A ‘Growing Waste Crisis’ in PA Calls for Recycling Overhaul

From left: Scott McGrath, Darren Spielman, Faran Savitz, Kyle Lewis and Mike Zabel.
Image via Kimberly Paynter,WHYY.
Discussing a new plan to improve recycling in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are (from left) Scott McGrath, Environmental Services Director for the Philadelphia Streets Department; Darren Spielman, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Resources Council; Faran Savitz, zero-waste advocate with PennEnvironment; Kyle Lewis,Recycling Director for the Streets Department; and Pa. state representative Mike Zabel.

Environmental advocates say Pennsylvania is in a “growing waste crisis,” and blame a decades-old recycling law, writes Sophia Schmidt for WHYY.

“We live in a much different world than we did in 1988,” when Pennsylvania’s recycling law was signed, said Darren Spielman, executive director of the Pennsylvania Resources Council.

Advocates are supporting efforts by Delaware County State Rep. Mike Zabel to expand recycling options for items like electronics waste.

“If you’re like me and a lot of people I know, somewhere in your house or your apartment is a junk drawer or a box full of electronics that you didn’t throw out because that felt wrong, but you didn’t know what to do with them,” Zabel said.

“Right now, recycling electronics is expensive and it’s hard to do. We want to make it easy.”

Pennsylvania Resources Council and PennEnvironment released a report with over a dozen recommendations for new programs, new legislation or amendments to state law.

Recommendations include expanding recycling options to all Pennsylvania municipalities. Right now, fewer than 500 municipalities are required to offer recycling.

Other recommendations include a new landfill ban on highly recyclable items like aluminum cans and more incentives for food waste composting.

Read more at WHYY about efforts to modernize state recycling efforts.

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