In 2015, Lancaster County recycled 43.4% of all municipal solid waste (MSW). LCSWMA would like to thank residents and businesses for helping the county achieve a recycling rate that is almost 10% higher than the national average of 34%.
No matter where you live, you can help advance recycling efforts in your community by following these tips:
1) Safely dispose of household hazardous waste (HHW). Items such as computers, TVs, paint, florescent light bulbs, cleaners and more are considered HHW, meaning special measures must be taken to properly dispose of these materials in order to protect the environment. Lancaster County residents can bring HHW to our HHW Facility located at 1299 Harrisburg Pike, free of charge, while Dauphin County residents should utilize the Dauphin County Recycling Center. Earth911 also offers a comprehensive recycling database for those in North America.
2) Know before you throw! It's important to put the right materials out for recycling to avoid contaminating the whole bin, which occurs when non-recyclable or dirty items are mixed in with clean recyclable content. Items that should never go in the recycling bin include: plastic bags (take plastic bags back to the grocery store for recycling), pizza boxes (corrugated cardboard is recyclable, but only if it's free of grease), shredded paper, flexible plastics (plastic wrap, juice pouches, garden hoses), plastic or metal hangers, drinking glasses, mirrors and ceramics.
3) Be mindful about food waste. According to the USDA, Americans waste 133 billion pounds of food each year. Help keep this material out of the waste stream by planning meals in advance, purchasing only the amount of food needed and composting food scraps. LCSWMA will be hosting free home compost workshops throughout Lancaster County over the summer months to educate residents on how to recycle organic waste from their kitchens and gardens. Sign up to participate.
4) Close the loop. The term "close the loop" refers to a production process in which post-consumer waste is collected, recycled and used to make new products. For the closed loop system to function properly, manufacturers must use recycled materials and consumers must purchase products made from recycled materials. When making a purchase, be sure to look for items that are labeled recycled-content or post-consumer.