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Green Trash (FLASH)

Lancaster Waste Management

It is easy to forget how our trash effects the environment in a negative way. Too many people through all there waste into the trash can because it is easy and not have to worry about it.  This does not have to be true. We can make a difference just by simple changes to how we get ride of waste.  In order to do so, we must know what Lancaster County is doing produce greener waste.
Lancaster County has one of the best waste management systems in the United States. They provide different ways to recycle our waste in to energy and products. We don’t have to wait for them to do all the work. By recycling our own waste into different groups we can improve the waste management to be more efficient.
Our non-recyclables are sent to two separate places to be turned into energy. Our combustibles are taken to the incinerator to be turn into electricity. This is then set to our homes. The non-combustible or recyclable items are taken to a landfill. The gases from the landfill are sent to be burn to also make electricity for our homes


Click on the picture below of area that interests you, or scroll down and read.


Recyclable Waste
Hazardous Waste
Non- Hazardous Waste
Transfer Station
Recycling Places
Resource Recovery Facility





Please Click on the type of waste that you are looking for:

Recyclable -- Hazardous -- Non- Hazardous

Recyclable Waste

Pennsylvania's recycling success story has many facts, each one a success. From national leadership in curbside recycling programs to creative initiatives for developing uses for recycled materials, Pennsylvania has established a spirit of recycling for a better environment.
Today, more than 10.2 million Pennsylvanians in 974 communities participate in curbside recycling programs, over half of which are set up voluntarily. In addition, more than 420 communities operate drop-off programs to bring recycling opportunities to less populated areas of the state.
Not only has Pennsylvania's recycling program dramatically cut down on the amount of trash we generate, it also has created viable economic markets for recycled materials. Right here in Pennsylvania, we have companies making new bottles from old bottles, animal bedding from old newspapers and plastic lumber from recycled milk jugs. And the list keeps growing.
The numbers and success stories are impressive, yet our work is far from over. We need Pennsylvanians to look for new ways to recycle, to continue to buy products made from recyclable materials, and to limit the use of disposable products. Together, we can make a difference for a cleaner environment through recycling.


There are many types of recyclable waste that can be recycled at home. Here are the DOES, and DON’T brought to you by Lancaster Area Solid Waste Management Authority.


DOES: Any color glass food and beverage bottles and jars should be thoroughly rinsed and lids should be removed. Throw the lids in the trash. It is not necessary to remove labels.
DONTS: Do Not Put in the Bin - Light bulbs, window and auto glass, drinking glasses and cookware are not recyclable and should be put in the trash.

DOES: All food and beverage cans which are made from aluminum, steel, tin or a combination of metals should be rinsed prior to placing in the recycling bin.
DONTS: Do Not Crush the Cans. Do Not Put in the Bin - Other aluminum and metal products like foil, pie plates, and hangers are not recyclable and should be put in the trash.
Plastic Bottles:
DOES: Throw the lid in the trash. Rinse, smash and put the plastic bottle in the recycling bin.
DONTS: Do Not Put in the Bin - plastic tubs such as yogurt and butter containers, toys and other plastic packaging.

DOES: All newspapers, including the inserts, should be tied into bundles with biodegradable string or placed in strong paper bags (not exceeding 30 pounds). Put the bag or bundle next to or on top of the recycling bin.
DONTS: Do not put newspapers out for collection when it is raining. Do Not Put your Newspapers in Plastic Bags - Recycle your plastic bags at your local grocery store.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous materials appear in people's homes in such forms as paints and stains, cleansers and polishes, motor oil and antifreeze, and pesticides and herbicides, computers and fluorescent bulbs, just to name a few.

In the past, the only disposal option for these items in Lancaster County was placement in a landfill. Seeking to provide a better alternative, one that adhered more closely to its mission of managing waste in an environmentally safe and reliable manner, the Authority began construction of Pennsylvania's first permanent Household Hazardous Waste Facility in 1990.
Ignitability, corrosives, explosives, and can release toxic. This can be automotive products, paints, solvents, and electronics.
Some hazardous waste is recycled into usable products.  Hazardous waste is also treated through chemical, biological or physical treatment to render it non-hazardous. It may also be incinerated or disposed of in a specially designed landfill.
    * computers
    * fluorescent bulbs
    * auto products (transmission and brake fluids, antifreeze, used oil and batteries)
    * floor and furniture polish
    * adhesives
    * gasoline
    * kerosene
    * household batteries
    * old chemistry sets
    * paints and paint-related products (stains, turpentine, thinners, rust inhibitors)
    * pesticides
    * herbicides
    * insecticides
    * photographic and pool chemicals
    * household cleansers

Non- Hazardous Waste

Non-hazardous waste is waste that does not meet the EPA’s definition of hazardous waste. Waste is considered hazardous if it is found on the EPA’s list of hazardous waste or it exhibits one or more hazardous characteristics.
Industrial waste is waste resulting from or incidental to operations of industry, manufacturing, mining, or agriculture. For example, wastes from power generation plants, manufacturing facilities, and laboratories serving an industry are considered industrial waste while wastes from schools, hospitals, dry cleaners, most service stations, and laboratories serving the public are not considered industrial waste.
This is waste that can be placed in land fills with out be a hazard to surrounding areas. These can be construction debris, crude oil and gas, organic marital, house hold products, some medical waste.

Recycling Places

As of now, there are 43 municipalities in Lancaster county that parotids in the curbside recycling. All the municipalities with stars next to the name does not have curb side recycling. To find out what is taken as on curbside, check out this web page.
Adamstown Borough
Akron Borough
Bart Township*
Brecknock Township*
Caernarvon Township
Program Type
Christiana Borough
Clay Township*
Colerain Township*
Columbia Borough
Conestoga Township*
Conoy Township*
Denver Borough
Earl Township
East Cocalico Township
East Donegal Township
Christmas Trees
East Earl Township*
East Hempfield Township
East Lampeter Township
Eden Township*
Elizabeth Township
Elizabethtown Borough
Ephrata Borough
Ephrata Township
Fulton Township*
Lancaster City
Lancaster Township
Leacock Township*
Little Britian Township*
Manheim Borough
Manheim Township
Marietta Borough
Martic Township*
Millersville Borough
Mount Joy Borough
Mount Joy Township
Mountville Borough
New Holland Borough
Paradise Township
Pequea Township
Quarryville Borough
Rapho Township
Sadsbury Township
Strasburg Township*
Terre Hill Borough
Upper Leacock Township
Warwick Township
West Cocalico Township
West Donegal Township
West Earl Township
West Hempfield Township
Woody Yard Waste

There are a number of different ways that you can recycle, each and have its pros and cons. The three main categories of collection are "drop-off centers", "buy-back centers" and "curbside collection. It does not matter which way you decide, what ever you pick is better for the environment. The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority has a great website to find places near your home that you can recycle at.



Pennsylvania saved an estimated $372 million in 2004 through recycling, officials said Wednesday.The economic benefits of recycling were estimated at more than $113 million in materials collected and more than $259 million in avoided- disposal costs, Gov. Ed Rendell said in a news release.A record 4.8 million tons of waste was recycled in 2004, the latest year for which statistics are available.The state's recycling-and-reuse industry directly contributes $305 million annually to the tax base and has an estimated $1.8 billion indirect effect on the economy, according to the Governor's Office. The industry includes more than 3,200 establishments with total annual sales of $18.4 billion and employs more than 81,000 people with an annual payroll of $2.9 billion. The employment, payroll and sales numbers are more than any other state in the Northeast and are the second-highest in the nation, according to the Governor's Office. To read more click here.



Transfer Station

The waste transfer stations the facilities where waste is unloaded from collection vehicles and it is reloaded onto transfer vehicles for shipment to landfills, resource recovery facility and/ or the recycling plant. By separating the waste in to different load and using direct trucking to be sent away, can save Lancaster County money.  This can also save on the amount of trucks that are driving around the county to, this will save on the noise pollution. Every day, more than 225 commercial haulers and residents with 2,200 tons of waste. The waste is divided up into 3 major types to be sent to be further work on. Lancaster is the only county allowed to have landfills, resource recovery facility, and recycling all in one county. This means that waste management is more efficient and more environmentally friendly.

Some of the waste is not able to be sent to the landfills and resource recovery facility. These product would either do not burn or should be recycled. All tires and household appliances must be delivered separately to other waste recycle places. The tires and household appliances should be sent to a proper recycling facility.  For more information on where you can have these product delivered to. center

Tires are sent to a recycling facility and household appliances, after Freon gas recovery, are sent to a metals recycling facility. Commingled bottles and cans are also accepted for recycling. In the year 2001, approximately 340 tons of tires, 1,550 tons of white goods and 450 tons of commingled bottles and cans were processed for recycling at the Transfer Station.

Recycle metals and plastics
3,077 tons of recyclable materials are delivered to various recycling facilities a year
Landfill waste
40,203 tons of other waste was delivered to the Frey Farm Landfill a year
Burnable waste (resource recovery facility)
196,836 tons of combustible waste were delivered a year



Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty today announced more than $3.7 million in recycling performance grants to 210 Pennsylvania communities for their recycling efforts in 2003.

"These grants reward Pennsylvania communities for their roles in making the Commonwealth a national leader in recycling," Secretary McGinty said. "Recycling is an environmental and economic success story, conserving our resources and creating jobs in Pennsylvania."

The Commonwealth's recycling industry leads the nation in employment, payroll and sales numbers. More than 3,247 recycling and reuse businesses and organizations generate more than $18.4 billion in gross annual sales and provide jobs for more than 81,322 employees at an annual payroll of approximately $2.9 billion. These businesses add more than $305 million in taxes to the Commonwealth treasury. To read more click here.




Resource Recovery Facility

The Resource Recovery Facility is one of the most important pieces of the chain that changes most of the waste in to electric energy in Lancaster County. This facility processes up to 1,200 tons of non-hazardous waste per day. It makes clean energy for the combustion of the waste, and turns it into electricity. “Boiler water is converted into steam by the heat given off from the burning waste, which warms the water in tubes surrounding the furnace. Steam, in excess of 800 degrees Fahrenheit, is piped to a turbine-generator, where steam pressure spins the turbine which, in turn, is connected to a generator that produces approximately 36 megawatts of electricity.” (LCSWMA) 198 million kilowatts of electricity generated a year. The electric is then sold to the power companies which helps play for the facility. The facility makes enough electricity to power 100 home for a month. That means that you home could be powered by trash if you live in Lancaster County. From the ash that is left behind, the Resource Recovery Facility is able to extract the metal for recycling.  The left over ash is taken to the landfill. If it weren't’t for the Resource Recovery Facility, then we would have 10 times as much in the landfill then what we have now. For every 10 trucks of waste come in, one truck of ash leaves.
“Reacted salts and particulate matter (called fly ash) from the scrubber and bag house are conditioned with water and hydrated lime and then combined with the bottom ash from the furnace.

"In 2005 LCSWMA partnered with PPL Energy Services to capture and utilize the methane gas produced by the active Frey Farm and inactive Creswell Landfills. LCSWMA installed the landfill gas collection system and PPL built the LFG plant. The LFG power plant began producing renewable energy from landfill gas in December 2005. The proximity of the LFG plant to Turkey Hill Dairy enabled the building of a closed-loop pipeline to provide steam generated from the exhaust heat of the power plant to sterilize equipment at the dairy."

The Resource Recovery Facility, is owned by LCSWMA and operated by Covanta Energy. This is were all the burnable trash is sent to be turn into energy. This waste burns at extra temperatures to make water into steam. The steam drives a turbine that creates electricity. Only 10% of the energy generated is used to operate the facility and 90% is sold to an electric utility company.
      At the Resource Recovery Facility, one ton of municipal solid waste has the energy equivalent of one barrel of oil. In 2006, over 353,000 tons of waste were processed at the Resource Recovery Facility.
    * Over 214,000 kilowatt hours of electricity were produced and sold to Metropolitan Edison in 2006.
    * Enough renewable energy has been produced to power all Lancaster County homes for 1.5 years since the Resource Recovery Facility began operations in 1991.

Conveyors transport the ash to a building where it passes through both ferrous and nonferrous metal recovery systems. Using a magnet, the ferrous recovery system removes metals containing iron. The nonferrous recovery system was installed in 2007 and uses an eddy current to remove aluminum, copper, brass and precious metals” (LCSWMA)


New to the Resource Recovery Facility in Bainbridge, PA is a nonferrous metals recovery system. Designed to remove aluminum, brass, copper and precious metals, the system was installed by the facility operator, Covanta Lancaster, at no cost to the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA).
Since the Resource Recovery Facility began commercial operations in 1991, over 102,300 tons of ferrous metals have been removed from the ash and recycled. An additional 250 tons a year of nonferrous metals are expected to be recovered from the ash. These recovered metals will be sold to recycling markets and the proceeds, estimated at $200,000 per year will be split evenly between the Authority and Covanta Lancaster.  To read more click here


Lancaster County has the two landfills in this county. One is Creswell and the other is Fray Farm. Creswell Land fill was closed in the late 1980’s. It was the first landfill in Lancaster to start a leachate treatment plant. “Leachate is under an inter-municipal agreement, the Authority pumps leachate via a pipeline to a local publicly-owned wastewater treatment plant. The pipeline consists of two pipes; one is ‘nested' inside the other and both are constructed of high-density polyethylene. This type of pipeline provides the highest degree of environmental protection available.” (LCSWMA) The Frey Farm Landfill is still being used today. Since Lancaster produces 530,000 tons of waste, the integrated waste disposal system leaves only 20% of that was.

Landfills are carefully designed to prevent waste from mixing with groundwater and to reduce odors. Landfills us a thick recycled plastic liner between the ground and the trash, and a layer of soil is added every day to cover up the trash on top.

Landfill gas composed of about 50 percent methane, is a natural by-product disposed in landfills, and a greenhouse gas when released to the atmosphere. Landfills have landfill gas extraction systems installed to extract the landfill gas. Gas is pumped out of the landfill using a series of wells and a vacuum system and flared off or burnt in a gas engine to generate electricity.
Just recently, Governor Edward Rendell announced that will be a $235,000 Pennsylvania Energy Harvest grant, for Lancaster landfill-gas-to-energy project. This will reduce dependence on foreign oil. This on an annual basis, enough landfill gas will be utilized through the Lancaster project to save 122,800 barrels of oil, offset the use of 250 railcars of coal, provide greenhouse gas reduction benefits equal to planting 15,600 acres of forest, remove the emissions of 11,550 cars or heat 33,900 homes.
“Landfill gas emitted from decomposing garbage is a reliable and renewable fuel option that remains largely untapped at landfills across the state,” …“We have a unique opportunity to power our economy by putting to use energy resources that otherwise are wasted and threaten our environment. This project captures landfill methane and converts it to electricity, offering customers a clean, reliable and affordable energy source.” - Governor Edward Rendell



A dozen landfill operators are taking Pennsylvania environmental regulators to court in an effort to force the state to refund $4.6 million in overpaid solid-waste tipping fees.

The companies previously won a court decision that a $4-a-ton fee paid to the state should not be assessed on sand and similar materials that are used instead of two feet of soil to cover up each day's trash deposits.

But the state limited how much of the overpayments it would return to the companies, and on April 8 Commonwealth Court is scheduled to hear the parties present their sides to the dispute. For more information click here

This site was created by Josh Hankins who is a student at Millersville University of Pennsylvania

Last updated on november 4, 2008

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