Trash, Outdoor Burning & Recycling
Residents are required to contract with their own trash hauler who will also provide recycling services. Residential developments managed by a Home Owners Associations (HOA) and mobile home parks may contract with a single hauler for their entire development so please check with your manager for this information.
The Pennsylvania Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, 53 P.S. § 4000.101, et seq., (“Act 101”) mandates that all counties in Pennsylvania are obligated to prepare a Municipal Waste Management Plan which establishes an appropriate system to ensure the proper management, collection, transporting, recycling and disposal of all municipal waste generated within the county, and requires that all counties update their Municipal Waste Management Plan every ten (10) years. Chester County has updated its Municipal Waste Management Plan for the ten-year period 2023-2033 to affirm that the County has adequate permitted waste processing and disposal capacity and update the municipal waste management systems to ensure the proper management, collection, transporting, recycling, and disposal of all municipal waste generated. As required by Act 101, the Plan will be available for public comment from June 12-September 11. There will also be a public hearing on the Plan on August 16 from 5:30-6:30 pm. All information can be found in the “What’s New” section of the Health Department’s home page chesco.org/health.
Outdoor burning of household, commercial or industrial trash or other refuse, leaf waste, yard waste, or recyclable materials that are required to be separated and collected such as newspaper, cardboard, clear glass, and plastics is PROHIBITED. Small controlled fires, such as campfires, are not prohibited.
The Right-to-Farm Act does not prohibit farmers on farms of over 5 acres from carrying out normal and customary activities of farming operations, which occasionally includes open burning. However, a farmer may NOT burn any household waste, refuse or recyclables generated from any residence. The Right-to-Farm Act also permits the use of newspaper for bedding for farm animals, and the composting and spreading of manure or other farm-produced agricultural wastes, provided that such activities are conducted in accordance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
The burning of toxic materials of any kind including treated lumber, tires, plastic, etc. is strictly PROHIBITED.
Fires shall be monitored at all times and a readily available source of water must be nearby in case of emergency.
Recycling is Mandatory
Pennsylvania and Honey Brook Township regulations require all residential, commercial, institutional and municipal properties to separate recyclable materials from their waste and have it properly collected and processed.
Residential collection of recyclable materials shall be provided at least once each week by your contracted trash collector. Items to be recycled by all residential units including mobile home parks and apartments include Glass containers, Cans. Plastics: No. 1 to No. 5 and No. 7, Paper: newspaper, books, catalogs, magazines, junk mail, paper, envelopes, and Cardboard boxes and containers. Check with your collector to learn whether additional items may be recycled.
Leaf and Yard Waste – Your trash collector is required to collect leaf and yard waste at least once in the Spring and twice during the months of September through December. Check with your hauler for their schedule. You also have the option of disposing leaf waste by taking it to the Chester County Lanchester Landfill Composting Site.
Commercial, industrial and institutional property owners / operators plus the sponsor of any community special event or other activity shall at a minimum separate all of the items required of residents listed above plus high-grade office paper and corrugated cardboard.
These materials may be stored until collected. The property owner / operator shall annually provide written documentation to the Township of the types of materials and the total tons of materials that were recycled. This documentation is due no later than the end of January for the prior calendar year.
When In Doubt, Throw It Out!
Please, please throw it out! That may not be the message you want to hear near Earth Day, but the truth is “too zealous recyclers have contaminated the recyclables with trash.” They are ruining the ability to market the material nationwide. Chester County residents are great recyclers, but shouldn’t be tempted to be too passionate putting items in the bin that do not belong and “trashing” the recyclables. Properly prepared and collected recyclables are valued commodities sold on a global market. When too many non-recyclables (trash) are mixed in with the recyclables it all becomes trash, because it is too costly to separate and requires disposal at a landfill. Meanwhile, too much money has been spent on collection, transportation and processing material that wasn’t worth collecting in the first place.
Scrap metal, hangers, pieces of rope or hose, pieces of wood, yard waste and children’s toys are just a few of the items that “contaminate” the recyclables. Scrap metal may be taken to a scrap dealer, yard waste should be composted, and reusable children’s toys may be donated or thrown away if broken. Do not put them in the recycling bins.
Plastic bags present another problem. Recyclables should never be put in plastic bags. Plastic bags are not recyclable in curbside programs. They jam the source separating equipment at recycling facilities. Plastic shopping bags can be returned to your local grocery store and plastic trash bags should be used for trash only not recyclables.
Most curbside programs in Chester County collect mixed paper, flattened corrugated cardboard cut down to 18” x 24”, glass bottles and jars, steel and aluminum cans, plastic bottles and containers #1-5 plus 7. Our programs also collect clean aluminum foil and pie tins and empty steel aerosol cans. No Styrofoam, polystyrene, foam. Everything else should be thrown away and that’s okay. Only plastic containers and bottles with recycling symbols can be recycled. If there is no recycling symbol, throw it out. Most recyclables will come from the kitchen or the mail as paper or corrugated cardboard. If you really want to do something positive for the planet, do it right. If in doubt, throw it out!
Click here for information on difficult-to-dispose-of items.
Click here for information about Staples “Tech Take Back” Event running April 16 – June 3, 2023.
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collections
The Chester County Solid Waste Authority (CCSWA) has announced its four HHW Collection dates for 2023. Click here for all the details. Preregistration is required and is open for all four events at the CCSWA website.
Disposing of Old Televisions & Computers
If you are interested in recycling an old television or computer, you may do so at the Lanchester Landfill, located at 7224 Division Highway (Route 322), Narvon. Please note:
- Limit of (1) TV per household,
- NO PROJECTION TVs,
- You must show ID that you are a resident in the Lanchester service area, and
- Computers and computer peripherals still have a maximum of 3 items.
This change is necessary, until further notice, due to serious capacity limitations. It is still a free service.
This page was last updated on June 21, 2023.