"Waste production multiplied tenfold over the last century and will likely double again by 2025. (2017)" About half of waste is generated at the household level. We can reduce consumption and trash with brush pickup, composting, properly recycling and disposing of waste, donations, & recycling "Beyond the Blue Bin."
Zero waste is not necessarily eliminating all waste but starts from changing one's mindset about consumption and waste in general. There are many steps a household can take. Every step helps.
Loose, clean and dry. Never in a plastic bag. Recycling can be confusing. There are recycling symbols on items that cannot be recycled in our blue bins. Sometimes we "wishcycle" - putting in something we think should be recyclable. It is actually better to recycle ONLY what is on the approved list.
Learn why properly disposing of refrigerant-containing appliances is so important and how to do it. Various options for electronic waste disposal and hazardous waste disposal are provided.
Learn how to recycle items that can't be recycled in our curbside bins: natural corks, foil lined chip bags, foil and scrap metal, toothpaste tubes and more!
There are many options available to donate goods. Learn how to offer these items to your neighbors online, about nonprofits that are looking for those items, and traditional donation organizations.
All trash is incinerated at Covanta Incinerator in Chester, PA. It generates electricity as it incinerates, hence the term "Trash to Steam". The end result is ash, that is then landfilled. As of 2019 Covanta is starting to use Total Ash Processing System (TAPS), which can separate ash to be further used in asphalt or concrete mixtures. There is a grassroots movement against environmental racism and lack of state-of-the art environmental controls at the Covanta Plant in Chester
Brush collected in Haverford Township is composted into a usable product - mulch. As a township we do not pay any tipping fees for this waste stream (paying to have it taken). Save those branches and prunings for brush pickup!
Our recycling is sorted at a material recovery facility in King of Prussia. Items that do not belong in the curbside bin are contamination in the recycling stream.
Bulk pick-up items are separated into different waste streams: trash, scrap metal, electronic waste, and refrigerant waste. Bulk pick-up is available through the township for a fee. The fee is determined by the item and starts at $18.
We pay for our leaves to be trucked away and be composted at a farm. The prior Haverford Township onsite leaf composting program was stopped due to odor complaints.
Our wastewater is treated at the Philadelphia Southwest Water Pollution control plant. Solid wastes are digested and turned into fertilizer pellets. Methane is captured and heats 22 buildings. Treated water is released into the Delaware river.