Recycling Bin Contamination Monitoring Program

City of Philadelphia | Philadelphia, PA | Completed: 2021

Recycling Bin Contamination Monitoring Program | thumbnail_IMG_4418

The City of Philadelphia provides curbside recycling collections to some 540,000 households. Tons collected grew by about 125 from 2008 until 2014 due to a number of program changes, including expansion to weekly collections, the addition of new materials such as OCC and #3-7 plastics, and increased program outreach. However, the curbside recycling program has seen its challenges in more recent years due to the evolving recycling ton, low commodity prices, and harsher contamination penalties imposed by the City's MRF contractor. Through a grant from The Recycling Partnership, the City will be implementing a recycling bin contamination monitoring program targeting more than 38,000 households in North Philadelphia in the spring of 2021. The program will include visual inspections of bins by teams of monitors, placement of "oops!" tags on bins judged to hold excess contamination, and associated data recording to monitor and track recycler behavior. The project will feature a pre-program recyclables characterization study as well as a post-project study to measure results.

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