Philadelphia recyclingPhiladelphia (pop. 1,547,607), a consolidated city-county and the largest metro area in Pennsylvania, has made recycling as simple as possible for its residents by introducing easy-to-follow single-stream guidelines. To incentivize residents to recycle as much as possible, the city came up with the Philadelphia Recycling Rewards program. Participants can earn gift certificates, gift cards and discounts to neighborhood businesses when they fill up those bins. The City of Philadelphia provides recycling bins for purchase at locations throughout town, but residents are encouraged to use their own rigid plastic bins as well. Any bin 32 gallons or smaller clearly labeled “RECYCLING” is suitable for curbside pick-up. Philadelphia residents can use multiple bins at a time if needed.

Materials recycled

Paper Including flattened cardboard, newspaper, magazines, junk mail, phone books, food boxes (no plastic lining), computer paper, flyers, non-metallic wrapping paper, clean soda or beer cartons, juice and milk cartons, juice boxes, soup cartons and ice cream boxes. Plastics Plastic containers numbered 1 through 7 (no Styrofoam containers accepted). All items must be rinsed/cleaned. Metals Including aluminum cans, tin cans, empty aerosol cans and empty paint cans. All items must be rinsed/cleaned. Glass Glass food and beverage bottles and jars. All items must be rinsed/cleaned.


Curbside pick-up occurs on a weekly basis, same day as trash pick-up (a collection schedule is available online).

Other programs

Philadelphia holds regularly scheduled household hazardous waste collection events throughout the year. Typically accepted items include computer electronics; TVs; paint and paint-related materials; kitchen, bathroom and cleaning solvents; automotive products (used motor oil, antifreeze, batteries, degreasers, etc.); kerosene and gasoline; fluorescent lights and CFLs; mercury; asbestos and more. A full listing of events and accepted materials and a breakdown of how this material is managed can be found on the Philadelphia Streets website. A “foam pilot program” has been established at the NE Sanitation Convenience Center. Residents and businesses can drop off clean foam #6 materials at the center, located at State Road and Ashburner Street. Operating hours are Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is no limit to the amount of foam materials that a resident can bring at one time.

More information

Visit the Philadelphia Streets Recycling website for more recycling program info.