Statement on Recent False Media Reports

“I would like to make it clear that what has been written about Penn Waste trying to renegotiate existing municipal contracts is completely false. Penn Waste has not approached any existing municipal customers about renegotiating their contracts and we do not have plans of doing so.

The statement regarding our municipal contracts made by our spokeswoman back in May was an idea that had been floated when the initial recycling markets collapsed. While that idea had been proposed, it never went into effect.

Penn Waste did impose a sustainability fee on our commercial customers in June in response to the recycling markets collapsing, the on-going skilled labor crisis, rising insurance costs, and rising steel prices. Our customers were notified in advance and given the opportunity to contact us with any concerns.

It is not common practice for Penn Waste to respond to every rumor that is published in the media but this one is completely false.

Penn Waste would appreciate the professional courtesy of a reporter reaching out to verify if something is accurate prior to their printing it the next time a news story references our company.”

-Ed Ward, General Manager of Penn Waste

New Recycle Guidelines

Effective July 1, 2018, Penn Waste is implementing new recycle guidelines. The new recycle guidelines are a result of the current recycling crisis created by China. Back in the fall, the largest buyer of recyclable material in the world, China, set unachievable contamination limits on the recyclable material they receive resulting in the recycling markets crashing. Previously, bales were allowed to have around 5% contamination in them which equates to 92lbs of contamination in a 1,850lb paper bale . At the beginning of 2018, China imposed a 0.5% contamination limit on imported recyclables from any country which equates to only 9lbs of contamination in a 1,850lb bale of paper. This is an impossible level of contamination for recycling companies to achieve.

Subsequently, Penn Waste has taken a “Back to Basics” approach in an attempt to try and meet the new contamination limits.  Please see below for our new recycle guidelines.

If it is not listed below, do not place it in your recycle bin. 


Collection Update: 4th of July Holiday 2018

Wednesday, July 4, 2018: Due to the 4th of July Holiday, all residential Penn Waste collections will be delayed one (1) day. Wednesday customers will be collected on Thursday. Thursday customers will be collected on Friday and so on for the remainder of the week through Saturday.

To stay up to date on recycling tips and collection updates, consider following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you have not already done so, consider signing up for our E-News Updates to receive recycling suggestions and collection updates directly to your e-mail inbox.

Penn Waste wishes all of our customers a safe and happy holiday!

Change in China Recycling Policy Driving Costs in the Midstate

Written by Rachel McDevitt | WITF News, Jun 14, 2018 6:51 PM

Source –


(Harrisburg) — The cost of recycling will likely go up for many midstate communities over the next few years.

A change of standards in China is causing recycling processors in the U.S. to recalculate.

China is the largest importer of U.S. recyclables. At the beginning of this year, the country enacted a ban on some materials and strictly limited the contamination allowed in shipments of others, from five percent to half a percent.

That’s driving up costs for processors like Penn Waste, which collects recycling from 70 municipalities in the region.

Marketing director Amanda Davidson said 35 percent of the material they collect as recycling is garbage that then needs to be disposed of.

A big problem is “hopeful recycling,” which means people will put things in recycling bins they want to be recyclable but should really be thrown out.

“So diapers, car parts, hoses, electrical cords, medical waste, clothing, mattresses. We’ve gotten deer carcasses. Deer season is a horrible time of year at our recycle center,” Davidson said as she gave examples.

She said now there’s added pressure to get these sometimes-hazardous items out of the waste stream.

Penn Waste has been investing in labor and equipment to reduce contamination.

The company is now charging a sustainability fee for commercial and private subscription customers.

Davidson said they are approaching municipalities now to see if they can renegotiate waste contracts to add a sustainability fee.

“Even if we don’t get a small increase now, everyone’s going to see a large increase later to make up for the impact that the recycling crisis is having,” she said.

The company plans to release new guidelines next month that should make it easier for customers to understand what’s recyclable and what’s not.

Penn Waste Wins 2018 Excellence Award


Media Contact: 

Amanda Davidson
Director of Marketing


York, PA  (June 4, 2018) –The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) announced yesterday that Penn Waste, Inc. has been named the winner of the SWANA Silver Excellence Award in the Recycle Systems category. The award will be presented at SWANA’s annual conference, WASTECON®, on Wednesday, August 22, 2018, at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee.

Penn Waste, receiving the award for its York, Pennsylvania, 45-tph single stream system retrofit.

“We continue to invest in technology to boost throughput, recovery and purity,” said Amanda Davidson, director of marketing.  “The complete retrofit took only 9 days. The results have led us to continue to expand our reach in what have become turbulent market conditions.”

The winning entry can be found on SWANA’s website in August.

SWANA’s Excellence Awards Program recognizes outstanding solid waste programs and facilities that advance the practice of environmentally and economically sound solid waste management through their commitment to utilizing effective technologies and processes in system design and operations, advancing worker and community health and safety, and implementing successful public education and outreach programs. Programs also must demonstrate that they are fiscally and environmentally responsible through their compliance with all applicable federal, state and local regulations.


About Penn Waste, Inc.
Founded in 2000 by Scott Wagner, Penn Waste is South Central PA’s premier choice for residential and commercial waste removal and recycling services. A locally owned and operated company, Penn Waste is committed to improving the communities we serve throughout the counties of York, Lancaster, Adams, Dauphin, Cumberland and Perry. For more information, visit

About SWANA:
For more than 50 years, the Solid Waste Association of North America has been the leading professional association in the solid waste field. The association serves more than 10,000 members throughout North America, and thousands more with conferences, certifications, publications and technical training courses.

Collection Update: Memorial Day Holiday 2018

Monday, May 28, 2018: Due to the Memorial Day Holiday, all Residential Penn Waste collections will be delayed one (1) day. Monday customers will be collected on Tuesday. Tuesday customers will be collected on Wednesday and so on for the remainder of the week through Saturday.

Special Note:

To stay up to date on recycling tips and collection updates, consider following us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you have not already done so, consider signing up for our E-News Updates to receive recycling suggestions and collection updates directly to your e-mail inbox.

Penn Waste wishes all of our customers a safe and happy holiday!

Recycling Industry Crisis


In preparation for Earth Day on Sunday, April 22nd, we feel it’s important to update our customers on some catastrophic changes that are severely impacting the recycling industry.

Chinese Restrictions on Imports Creating Recycling Industry Crisis
The United States generates more recyclable material than any other country in the world and China is the world’s largest buyer of recyclable material. The Chinese government recently imposed new rules severely restricting the levels of contamination allowed in the recyclable material they accept. These changes have had catastrophic consequences on the US recycling industry.

What is contamination?
Contamination is any non-recyclable item (aka trash) that gets mixed into a bale of recyclable material. When bales of recyclables arrive in China, they are cut open and sorted through. Items such as plastic bags, clothing, medical waste, Christmas lights and any other non-recyclable items are considered “contamination.”

Previously, bales were allowed to have around 5% contamination in them, or 92 lbs of trash, in a 1,850 lb bale of recycled paper. Beginning in 2018, China changed those restrictions to a 0.5% contamination rate, or 9lbs of trash in a 1,850 lb bale of recycled paper. This is an unrealistic number that recycling companies cannot meet.

The Good News
Many of our customers are enthusiastic recyclers and want to make sure they’re doing it properly. Recycling continues to be the future of the waste industry but it will come at a cost if there is no market for recyclable material. We need our customers’ help in making sure they’re not throwing trash in with their recycling so that we can try to meet China’s new contamination limits.

How Can You Help?
We encourage all of our customers to do the following:

Educate yourself on what items Penn Waste is able to recycle. Here’s a link to an English / Spanish version of WHAT IS and IS NOT recyclable –

Do not throw items in the recycle bin unless you know for sure it is recyclable. When In Doubt, Throw It Out!

Make sure you properly sort your materials, making sure that wet, non-recyclable items are tossed in the garbage.

Stay tuned for more updates about the recycling crisis over the next few weeks.

Collection Update: 4/2/18 – On Schedule

Monday, 4/2/18- All Penn Waste routes are operating on schedule today.

Collection Update: Easter Holiday 2018

Sunday, April 1st, 2018 – Penn Waste routes will not be affected by the Easter Holiday. Please place all waste and recycling curbside on your regularly scheduled collection day next week.

Thank you and have a happy holiday!

Collection Update: Good Friday 2018 – On Schedule

Friday, March 30, 2018 – All Penn Waste routes will be operating on schedule on the Good Friday holiday. Please place your waste and recycling curbside on your regularly scheduled collection day.