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. Organic Waste:
    • Leaves, garden residues, shrubbery, and tree trimmings
    • If your establishment generates leaf, garden residue, shrubbery, and tree trimmings it must be kept separate from your trash and recycling and collected separately. 

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

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

Anyone not serviced by the City is required to recycle what is described in the waste regulations and through their private collector at this time. The City is gathering resources for glass recycling alternatives and is in the process of updating its waste regulations. This would include commercial, institutional, and multi-unit dwellings.

The usage of our public drop-offs are reserved for residents and for very small businesses in the City of Pittsburgh. 

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. 

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