Recycling is easy, but let’s face it…

Recycling is easy, but let's face it...

...navigating the City of Brotherly Love's recycling program can be downright confusing at times. Use the menu below to find information about what to recycle, when to recycle and how to make sure it gets collected at your curb.


Did you know that #1 through #7 plastics are now recyclable at the curb?.  It's true!  You can recycle that and a whole lot more now in your blue bin!  Get the straight story about what can and cannot go in that bin here.


The City of Philadelphia provides curbside recycling pick-up citywide for all residences of six units or fewer. Recycling pick-up is always the same day as trash day. Find out what day your neighborhood recycles on the city's service locator map.


The City provides free recycling containers (blue bins or buckets) for residents. You can pick one up at one of these locations. But you don't need an official City recycling container to recycle curbside. Learn more about making your own bin here.


There's a lot of great information available on the web about recycling. To help you navigate through it all, we've compiled a list of links to websites with great information about many different recycling topics, including what to do with those hard to recycle items. Check them out here.

Unsure about the benefits of recycling or need to convince your neighbors that they should be recycling? Download this printable PDF about why it's worth it to recycle.

Philly Recycling Monitor
Timely information about recycling in Philadelphia.

Cutting Edge Composting Facility Set for South Jersey

The first organic-waste-to-renewable-energy plant in the United States will be built in our own backyard. Organic Diversion of Marlton, N.J. announced plans to build a groundbreaking new composting facility in Gloucester City, N.J. that will harness and sell biogas created during the composting process. The facility, set for construction in June, will be able to handle approximately 200 tons of food and yard waste daily from local supermarkets, restaurants, schools and hospitals. Read more here.

Recycle that Styrofoam!

As you likely know, polystyrene foam products (Styrofoam) are not accepted in curbside recycling here in Philadelphia (even if it has a number on it!) But, the city recently unveiled a foam recycling pilot project. With this project, you can now drop off foam products to the Northeast Sanitation Convenience Center located at State Road and Ashburner Street.

The City is still unable to accept Styrofoam products curbside, however this is a great opportunity to organize community collections in your neighborhood. The service is also available for businesses to participate. Foam products we’re talking about include No. 6 plastics like, foam egg cartons, foam coffee cups, packing peanuts, rigid packing foams, etc. Foam material can be recycled and remade into picture frames, crown moldings, office products, nursery plant containers and more.

Become a Waste Watchers Volunteer at Events With the Mayor's Office of Sustainability

Have a burning compulsion to keep recyclables and compostables out of the trash? Help your fellow citizens get educated and get free giveaways by becoming a Philly Waste Watcher. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is partnering with a variety of event organizers around the city this fall to help them increase their recycling rates. Become a member of Waste Watchers and help event-goers recycle more. As a bonus, you will get into cool events for free!

Start a Recycling Program in Your Apartment, Condominium or Office

Recycling Advocate's Toolkit LogoRecycleNOW Philadelphia is calling on YOU to help start a recycling program in your office, apartment building, or condominium. The City of Philadelphia’s commercial recycling regulations require that all commercial buildings– including businesses, apartment buildings of more than six units, and schools – provide recycling for their employees and/or tenants.

RecycleNOW will work with you to bring a recycling program to your building by helping you gather tenant support and to work with building management. If you’d like to work with RecycleNOW to implement a recycling program please contact Katie Edwards at or visit our Commercial Recycling Advocacy page here.

What about those bins?

You can pick up a bin, free of charge, from one of the city's Recycling Drop-off Centers. (We suggest you call ahead first to verify availability.) However, you don't need an official City recycling container to get in on the action. Just mark a sturdy plastic or metal container that holds 20 gallons or less with the word "RECYCLING" or put a city-issued "RECYCLING" sticker on it, and the city will collect it at the curb.

Say what?

With all sorts of terms flying around,—Recycling Alliance, Streets Department, RecycleBank, Five Point Plan— it's no wonder there's confusion.

Explore our glossary of Philly recycling terms and get it all straight.

Recycling tools for organizations

Looking for educational resources or materials for your school, community event or party? Check out our ever-expanding stockpile of recycling knowledge here.

Toy Recycling Truck