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ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Environmental Services Home

The mission of Environmental Services is to establish and maintain a refuse and recycling system that promotes a safe, litter-free and environmentally friendly City for all of its residents and customers.

Environmental Services has two main divisions:

Refuse Division

The role of this division is to collect regular mixed and bulk refuse from approximately 115,200 residential properties with 5 dwelling units or less, the Housing Authority, the Borough of Wilkinsburg and the City government buildings.

Recycling Division

The role of this division is to maintain, monitor and advance waste reduction and recycling activities that are fiscally responsible, environmentally-minded and compliant with state law for all City residents, businesses and organizations.

Collection Schedule

Collection Map

Holidays

Environmental Services observes the following holidays. When a holiday falls on or before your collection day, your pirkc-up will be one day later.

  • New Years Day
  • Martin Luther King Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Missed Pick-Ups

Please do the following to help prevent service interruptions or missed pick-ups:

  • Set-out your bags/bins by no later than 6:00 a.m. on your collection day
  • Keep your refuse and recycling separate and in clearly marked containers (recycling must be in blue bags/bins)
  • Be sure that your containers are 35 gallons or less
  • Do not include unaccepted items

If your refuse or recycling has not been picked-up as scheduled, please call us at 412-255-2773.

Collection Reminders

To find your collection day or schedule reminders, please visit PGH.ST

PGH.ST

Features:

  • Schedules for trash, recycling and yard debris pickups.
  • Free text and/or email reminders the evening before your scheduled pickup, including holiday delays
  • Monthly calendar view

Refuse

Accepted Materials

In addition to common household trash, we also accept:

  • Chairs, bikes, small appliances
  • Garden tools, end tables, ironing boards
  • Roasters and grills
  • Bulk waste (See bulky waste tab above)

Not Accepted Materials

The City DOES NOT accept:

  • Hazardous, infectious, explosive or flammable material
  • Carpeting installed by a professional
  • Bricks, cement, glass blocks, marble or stone countertops
  • Car and automobile parts, tires
  • Covered electronics devices
  • Freon appliances
  • Batteries, light bulbs, wet or oil-based paints

Set-Out Standards

  • Place refuse out for collection in a container with a tight-fitting lid not exceeding 35 gallons in capacity OR in sealed plastic bags/bundles less than three feet in length
  • Place needles, syringes, and lancets in a hard plastic container with a tight-fitting plastic lid, labeled as medical waste
  • Wrap sharp objects (broken glass/sharp metal) in heavy paper and place in a box reinforced with tape or string
  • Place refuse at the curb no earlier than 7:00 p.m. on the night before collection and no later than 6:00 a.m. on the day of collection

Outdoor Storage

  • Refuse shall be stored until collection in durable, water-tight containers having a close, fitting lid
  • Owner/landlord should have a sufficient number/capacity of containers on the premises to prevent overflow of materials
  • Waste shall not be accumulated on any abutting sidewalk, street or vacant ground

Protect Our Refuse Workers

Did you know? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, refuse/recycling collection is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Look out for our workers and your neighbors:

  • Please stay back 50 feet from refuse and recycling vehicles
  • Slow down and look for workers before you attempt to go around any truck
  • Follow the proper set-out guidelines to prevent work-related injury
  • Do not include any prohibited materials in your curbside trash

For more information on disposal of hazardous items and other safety tips, please call Environmental Services at 412-255-2773.

Bulky Waste

Bulky or large waste items may be set out curbside with your regularly scheduled refuse pick-up.

  • Limit two items per week
  • Place at curb no earlier than 7:00 p.m. on the night before collection and no later than 6:00 a.m. on the day of collection

Accepted Bulky Items

Bulk waste includes common large and over-sized items, such as:

  • Sofas, recliner chairs, tables
  • Box springs, mattresses, dressers
  • Stoves, washers, dryers
  • Toilets, hot water tanks
  • Windows, cabinets
  • Fencing in bundles not exceeding 35 pounds or 5 feet in length

Not Accepted Bulky Items

The City of Pittsburgh DOES NOT collect the following items:

  • Televisions, computers, peripherals
  • Freon appliances
  • Household chemicals/hazardous wastes
  • Demolition and construction wastes
  • Batteries, light bulbs
  • Car and automobile parts, tires

Excessive Bulk Waste

Any excess material and other excessively large items above the two-item limit will NOT be collected unless special pickup arrangements have been made.

  • A minimum cost of $100 for each half-hour applies to special bulk pickups.
    • Personal checks or money orders only. Make checks payable to City of Pittsburgh Treasurer.

Call our office at 412-255-2773 to arrange for a special pickup.

Residential Recycling

All residents of the City of Pittsburgh must separate recyclable items from household trash and package them for bi-weekly recycling curbside collection, per City Code §619.05(a).

What is Accepted?

  • Mixed paper
  • Office paper
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Hardcover / softcover books
  • Catalogs junk mail / phone books
  • Paperboard

Plastic (bottles, jugs and jars #1-5 & 7)

  • Beverage bottles
  • Plastic jugs
  • Food bottles, tubs and jars (3 gallons or less) no styrofoam or #6 plastics
  • No styrofoam or #6 plastics
  • Must be clean and dry. Discard all lids and caps.

Aluminum/steel cans

  • Beer / juice / soda cans
  • Food cans
  • Aerosol cans (must be completely empty)
  • Must be clean and dry

Glass (bottles, jars and jugs)

  • Beer / juice / soda bottles
  • Food jars
  • Wine / spirit bottles
  • Growlers
  • No plate glass (windows) or dinnerware (Pyrex, etc.)
  • Must be clean and dry

Cardboard

  • Must be flattened and either bundled or placed inside of another cardboard box for placement curbside
  • Do not include any heavily-soiled/food waste cardboard (from pizza boxes, etc.)

Commercial Recycling

Business and Institutions

Recycling is mandatory for commercial and institutional establishments in the City of Pittsburgh per City Code §619.05(c) and the Environmental Services Waste Regulations.

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

  • High grade office paper
  • Plastic bottles
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Aluminum cans
  • Leaf waste

Establishments are also encouraged to recycle old newspaper and mixed paper.

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

Reporting Guidelines

Under PA State Act 101 and §619.06(b), 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 hauler is used, then the hauler can provide the tonnage report to the City on behalf of his clients.

Tonnage Forms

Special Event Recycling

Organizers of all special events and community events that expect 200 or more individuals per day are required, under City Code §619.01(f) and §619.06(b), to recycle the following items:

  • Glass bottles
  • Plastic bottles
  • Aluminum and steel cans
  • Corrugated cardboard

You can either:

  1. Hire a private hauler to collect your recycling
  2. Self-haul recyclables collected at your event to a City of Pittsburgh recycling drop-off or a recycling processor
  3. Contact the City of Pittsburgh Recycling Division to determine logistics for the City to collect recycling at the end of your special event (based on availability)

Pre-Event Planning

  • Pack-In/Pack-Out: Talk with your vendors and/or fellow event coordinators to understand who, what, where and how many materials will be generated. Establish ownership of these materials and eliminate waste whenever possible.
  • Develop and coordinate a plan for handling and recycling the materials once collected:
    • Find out what programs or equipment are already available on-site at your venue. Existing infrastructure may be sufficient for your needs.
    • Arrange for the storage and/or return of loaned equipment (City-owned equipment must be returned the following business day).
  • Once you have developed your plan, be sure to actively communicate expectations/availability of recycling and disposal options with your visitors, staff and/or volunteers.

Best Management Practices

  • Always pair your trash and recycling containers together to make disposal options both obvious and convenient for your attendees and to prevent confusion and/or contamination.
  • Use different colored bags for your trash and recycling to make sure separated materials are kept separate throughout the handling process.
  • Break down and flatten any and all corrugated cardboard boxes and place them all on a pallet or designated collection area.

Equipment/Event Support

The City of Pittsburgh’s Recycling Division is available to assist you in recycling at your event.

Assistance provided may include:

  • Determining logistics for recycling
  • Loaning collection equipment
  • Providing collection at end of your event

Event organizers must organize volunteers or provide staff for the collection, maintenance, and supervision of collection containers during your event.

Cost Recovery

In an effort to drive positive outcomes in special event recycling, the City operates under a model of cost recovery to recoup the costs of providing equipment directly to your event.

Please see the Public Works Rate Card to see our current pricing information. We are also willing to waive fees for events/organizers willing to self-service equipment from our office.


Available Equipment

 

Clearstream Recycling Stands

  • Color-coded, collapsible stands with selective opening lids and labels for collecting co-mingled recyclables. How-to-Use
  • Measurements: 40" x 25" x 3/4" (Folded) 40" x 25" x 18" (Opened)

Cube Carts (0.75 yd³)

  • May be used to store and secure up to 25 clearstream stands and lids or to transport materials on-site during the event (Minimum order of 15 clearstream containers to reserve cube carts) 
  • Measurements: 49.25"l x 32.5"w x 38.75"h

Recycling Bags 

  • Recycling bags may also be included upon request at no additional charge (Recommmended minimum bag size 40-45 gal 40" x 46")
  • If you are hosting an event in the City and would like to coordinate equipment or other support from the City of Pittsburgh's Recycling Division, please fill out our online form here.

Materials Recovery Map

Recycling does not stop at the curb. Please use the Materials Recovery Map to find local/convenient options for re-use, recycling or responsible disposal of selected materials.

Information provided is subject to change. Please call ahead to confirm hours and that your specific item is still currently accepted.

Waste Reduction

Want to do more than recycle? There are several easy steps you can take to reduce your waste and conserve valuable resources.

Junk Mail / Phone Books

Catalog Choice
Catalog Choice is a non-profit organization that works on your behalf to process opt-out requests for more than 10,000 catalog/junk mail titles.

DMA Choice
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is a member organization of direct mailers. The DMAChoice is an online tool for consumers to manage their mail preferences and to opt-out of unwanted junk mail.

OptOutPrescreen.com
OptOutPrescreen.com is the Consumer Credit Reporting Industry's website for consumers to opt-in/opt-out of firm offers for credit and insurance.

Yellow Pages Opt-Out
The National Yellow Pages Consumer Choice and Opt-Out site allows residents to opt-out of the delivery of local directory publications.

Go Paperless!

  • For the mail you actually want to receive, opt-in to paperless billing and communications when available.
    • This will cut down on both paper consumption and document destruction (shredding).

Buy Green, Save Green

  • Don't collect any more grocery bags! Invest in re-usable shopping bags or totes to use when you shop.
  • Buy in bulk! Cut down on packaging by avoiding individually wrapped and single-use items when possible. 
    • For perishables, buy only what you need to avoid spoilage.
  • Durable vs disposable: Use a refillable waterbottle, avoid disposable dinnerware and food storage products (paper plates, styrofoam, etc.).

Yard Debris

Biannual Curbside Collection

The City of Pittsburgh offers special curbside collection days twice a year to promote environmentally-friendly disposal of your seasonal yard debris. Please check the collection calendar tab above or visit PGH.ST to schedule reminders for upcoming dates.

We will collect the following items curbside:

  • Leaves
  • Branches (4" diameter or less)
  • Brush
  • Grass

Set-Out

  • Items must be in paper bags weighing less than 35 pounds. No plastic bags!
  • Bundle all branches with fiber twine or natural rope in lengths of 5 feet or less
  • Set these items out at the curb at your regular collection spot before 6:00 a.m. on the morning of the collection day.

Yard waste that does not meet the collection guidelines will be left at the curb.

Drop-Off Locations

City residents may also bring their yard waste to one of our participating drop-off centers, year round.

Locations are open from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday - Friday.

Proof of residency is required. Fees may apply.

  • East End Drop-Off Center 412-665-3609 6814 Hamilton Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15208 (MAP)
  • Hazelwood Drop-Off Center 412-422-6524 40 Melanchton St Pittsburgh, PA 15207 (MAP)
  • West End Drop-Off Center 412-937-3054 1330 Hassler St Pittsburgh, PA 15220 (MAP)
  • Saturday hours may also be available. Call for details.

Accepted Items

  • Leaves
  • Grass
  • Plants
  • Tree trimmings
  • Branches
  • Shrubs - loose or placed in paper bags
  • Christmas trees - no lights or decorations

Unaccepted Items

  • Plastic bags
  • Metal/wire
  • Stones, dirt or rocks
  • Manure
  • Garbage

Animal Control Events Calendar

Generated events calendar will be here.