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Recycling and Waste Reduction

NEW -- Federal Register Notice: Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Program; Request for Information (6/9/22)

The Department is pleased to share the final report and underlying data of the 2021 Waste Composition Study. Please direct any questions to

Statewide recycling began in Pennsylvania in 1988 with the passage of the Municipal Waste Planning Recycling and Waste Reduction Act (Act 101) that requires larger municipalities to recycle.

Today, more than 11.6 million residents – at least 94 percent of the state’s population – have access to recycling. About 79 percent have convenient access to recycling thanks to approximately 1,050 curbside pickup programs. And 870 drop-off programs extend recycling to Pennsylvania’s rural communities.

Guidelines for Recycling in Your Community

RecyclingBookletCover.jpgDEP has issued “Guidelines for Recycling in Your Community,” a simple guide to help residents and businesses understand recycling in Pennsylvania.  The booklet helps Pennsylvanians to recycle correctly by finding recycling programs in their local area, learning their local rules, and following them to maximize the social, environmental, and economic benefits of recycling.

The act established a $2-per-ton fee on all waste disposed at municipal waste landfills and waste-to-energy facilities, and established grants for local collection programs, public education, materials processing, composting facilities, and equipment and technical training. The fee generates approximately $48 million annually which is used to support waste reduction, recycling and planning in the Commonwealth.

For more specific information regarding different areas of our program, please use the tabs on the right side of the screen. At the bottom of this page you’ll find a section answering frequently asked questions you may also find helpful. And you can always access our search toll by clicking the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner of the page.

Frequently Asked Questions


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