Recycle Right Lancaster

Here's what you need to know about recent changes to single-stream recycling in Lancaster County

Original Article by Tom Knapp | Staff Writer, Lancaster Online Jul 18, 2018


Common recyclables allowed in recycle bins in Lancaster County. DAN MARSCHKA | Staff Photographer

New standards for recycling in Lancaster County were announced in the Sunday edition of LNP.

We asked LCSWMA spokeswoman Kathryn Sandoe for answers. Here’s what you need to know about new recycling standards in Lancaster County.

Are the changes already in effect?

They are, yes. We began rolling out the public education effort this week.

What items can still be placed in a curbside recycling bin?

Metal food and beverage containers, plastic bottles and jugs that have a neck, glass bottles and jars, and corrugated cardboard.

What types of items should no longer be placed in the bin?

Newspapers, grocery bags, trash bags, junk mail, glossy magazines, yogurt cups, bottle caps, cereal boxes, takeout containers, etc. If it’s not part of the "Big 4" materials listed, they should not go in your recycling bin.

Why are newspapers off the list?

Newsprint is recyclable, but it does not belong in your bin. Same thing with plastic bags, which can get caught and break the equipment at the recycling processing plant.

The minute newsprint becomes wet or soiled, it becomes unusable for recycling. It can only be recycled if it stays clean and dry, and is delivered to the appropriate drop-off location.

Can people still recycle newspapers?

The city has a drop-off center at 850 New Holland Ave.

For any recyclables, you can go to, enter a product and your zip code and it will tell you who takes those materials. For instance, Ronald McDonald Houses take glossy magazines.

Can you throw newspapers in the trash if you don’t want to make an extra trip?

Yes. In Lancaster County, we combust trash and make electricity out of it.

When will you start citing people who don’t comply?

The first push is awareness and education. Enforcement will come later, once residents have the opportunity to understand how to recycle right.

What’s the penalty for noncompliance?

People need to understand the changes and have time to implement them correctly. If continued noncompliance becomes an issue, we will evaluate the best means to enforce the new guidelines.

How have trash haulers been told to handle collecting from bins that have improper items in them?

Haulers are still collecting all recyclables placed in the bin. However, it’s important to note that just because materials are placed in the bin, it does not mean they will be recycled. If they are not part of the "Big 4" material types, (they) are contaminants and will continue to cause major issues for the recycling processer and keep recycling from being sustainable in our community.

Who should you call with questions?

People can contact LCSWMA or their municipalities.

Where curbside recycling does not exist

The following municipalities in Lancaster County do not have a recycling program:

Bart Township
Brecknock Township
Clay Township
Colerain Township
Conestoga Township
Conoy Township
Drumore Township
East Drumore Township
East Earl Township
Eden Township
Leacock Township
Martic Township
Sadsbury Township

Three municipalities — Elizabeth, Fulton and Little Britain townships — offer dropoff recycling services only.

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