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Municipal Waste Reduction

Municipal waste is generated by 12 million Pennsylvania citizens, the government and upwards of thousands of commercial businesses across the state. Since 2006:

  • The annual quantity of municipal waste from Pennsylvania managed at Pennsylvania’s landfills and resource recovery facilities has decreased from 10.3 million tons to 8.5 million tons in 2013.
  • The per capita disposal of municipal waste in Pennsylvania decreased from 4.53 pounds/person/day to 3.7 pounds/person/day in 2013.
  • Out of state waste decreased from 9.2 million tons/year to 6.4 millions tons/year in 2013.

The commonwealth continues to encourage the beneficial use and recycling of resources historically destined for disposal.

Municipal Waste Reduction

The objective is to maximize the use of resources historically discarded and disposed. This will be accomplished by ...

  • Reducing packaging waste by:
    • Encouraging manufacturers and retailers to reduce the use of packaging materials, to use packaging materials that are recycled, and to reduce the use of packaging materials that are not recycled; and
    • Implementing voluntary, statutory or regulatory restrictions on the use of packaging materials that are not recyclable.
  • Reducing the disposal of construction and demolition Waste by:
    • Encouraging more efficient construction techniques;
    • Ensuring construction activities comply with mandated recycling requirements;
    • Encouraging construction activities to recycle additional materials;
    • Encouraging deconstruction to recover usable materials; and
    • Ensuring demolition activities comply with mandated recycling requirements.
  • Reducing the disposal of recyclable materials by:
    • Make recycling convenient
    • Ensuring commercial, institutional and municipal establishments comply with recycling requirements; and
    • Encouraging the salvaging of wastes into reusable material streams at transfer and disposal facilities.
  • Increasing the composting of food and yard waste
  • Encouraging the use of alternative fuels derived from wastes
  • Promoting and funding difficult-to-manage municipal waste collection programs, including household hazardous waste, electronics discards, mercury waste, and tires; and
  • Empowering local governments to more forcefully address litter and illegal dumping.

Municipal Waste Disposal Data

Other Resources