The COVID-19 pandemic brought sudden changes to residents and business’ in cities across the U.S., including Pennsylvania. On March 19, 2020, Governor Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining business to close their physical locations, and his list of all essential and non-life-sustaining businesses has been updated numerous times since its release.
Although municipal solid waste and recycling collection, hauling and processing is among the list of essential businesses to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic, these services are being restricted in many cities and municipalities across the state. Local hauling services across the state are providing instructions on how to properly prepare your recyclables and trash and/or restricting services for the health and safety of their workers and to lessen the strain on services during this time.
Here are a few recent changes that may affect you:
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA
- As of April 2, 2020, Recycling materials will be collected on an every other week schedule. Philadelphia Streets advises residents to hold their recycling materials for the week of Monday, April 6th through Saturday, April 11th. Recycling collections will resume on Monday, April 13th with every other week collections through May 15th or further.
- Residents should continue to place their trash out on their regularly scheduled day at their normal pickup location, though they should expect delays.
- Sanitation Convenience Centers have limited their hours to 8am to 8pm Tuesday through Saturday.
- For questions or to report missed pick-ups, residents should call Philly311.
CITY OF PITTSBURGH
- As of April 6, 2020, residential curbside trash and recycling collection services remain the same, though the City encourages residents to allow extra time for pick-up.
- The City has suspended bulk and yard waste pick-up until further notice.
- Public Works Drop-off sites at the East End, Hazelwood and West End divisions and the recycling drop-off at Construction Junction in North Point Breeze are closed until further notice. As of March 18, 2020, recycling drop-offs in the Strip District and Beltzhoover/Knoxville are still available.
- The City’s Electronic and Hazardous Waste Recycling are on hold until further notice.
Waste Management released a service alert for Pennsylvania:
- Western Pennsylvania:
- Temporary suspension of bulk collection, spring and bulk clean-ups and yard waste collection.
- All trash must be bagged and sealed. Waste Management notes that loose items will not be collected.
- Recyclables, including cardboard, must be placed inside a recycling bin. Note that items left outside of a recycling bin will not be collected.
- Eastern Pennsylvania:
- As of March 30, 2020, residents should expect a temporary suspension of residential bulk waste collection services.
- Curbside trash and recycling services remain on schedule.
- All trash must be bagged and placed in trash cans, if available.
- Recyclables, including cardboard, must be placed inside a recycling bin.
COUNTY HAULING SERVICES
County Hauling Services, who services Greater Pittsburgh and Mon Valley released aservice alert changes in service as of March 20, 2020.
- All trash must be bagged, sealed and placed in a container. Loose trash in or outside of trash cans will not be collected.
- Corrugated cardboard will no longer be collected for recycling.
- Check back frequently, as potential contingency plans, including eliminating recycling collections and/or providing roll-off containers for trash only at community centers, will be implemented should stricter government guidelines be required or “in the event of a broad infection within [a] community or within [their] drivers.”
As of March 24, 2020, Republic Services listed service impacts on their COVID-19 Update.
- All trash must be bagged and placed in a Republic cart.
- All Spring clean-ups and bulk pickups have been suspended until further notice.
- Republic Services offices are closed to the public.
Other waste collection and hauling companies or municipal programs are providing guidance and service alerts specific to their customers as well. PA Residents should continue to check their municipality’s website for more information about municipal solid waste, recycling and other service impacts and how to properly prepare refuse for collection during this time.