Hard To Recycle Items

What is Hard to Recycle?

Hard to Recycle is any item that you cannot easily recycle in your curbside collection program, such as tires, Freon-containing appliances, fluorescent tubes, etc.  These items, in some cases, cannot be placed in landfills in Pennsylvania, as they can leach harmful chemicals when not recycled properly. While these materials may not be acceptable in your curbside recycling collection, there are options available for collection at many special collection events and drop off location throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

1) Tires:  In 1996, the Pennsylvania legislature passed Act 190, the Waste Tire Recycling Act establishing a landfill ban on whole tires.  Tires can be recycled into rubber mulch, pavement, and other materials and in some cases used tires are incinerated for energy at specifically designed plants.

2) Freon Containing Appliances: Freon containing appliances, including refrigerators, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, etc, contain  chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that which deplete the Ozone Layer.  A portion of the Clean Air Act prohibits individuals from knowingly venting or otherwise releasing Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) into the atmosphere when maintaining, servicing, repairing, or disposing of an appliance or industrial process refrigeration equipment. However, once the Freon is removed correctly an appliance can be recycled like an Air Conditioner Recycling as they can contain valuable metals and other materials.

3) Fluorescent Tubes/Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs):  Both Fluorescent tubes and CFLs contain a small amount of mercury that when recycled can be collected and reused along with glass from the bulbs.

PRC’s Role

As a  leader in resource conservation and recycling PRC works to ensure the general public has the opportunity to safely, correctly and conveniently dispose of their Hard to Recycle items – including tires, Freon-containing appliances, and more.  PRC works with regional recyclers who maintain the highest industry standards to ensure materials are safely and responsibly managed.  For a list of where you can take your Hard to Recycle Items check with your municipality or contact your county’s Recycling Coordinator.  Find a list of Pennsylvania Recycling Coordinators by County here.

PRC also host Hard to Recycle Collections across the state.  For more details on events, click here.