling?

A Successful Program Might Need:

  • a coordinator ... Commercial, municipal and institutional establishments are required to create and operate recycling program. This includes apartment buildings with four or more units.
  • a task force ... To assist the coordinator in developing the initial program. Custodial staff, administrative staff, and educators should be included.
  • a waste audit ... To determine who's throwing away what and how much is being trashed. Reduction and reuse should also be considered.
  • a market investigation ... To determine where your recyclable materials can be processed. Most waste haulers offer collection of recyclables. Some companies buy recyclable materials.
  • a convenient collection system ... With attractive, easy to use containers, near the action ... next to the computer and soda machine ... or a central storage area. Personnel are needed to collect and record information on how much of what is being recycled.
  • a review of procurement policies ... To determine if other products can be substituted for current supplies that are recyclable and/or made of recycled materials. Perhaps current buying practices can be revised.
  • an education program ... To inform staff about the program, program goals, the value of waste reduction and recycling, and periodically encourage people to continue recycling. Remind them they're doing the right thing to help themselves, their community and the environment.

Non-Residential Recycling is Mandatory!

In 1988, Pennsylvania passed Act 101, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, which is the act that got Pennsylvania recycling!

The Act requires recycling programs for municipalities with a population of 10,000 or more, or for municipalities with a population of between 5,000 and 10,000 people and a density of 300 people per square mile.

Non-residential establishments are required to recycle. Non-residential is defined as commercial, municipal, or institutional. Included in this are apartment buildings with four or more units.

Act 101, Section 1501 (c) (iii)

Municipal implementation of recycling programs shall include, at a minimum, the following elements:

  • High grade office paper
  • Aluminum
  • Corrugated paper
  • Leaf waste
  • And other materials deemed appropriate by the municipality generated at commercial, municipal or institutional establishments ...

Chapter 15, Recycling and Waste Reductions

It's the law, and it's a good idea! As waste disposal costs continue to rise, recycling can reduce your waste volume, and may save you money.