About Our Residential Recycling Program

Useful Information For Homeowners About Recycling

At Penn Waste, our goal is to partner with our customers throughout Central Pennsylvania to create a green community together through our recycling program. We strive to make the recycling process as easy and convenient as possible to help all customers maximize their efforts by allowing our customers to put all materials being processed in the same container.

Throughout this section of the Penn Waste website, you’ll find tools to help you identify what is recyclable and learn how to prepare the materials you recycle.

Thank you for helping us create a green community together!


The #1 Recycler in South Central PA

Penn Waste offers residential recycling services to over 180,000 households throughout the South Central Pennsylvania region.

You can view a list of the townships and boroughs we currently service on the Resources for Your Municipality page. These pages include detailed information related to the local recycling program, pickup dates, holiday schedules and more.


No Recycling Job is Too Big

In addition to individual household pickup, Penn Waste can assist you with your large-scale recycling needs, such as special event recycling collection. For additional information on these supplemental services, use our contact form or call (717) 767-4456.

If you have any questions about our recycling program, please contact a member of the Penn Waste Customer Service team at (717) 767-4456 or complete the form on the side of this page.


What is Recyclable?

Have you ever thought about what products in your trash are recyclable before you even purchase them? Your buying habits and product choices made at the grocery store directly affect the amount of waste ends up in our landfills.

Choose products that have the least amount of waste packaging or are contained in packaging that is recyclable.

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For example, you can make the choice to purchase spring water in gallon jugs rather than individual bottles. Pour your water into a reusable water bottle and reduce the amount of plastic containers that need to be recycled.

Penn Waste’s single stream recycling process eliminates sorting and allows you to include all acceptable materials in one container.


Recyclables and How To Prepare Them

Below is an overview of the materials that may be recycled.

You may also download a printable version of our single stream recycling guidelines (PDF).


CARDBOARD

Standard Boxes, Pizza Boxes, Food Boxes, Packaging

These items may be recycled as long as they are not soiled with food or other residue.

  • Cardboard Boxes
  • Pizza Boxes
  • Food Boxes (such as cereal boxes, jello boxes, etc.)
  • Empty Paper Towel & Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Paperboard Packaging (Tissue Boxes, etc.)

HOW TO PREPARE CARDBOARD

  • Remove all packaging inside the box (such as packing peanuts, bubble wrap, etc)
  • Flatten ALL boxes
  • Check the weather. If the weather calls for high winds or rain, keep your recycling inside
    until the following week, if possible. Wet cardboard products are more difficult to process.

PAPER

Newspapers, Magazines, Office Paper

  • Newspapers & Inserts
  • Office Paper (any color)
  • Magazines, Catalogs & Brochures
  • Junk Mail & Envelopes
  • Paper Bags
  • Phone Books & Other Soft Cover Books

HOW TO PREPARE PAPER

  • Cover loose papers with heavier items in the container to prevent them from blowing away
  • Check the weather. If the weather calls for high winds or rain, keep your recycling inside until the following week, if possible. Wet cardboard products are more difficult to process.

PLASTIC CONTAINERS & BOTTLES

  • Plastic Water, Juice & Soda Bottles
  • Plastic Clamshells (baked goods and produce containers)
  • Yogurt Containers
  • Plastic Containers & Bottles #1 through #7: This may include items such as shampoo bottles, liquid detergent containers, condiment bottles, etc. Please check the container to find the designated number.

HOW TO PREPARE PLASTICS

  • Remove caps or lids
  • Rinse thoroughly to remove any residue
  • Labels and neck rings do not need to be removed from containers

METAL & ALUMINUM

Aluminum Cans, Steel Cans and Food Containers, Empty Aerosol Cans, Paint Cans

  • Aluminum Cans
  • Steel Cans and Food Containers
  • Empty Aerosol Cans
  • Paint Cans

HOW TO PREPARE METALS & ALUMINUM

  • Rinse thoroughly to remove any residue
  • Aerosol cans must be empty
  • Remove any plastic caps or tops unless they are part of the can
  • Labels do not need to be removed from cans

CARTONS

Cartons are defined as a type of packaging that food and beverage products come in that you can purchase at the store. There are two types of cartons:

  • Shelf-stable cartons — include juice, milk, soy milk, soup and broth, and wine cartons. These are cartons that do not need to be kept cold.
  • Refrigerated cartons — include milk, juice, cream and egg substitute cartons. These items must be kept cold.

HOW TO PREPARE CARTONS

  • Be sure to remove straws.
  • Make sure the carton is empty and rinsed out.
  • Cartons may be placed in your bin along with all other recyclables.

GLASS

Food & Beverage Glass Only

  • Clear, brown, blue and green glass food and beverage containers.

HOW TO PREPARE GLASS

  • Rinse thoroughly to remove any residue
  • Remove any plastic caps or tops
  • Note: Labels do not need to be removed from bottles or containers

UNACCEPTABLE MATERIALS

The following items are NOT recyclable.

  • Food-Soiled Materials
  • Needles and Medical Waste
  • Broken Glass
  • Windows, Mirrors, Ceramics
  • Drinking Glasses
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Scrap Metal
  • Plastic Tableware (Knives, Forks, etc.)
  • Plastic Bags (Including Grocery Bags)
  • Light Bulbs
  • Solvents, Oil and/or Chemical Containers
  • Soaked and/or Wet Papers or Cardboard
  • Waxy Cardboard
  • Plastic Food Wrappers
  • Used Paper Towels or Tissues
  • Christmas Lights
  • Hoses
  • Propane Tanks
  • Shredded Paper

Questions?

If you have any questions about acceptable materials or would like to learn more about increasing the amount of materials you are recycling, call the Penn Waste Customer Service team at (717) 767-4456 or Contact Us.


Preparing Your Materials

Penn Waste’s single stream recycling facility allows you to place all of your recyclables in one container for collection. No sorting is needed. Below are a few tips to ensure the items you recycle are able to be processed after pickup. These steps help ensure that your recycling efforts are contributing to a greener future.

Cleaning & Preparing Your Materials

Rinsing containers to remove food or product residue helps ensure the materials you recycle are able to be processed after pickup. This can also help reduce odor and insects around the area in your home where your recycling container is stored.

Products heavily damaged or soiled may not be recycled and should instead be placed in your waste container.

Tips To Get Ready for Pickup

Placing your bin in the appropriate area for pickup and following the simple steps below will help ensure your materials are collected on your designated pickup days:

  • Check the weather. If the weather forecast calls for high winds or rain, keep your recycling inside until the following week, if possible. Wet paper is more difficult to process.
  • Place your bin out on the scheduled pickup day.
  • Pickup dates and times vary for each community. To locate your pickup schedule, visit the Resources for Your Municipality page and select your township or borough to learn more.
  • Ensure any loose paper or light cardboard is covered with heavier materials. This will help ensure your materials do not blow out of the bin
  • Bundle any large or loose pieces of cardboard that will not fit inside your recycling bin.
  • Collect your recycling container as soon as possible after pickup to prevent it from blowing away.

Questions?

If you have any questions about Penn Waste’s residential recycling services, call (717) 767-4456 or Contact Us.


Other Types of Recycling

Organic materials, including food waste, may be composted and used for a variety of uses in your garden and lawn.

Want to learn more about composting?
Guide to Home Composting from the Department of Environmental Protection