Do I need to separate my recyclables?

No. Penn Waste’s innovative single stream processing facility allows you to place all of your recyclable materials into one container for pickup. For more information about Penn Waste’s recycling facility, check out the Recycling Facility Tour Page.

Am I required to rinse out my recyclables?

Rinsing your recyclables out before placing in your bin helps cut down on contamination and prevents other recyclable materials from getting ruined by the contents. Please rinse your recyclables out if possible, or at the very least, make sure they are empty.

A clean recyclable is a happy recyclable. Give those empty cans, bottles and cartons a rinse before tossing them in the bin.

Will you recycle my plastic bottle if I leave the cap on?

Yes we will. The plastic lid is made of a different type of plastic than the rest of the bottle. It is considered “contamination” but will not prevent us from recycling your plastic bottle. If you can remember to take it off, it is helpful. If not, that is ok.

What materials are acceptable for recycling?

In general, plastic food and beverage containers with the numbers 1-7 on them, food and beverage glass, metal cans and aerosols, food and beverage cartons, paper and cardboard are accepted through Penn Waste’s recycling facility.

Is Styrofoam recyclable?

Absolutely not. Please throw all Styrofoam in your household trash since it is not currently a recyclable item.

Are you seriously asking if Styrofoam is recyclable? Never has been and never will be. Even worse, it makes that terrible squeaking noise! Toss it in the trash!

Can I recycle paperboard containers?

Yes. Paperboard items such as tissue, cereal and shoe boxes may be recycled. Items that are heavily soiled with food, such as take out containers should not be recycled. Food left on these paper products can cause contamination to other materials at the recycling facility, negatively impacting the overall recycling process.

Can I recycle cardboard pizza boxes?

Yes, pizza boxes can be recycled. Pizza boxes are made of high-grade corrugated cardboard, which moves quickly through the recycling process. Areas of the box heavily soaked in grease and/or cheese should be removed and placed in the trash and the remaining part of the box should get recycled. Any sauce or crumbs should also be removed before recycling.

The only thing worse than pizza that tastes like cardboard is cardboard covered in pizza.

Can I recycle printed cardboard? If so, are staples or tape on the packages a problem?

Printed or glossy cardboard can be recycled alongside regular cardboard. Staples and tape are not a problem and can be left on the packaging. These materials will be removed throughout the sorting process. If large wads of tape are present and can be removed, this will improve the overall recycling process.

What happens to the materials I recycle?

After pickup, the items you recycle are taken to Penn Waste’s Single Stream Recycling Facility where they are sorted and prepared for their final recycling destination. After being properly sorted and prepared, the items that you recycle are shipped all over the country and the world to be recycled and reused in a variety of ways. This includes being used in carpet fibers, piping, more cans and containers, paper and much more. In less than two days, a piece of cardboard that you’ve placed out for recycling can be picked up, processed and on a ship at the port of Baltimore, heading to its final destination. Containers that hold cat litter are recycled for use in Mondo Blocks, which are used in guard rails to protect drivers on highways across the United States. For additional information on the Penn Waste recycling process, visit the Recycling Facility Tour Page.


Not sure if that’s recyclable or how to properly recycle a specific item? Ask Herb! Fill out the form below and Herb will answer your question within 5 business days.