Recycling/Drop Off Recycling Centers

Chester County municipalities are increasingly incorporating single stream recycling into its overall municipal waste collection and recycling efforts. Single stream recycling, also known as "fully commingled" or "single-sort" recycling, refers to a process in which paper fibers, plastics, metals, and other containers are mixed in a collection truck, instead of being sorted by the resident into separate commodities (newspaper, paperboard, corrugated, plastic, glass, etc.) and handled separately throughout the collection process. In single stream recycling, both the collection and processing systems are designed to handle this fully commingled mixture of recyclables, with materials being separated for reuse at a materials recovery facility. The recycled materials themselves can either be picked up directly from residential and commercial locations, or taken to regional drop-off recycling centers.


The benefits of single stream recycling include the following:


The following limitations can be associated with single stream recycling:


Pennsylvania Act 101, the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, was adopted in July, 1988 and mandates recycling in Pennsylvania`s larger municipalities. The Act requires counties to develop municipal waste management plans, and provides for grants to offset expenses.

The goals of the Act are to reduce Pennsylvania`s municipal waste generation; recycle at least 25% of waste generated; procure and use recycled and recyclable materials in state governmental agencies; and educate the public as to the benefits of recycling and waste reduction.

Municipalities with populations of at least 10,000 had to implement curbside recycling programs by September 26, 1990. Municipalities with populations between 5,000 and 10,000 and more than 300 persons per square mile had to implement curbside programs by September 26, 1991. Mandated municipalities collect at last three of the following materials: clear glass; colored glass; plastics; aluminum; steel and bimetallic cans; high grade office paper; corrugated paper and newsprint.

Commercial, municipal and institutional establishments within a mandated municipality are required to recycle aluminum, high-grade office paper and corrugated paper in addition to other materials chosen by the municipality.

Municipalities should consider adopting ordinance provisions for recycling in their community to help implement Act 101, as either a stand-alone ordinance or as a component of the Solid Waste Chapter of the municipal Code of Ordinances. The issues that the ordinance language should address include the following: applicability of recycling program efforts, materials that can and can't be recycled, the designation, authorization and reporting requirements for authorized haulers, collection schedules, public information programs, and compliance and enforcement provisions. The ordinance language should also provide separate, distinct provisions for residential requirements versus commercial/municipal/institutional requirements.

Grant funds are available for the development of municipal recycling programs.


The following municipalities have adopted recycling provisions in their code of ordinances, including provisions pertaining to single-stream recycling:


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