Pittsburgh recyclingPittsburgh (pop. 306,211), the mighty tri-river city in western Pennsylvania, debuted a single-stream recycling program in November 2008. Since then, the program has expanded the number of items it accepts for curbside collection, and residents must take notice, as recycling is mandatory within Pittsburgh city limits. Failure to properly sort recyclables from trash can result in a hefty fine. Interestingly and uniquely, Pittsburgh does not have a standard recycling bin or cart; instead, Pittsburghers are required to use bright blue city-approved recycling bags or their own bright blue bin clearly marked “RECYCLING.”

Materials recycled

Paper Including phonebooks, newspapers, magazines, junkmail, office paper, mixed paper, hard-cover books, catalogs, paperboard (e.g., cereal boxes or milk cartons) and pizza boxes (no food or wax paper). Corrugated cardboard must be flattened and cut into sections no larger than 5’x5′. Bundles of cardboard must be tied with string or twine and placed in a cardboard box. Plastics All plastic containers marked #1 through #5 (rinsed, no lids or caps) are acceptable. No Styrofoam or packaging foam accepted. Metals Metal containers (rinsed, no lids or caps), including aluminum, steel, bimetal aerosol cans and paint cans Glass Any glass containers (rinsed, no lids or caps)


Curbside pick-up occurs on a biweekly basis (schedule and collection map are available online). Carts must be placed curbside no earlier than 7 p.m. the evening prior and no later than 6 a.m. day of pick-up.

Other programs

Pittsburgh residents (proof of residency required) can drop off yard waste (including leaves, grass, plants, tree trimmings, branches and shrubs, loose or placed in a paper bag), old tires (limit two) and scrap metal for free in a car or SUV (a fee may be assessed to larger vehicles or trailers) at the following Public Works drop-off locations Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.: 2nd Division Public Works (North Dallas Avenue at Hamilton Avenue), 3rd Division Public Works (Melanchton Avenue at 2nd Avenue) and 5th Division Public Works (Hassler Street next to Hershel Field). Drop-off location Saturday and holiday hours vary.

More information

Visit the Pittsburgh Public Works website for more recycling program info.