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Berks County > Municipalities > Muhlenberg Township



A Guide for Businesses, Institutions and Schools

Benefits of Recycling

  •  Recycling conserves energy and natural resources such as trees.  It also conserves valuable landfill space, thus prolonging the life of existing landfills.
  • Recycling enhances an organization's public image and gains the goodwill of the community.
  • Recycling will help us to acheive the Commonwealth's goal of reducing the total municipal solid waste stream by 25 percent.
  • Recycling may reduce an establishment's overall waste disposal costs.
  • Finally, it's the law.

What is the Law?


Requirements for recycling in commercial, institutional and municipal establishments and for community activities are specified under Section 1501 (c)(1)(iii) of Pennsylvania's "Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act" Act 101 of 1988.

1501 Requirements

1.         Commercial, Institutional and municipal establishments located within municipalities that are required to recycle must implement reycyling programs.  This also             pertains to community activities (such as fairs and organized sports events) held within municipalities required to recycle.

2.         Materials that must be separated are:  high-grade office paper, aluminum, corrugated paper, and leaf waste.  These materials must be stored until collection.

3.         A municipality may exempt a commercial, institutional or municipal establishment from its recycling requirements IF:

            A.         The establishment has provided for recycling of the required materials,


             B.         Documentation of the weight of the recycled materials is reported annually to the municipality.

4.         In most cases, collection of recyclable materials must be arranged by each commercial, institutional or municipal establishment.  A municipality is not obligated to collect recyclables from these establishements and community activities IF:

            A.         The municipality does not collect or transport municipal waste from the establishments and activities.

            B.         The municipality does not contract for collection and transportation of municipal waste from the establishments and activities.

            C.         The municipality has adopted a recycling ordinance.


            D.         The establishments and recycling activities are in compliance with 1501.

5.         Lead acid (automotive) batteries may not be disposed of with mixed municipal solid waste.  These batteries must be taken to a battery retailer or wholesaler, or to       a collection or recycling facility, or to a secondary lead smelter approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In Act 101, Leaf Waste Includes:

Leaves, garden residues, shrubbery and tree trimmings.  But does not include grass clippings.

Local Governments may also require commercial and institutional establishments to recycle additional items listed in Act 101, including glass containers (clear and colored); newsprint, plastics, and steel and bi-metallic cans.

Adopted 20th of August 1990

Sections pertaining to Commercial, Institutional & Municipal Establishements are as follows:

Section B:
All persons owning, leasing, operating, managing and/or otherwise controlling commercial, municipal or institutional establishments,or community activities, shall separate high grade office paper, aluminum, corrugated paper, and leaf waste, collect the same and arrange for the removal of such materials to a center for recyclable materials.  Annual reports, in writing, of the number of tons of such material recycled shall be made to the Township by the 15th day of January of the following year.

Section 11:
Persons owning, leasing, operating or managing commercial, institutional or municipal establishments withing the boundaries of the Township, who have provided for, or who hereafter provide for, the recycling of materials required to be recycled by the terms of this Ordinance, or by the terms of the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act of the Commonwealth, are hereby exempt from the terms of this Ordinance.  To be eligible for the foregoing exemption, a commercial, institutional or municipal establishment generating municipal waste must annually provide written documentation to the Township of the total number of tons recycled by the fifteenth day of January of each year.

Creating a Recycling Program
The Berks County Solid Waste Authority Executive Director, Jane Meeks, 610-478-6362 is available to give advice for all your recycling information and needs.  Additionally the Township coordinates its recycling program through the Codes and Engineering Dept. through Administrative Assistant Judy Zettlemoyer at 610-929-5433 ext. 253 who coordinates all recycling data and required forms for compliance with State Law and Township Ordinances.  You may also go online and visit the DEP Website for additional information regarding recycling programs for business, institutions and industry.