Recycling is an essential part of bettering the environment; the more items are recycled, the less garbage winds up in landfills and incineration plants.

By reusing aluminum, paper, glass, plastics, and other materials, we can save production and energy costs and reduce the negative environmental impacts of processing virgin materials.

According to EPA data, recycling one ton of office paper can save the energy equivalent of consuming 322 gallons of gasoline. Also, recycling just one ton of aluminum cans conserves more than 152 million Btu, the equivalent of 1,024 gallons of gasoline or 21 barrels of oil consumed.

While this is good for the environment, recycling is not always an easily accessible service for every household, and recycling options differ depending on where you live.

In honor of National Recycling Day, here’s what you need to know about recycling and the different services that will handle your needs in Erie County:

What can I recycle?

According to Erie County recycling guidelines, these are the items allowed recycled:

  • Newspaper
  • Full-sized sheets of office paper
  • Cardboard (flattened)
  • Paperboard boxes, from snacks or cereal (flattened)
  • Plastic bottles
  • Plastic jugs
  • Plastic jars
  • Aluminum drink cans
  • Metal food cans

These are the items not allowed to be recycled:

  • Plastic bags
  • Styrofoam
  • Glass – Few outlets accept recycled glass, which has a high recycling cost thanks to its weight and potential to contaminate the stream.
  • Other plastics – Not all plastics are recyclable. Erie Co. labels plastics numbered 3 through 7 as non-recyclable.

Residential collection services in Erie Co.

  • Tri-County Industries
    • Edinboro Borough
  • Waste Management
    • Fairview Township
    • Girard Borough
    • Girard Township
    • Harborcreek Township
    • Lake City Borough
    • Lawrence Park Township
    • City of Corry
    • Millcreek Township

Residential collection services from a municipal government

Recycling drop-off locations

  • Waste Management Single Stream Drop-off
    • Monday- Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    • 1154 W 16th St, Erie
    • 814-456-7800
  • Waste Management Single Stream Drop-off
    • Mondays 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • 851 Robinson Road East, Erie, PA (across from Lakeview Landfill)
    • 814-824-7800
  • Pro Waste Separated Drop-off
    • 613 East 18th Street, Erie, PA
    • 814-455-5119
  • Franklin Township Fire Department
    • 10411 PA-98, Edinboro, PA 16412
    • 814-734-5444
  • Recycling events around the area

Where can I recycle glass?

Prism Recycling offers multiple drop-off locations around Erie Co. to dispose of glass; however, they will only accept rinsed glass bottles and jars without corks, caps, or lids. You can learn more about what glass products you can recycle and where their drop-offs are located from their website.

Where can I recycle electronics?

  • Best Buy accepts some small electronic items, though all Pennsylvania Best Buy stores no longer accept computer monitors and televisions. Learn more by going to the Best Buy Electronics and Appliances Recycling page or call 814-860-8487.
  • Goodwill has partnered with Dell to provide free drop-off recycling of any brand of used computer equipment. Drop-offs are accepted at Goodwill’s locations in Summit Towne Center, on West 26th Street or on Nagle Road.
  • Staples accept some electronic items, specifically those connected with computers. These items will be accepted for free, limited to seven items per person. For information, visit the Staples Recycling page or call 814-868-4901. However, Staples does not accept televisions.
  • Penelec, through the Energy Efficiency Rebate program, will take working refrigerators and freezers when you purchase a new one. For more information, see the Appliance Turn-In Program
  • Lincoln Recycling, 1602 Selinger Avenue, accepts some electronics, including computer monitors and televisions. Fees apply. Call 814-838-7628 for more details
  • ProWaste, 813 East 18th Street, accepts televisions and computers. Fees apply. Call 814-835-2739 for more details.

Where can I recycle hazardous waste?

The Erie County Recycling Program sponsors Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Collection events, operated by Noble Environmental Specialty Recycling. The collections are open to all Erie County residents. You can learn more information about where these collections are held online.

Not every person in Erie Co. is able to use all of these services for their recycling needs. Some households are able to use their township/government’s provided service, some use private collection services, and some have to use drop-off spots as their service.

Depending on what township you live in will determine the recycling options available to you. For additional information on the recycling services provided in your area, contact your local township.

To learn more about recycling guidelines in Erie Co., head to their website.