Curbside Education Pilot, Revisited

Reviewing Recycling Bins

For five weeks during the summer, LCSWMA staff and a committee of volunteers, conducted a curbside education pilot in West Lampeter Township.

Each week, the committee would inspect 127 recycling bins in a township development, looking for contamination in the bin.

Volunteers found that 47% of the bins contained things that shouldn’t have been there. Common contaminants included pizza boxes, plastic bags, plastic take-out containers, paperboard (like cereal boxes) and dirty items.

In addition to common contaminants, volunteers also found fireworks, Christmas lights, dirty diapers, hoses and plastic toys in the recycling bin.

In order to promote proper recycling, the volunteers provided either a positive “YAY!” tag or constructive “OOPS!” tag on the recycling bin in order to influence resident behavior. They found that most households needed two “OOPS!” tags in order to change behavior, and that 70% of households changed their behavior after receiving an “OOPS!” tag.

This week, LCSWMA staff returned to the development to see if residents were continuing to recycle right and were pleased to report that most residents sustained their changed behavior.

In fact, volunteers found that three months after the curbside education program, 87% of residents were recycling correctly, while only 13% of residents had contaminants in their recycling bins.

As a reminder, only the following items should be placed in your curbside recycling bin:

  • Corrugated cardboard (fluted, wavy shape, such as shipping boxes)
  • Plastic bottles and jugs with necks (such as water bottles, laundry detergent bottles and 2-liter soda bottles)
  • Metal food and beverage cans (such as aluminum soda cans and metal soup cans)
  • Glass Jars and Bottles (any color of glass – clear, green, brown)

Additionally, all items that go in the recycling bin should be free of any liquid, as well as food debris or residue.

For more information on recycling, visit