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COVID-19 Service Updates

Curbside / Residential

Take a Minute Before You Bin It.

It only takes a minute to prepare your recyclables the right way. Just give them a rinse and let them dry before you put them in the bin. Get a lid for your city-issued recycling bin at your local Sanitation Convenience Center. Or use any cover of your choosing and do your best to keep your recyclables dry. 

Recycling the right way reduces contamination and costs so the City is not wasting valuable financial resources from communities into processing trash multiple times. It’s good for the environment, reduces litter and pollution, and keeps our communities clean and healthy. It’s not just a good idea or the right thing to do—it’s the law. Recycle the right way and avoid any potential SWEEP fines.

Please also rememeber to put needles and syringes in your regular trash. Contaminating the recycling stream not only ruins good materials and damages equipment—it endangers our recycling workers.

What You CAN Recycle


*Emptied and Rinsed, lids & caps ok

  • Food Containers
  • All Bottles & Jars
  • Detergent & Shampoo Bottles
  • Pump & Spray Bottles


*Remove from plastic sleeves/bags

  • Newspapers
  • ​Magazines, Brochures
  • Junk Mail, Envelopes
  • Scrap Paper
  • Paper Bags
  • Paperback Books


*Emptied & rinsed
  • Milk & Juice
  • Wine 
  • Soups


*Emptied and rinsed, lids & caps Ok
  • Aluminum, Steel & Tin Cans
  • Empty Paint & Aerosol Cans
  • Aluminum Baking Dishes


*Emptied and rinsed, lids & caps ok
  • All Bottles & Jars



*Remove shipping/packing materials
  • Corrugated Cardboard Boxes
  • Clean Pizza Boxes
  • Paper Towel Rolls
  • Egg Cartons
  • Dry Food & Shipping Boxes

What to Keep OUT of the Bin

These materials have little or no value as raw materials, damage recycling equipment, and can even injure workers. Please leave them out!

  • Plastic Bags
  • Styrofoam™
  • Disposable Plates, Cups & Takeout Containers
  • Greasy Pizza Boxes
  • Food Soiled Paper & Cardboard
  • Tissues, Paper Towels & Napkins
  • Light Bulbs
  • Cassette Tapes (VHS and audio)
  • Garden Hoses
  • Needles & Syringes
  • Propane Tanks
  • Pots & Pans


To improve residential recycling participation, Sanitation uses both enforcement and incentives to recycle. Generally, enforcement is limited to reminders to recycle, particularly to those that have not set out recyclables and are found to have recyclables in their trash. Recycle the right way and avoid any potential SWEEP fines. Click here to learn more about SWEEP.


Material List (can and can't recycle)

Collection Schedules

Sanitation Convenience Centers

Related Items

Tire Round Up Learn More

Oversized Items and Dumping Learn More

Old Electronics and Household Hazardous Waste

Sanitation receives discarded electronics at its convenience centers or a scheduled HHW event. Click here for a HHW schedule.

The Sanitation Division does not maintain a permanent household hazardous waste (HHW) receiving facility. HHW is collected at scheduled one‐day events throughout the year. At the HHW events residents may bring the usual range of HHW materials including: paints, lawn and garden chemicals, household cleaners, automotive fluids, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, etc. Also collected at these events are discarded electronics.

It is not permissible to set out discarded electronics in regular residential trash collection.

Learn More about the Hazardous Waste Policy

Grass-Cycling and Composting

Yard Waste Collection

During a six‐week period of the fall leaf season, yard waste is collected separately at curbside. Sanitation provides this scheduled service with public employees in November and December, all neighborhoods being served several times. All leaves must be placed by the residents into biodegradable paper bags and then placed at the curb. Purchase of the biodegradable paper bags is the responsibility of the resident. During most of the year, yard waste may be commingled with trash and set out for combined collection. No separate yard waste collection is provided by Sanitation.

The collected leaves are taken to the Fairmount Park Organic Recycling Center where it is combined with yard wastes resultant from the Park's operation. The operation is a windrow composting program. The compost and mulch produced are available in small quantities to Philadelphia residents free of charge.

Holiday Tree Recycling

Trees were able to be dropped off at the City's sanitation convenience centers for a two-week period, ending in mid-January, and at select locations managed by various neighborhood and civic organizations. To find a drop off location near you, click here