Most people don't think twice about the waste they throw away or place at the curb for collection. Those who do wonder assume that it goes directly to a landfill where it is buried and forgotten. That is the case in most areas of the United States. But Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is unique. We understand that solid waste management decisions will have a lasting impact on the environment for many generations. The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority, or LCSWMA, has developed an innovative system to provide the best combination of safe and efficient disposal of municipal solid waste. It's called an Integrated System.
The Integrated System allows for the disposal of waste in the most environmentally beneficial manner by combining the resources of a comprehensive recycling program, state-of-the-art Transfer Station, Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Facility, Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility and a landfill. As a result, the flow of waste to the landfill is significantly reduced, which means it will last longer and consume far less land over time. The consumption of natural resources is reduced by generating clean, renewable energy (electricity) from the waste and diverting a large portion of the waste for recycling or reuse. By wisely implementing this Integrated System, LCSWMA is taking a balanced approach to solid waste management that protects that land, air and water.
Our mission is to manage solid waste and recyclable materials in an environmentally safe, reliable and efficient manner.
A corporate and political body organized under the Municipal Authorities Act of 1945 of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, LCSWMA manages the design, financing, construction and operation of the county's Integrated System.
Lancaster County's commissioners appoint LCSWMA's nine-member board of directors. Seven members of the Executive Team oversee the operations, finance, technical services, energy administration, capital projects and business development for the organization. LCSWMA holds no taxing powers and receives no government backing of its debt. The organization's primary source of revenue is waste disposal ("tipping") fees, as well as revenue from the sale of electricity generated by its renewable energy projects.
Pursue excellence in all endeavors.
Establish sustainable systems which provide the optimum balance between conservation of resources and disposal of wastes, current costs and long-term liabilities, governmental interests and market forces, stability and flexibility, and innovation and reliability.
Minimize the volume and toxicity of wastes; maximize the recovery of resources and reuse and recycling of valuable materials; minimize energy consumption; and maximize energy recovery.
Apply sound scientific reasoning and prudent and ethical business practices in the development and management of all programs and facilities; and ensure the equitable distribution of operational impacts, benefits and costs in accordance with local community values and sound public policy.
Utilize the best available demonstrated technologies to assure compliance with all legal requirements; and transcend legal requirements as necessary and appropriate to prevent emissions to the environment in harmful quantities or concentrations.
Accept responsibility for environmental harm resulting from operating and closed Authority facilities; resolve to remedy appropriately environmental or personal damages; and report environmental information to the public in a prompt and accurate manner.
Employ qualified, capable and effective employees and advisors and the appropriate education, training, discipline and compensation to maintain highest standards of performance.
Maintain fiscal integrity and minimize public financial risk; incorporate life cycle costs into current fee structures; utilize private enterprise in the delivery of services to the extent appropriate; and strive to minimize all costs without sacrificing quality of service.
Share information and perspective in the interest of public education to promote the development of rational public policy; and solicit advice and foster participation from all sectors of the community.
It's easy to forget the important role that solid waste management plays in maintaining the quality of life in our communities. For most of us, the disposal process is a simple matter of taking our trash to the curb and retrieving the empty containers at the end of the day. But safe, clean and effective solid waste management practices are everybody's business, and we urge every resident to learn more about how the choices we make today will affect the future quality of our environment.
Education is an important part of our mission at LCSWMA, and one that we take very seriously. We offer tours of all our facilities, produce informational brochures, and host municipal recycling workshops to help communities understand and choose
So whether you own a business or run a household, whether you're young or old, you share in the stewardship of our precious environment. By taking a few minutes to separate your recyclables and making conscientious decisions about disposing of household hazardous waste, you're helping to ensure that our county will be a wonderful place to live for many years to come.