Recycling & Waste Diversion

Pittsburgh per City Code §619.02(a) and all persons not serviced by the City shall label both trash and recycling dumpsters and/or containers with the associated establishment names and/or address §619.03(d). Environmental Services Waste Regulations are updated periodically to reflect market conditions and establish consistency throughout the City.

The operator of every business establishment located within the City of Pittsburgh must establish a program to recycle the following material types below:

  1. Fiber:
    • High grade office paper, mixed paper and corrugated cardboard
  2. Aluminum and steel:
    • Cans and bottles
  3. Plastics:
    • Bottles and jugs 
  4. Leaf Waste:
    • Leaves, garden residues, shrubbery, and tree trimmings

In an effort to increase diversion and potentially save money on garbage fees, we encourage the recycling of the following materials:

  1. Glass:
    • Amber, green and clear bottles, jugs and jars
  2. Food Waste:
    • Discarded or uneaten kitchen, agricultural, or food processing

The usage of our public drop-offs are reserved for residents of the City and for very small businesses generating one bag of recycling per week. They are not permitted for bars, restaurants, or other commercial accounts as a recycling or diversion outlet, unless coordinated with our recycling department directly.

Commercial and institutional establishments have the opportunity to be the leaders in waste reduction and avoidance. The majority of waste that is produced in the City of Pittsburgh comes from this sector. It is encouraged each commercial and institutional establishment provide viable ways to eliminate waste going in and out of their facilities. Please download this resource guide to start your zero waste journey.

By contacting specific haulers on our list, some can assist with proper diversion techniques and solutions to higher and best use of certain material types. 

Establishments should contract a private hauler to collect and deliver the recyclables directly to a processor.

Reporting Guidelines

Under PA State Act 101 and §619.04(f), all recycling tonnage must be reported to the City’s Recycling Division on a quarterly or yearly basis.

Your recycling not only helps to recover valuable resources and save energy, but the tonnage reported by private haulers, businesses and institutions also enable the city to attract more funding from the State.

If a private collector is used, then the collector can provide the tonnage report to the City on behalf of his clients.

Tonnage Forms