COVID-19 Recycling Information
Recycling containers shall be set out with trash containers after 6 p.m. the night before collection and removed by 8 p.m. the day of collection. Trash and recycling containers shall be stored to the side or rear of the property and not in front of the property.
Recycling bins are free to City residents. Recycling bins can be picked up at the following locations and times:
Recycling Drop Off Center
850 New Holland Ave.
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Damaged recycling bins can be taken to the Recycling Drop Off Center to be exchanged for a new one.
WHAT TO RECYCLE CURBSIDE
Curbside recycling is facing a contamination crisis. Contamination is caused when people place materials in the recycling bin that do not belong. Recycling processors have a difficult time sorting out the trash, which makes its way into the sorted/baled material that is sold to market. For a long time, China was the largest buyer of this material from the U.S. And because of increasing contamination levels, China made the decision to stop importing this material. This left the U.S. with an overabundance of recyclable commodities (re: baled material) with a lot of trash mixed in.
To address the contamination issue in Lancaster County, and ensure curbside recycling is sustainable, we went “back to the basics” with four material types that have a strong domestic market—meaning, there is a demand for this material by manufacturers in the U.S. We call these materials the “Big 4” and include:
- Corrugated cardboard (like shipping and packing boxes)
- Metal food and beverage cans
- Plastic bottles and jugs WITH a neck
- Glass bottles and jars
Please follow the below guidelines when preparing your recyclables for curbside collection:
- Rinse all bottles, jars and cans to remove any debris
- Remove all caps, tops or lids on jars and bottles
- Place recyclables at the curb on your regularly scheduled trash pick-up day
WHAT TO RECYCLE SEPARATELY
In Lancaster County, we use a process called “single-stream” recycling, where residents can put all their approved recyclables into one bin. These materials are collected and taken to a materials recovery facility (MRF) where they are sorted, baled, and sold to manufacturers, who turn them into new products. The sorting process is mostly automated, using various screens, magnets, and optical sorters to identify materials. MRFs are built to only sort certain items, so any additional materials are contaminants.
For some materials, like newsprint, plastics bags and Styrofoam, these materials can be recycled, but must be separated and taken to an approved drop-off location. Do not place these materials in your recycling bin, as the MRF cannot separate them and they may be contaminants, which are discarded as trash.
If you think something could be recycled, please visit earth911.com to verify if there is a drop-off location near you. If you aren’t sure, please discard the item in your trash. Placing material in the recycling bin in hopes it will be recycled is “wishful recycling” and adds to the contamination crisis.
The following items can be recycled at the City of Lancaster’s Recycling Drop-Off Center:
– Mixed office paper
– Corrugated cardboard
– Soft cover and hard cover books
– Shredded paper
– Plastic bottles and jugs with a neck
– Steel/tin/aluminum cans
– Glass bottles and jars