Recycling & Composting

Recycling and composting are great ways to divert waste from landfills. These resources can help you to get started.


Residential Recycling

Residential recycling is picked up every week in Philadelphia, on the same day as your trash.  You can pick up a blue recycling bin at the University City District office during regular business hours.  Make sure you know what you can and can’t recycle and don’t forget that you can recycle all plastics marked 1-7! RecycleNOW Philadelphia has an even more comprehensive list of what you can recycle, which has been verified with Waste Management, the city’s new recycling partner.

Philadelphia Recycling Awards are now available from Recyclebank. Recycling always rewards us by conserving natural resources, but with the Philadelphia Recycling Rewards program, the more you and your neighbors recycle the more reward points you earn. Stop by the UCD office at 3940 Chestnut St. to pick up your recycling sticker and start earning rewards today.

Recycle your Compact Fluorescent Bulbs.  Recycling CFLs prevents the release of  mercury  into the environment and reuses glass, metals and other materials.  You can drop off your CFLs at area Home Depot stores, at Ikea (2206 S. Columbus Blvd), or at our local sanitation center at 3033 South 63rd Street, Monday-Saturday 8AM to 6PM.

Recycle single use batteries: Size D, C, AA, AAA, and 9 volt are not considered hazardous and can be recycled locally.

Recycle rechargeable computer and cell phone batteries: Rechargeable batteries can be dropped off a number of local businesses.  You can call 877.273.2925 for a list of drop-off sites including Radioshack and the local sanitation center at 3033 South 63rd Street also accepts rechargeable batteries Monday-Saturday, 8AM to 6PM.

Computers and televisions can be brought to our nearest Sanitation Convenience Center at 3033 S. 63rd St., near Passyunk Ave., from Monday-Saturday, 8AM to 6PM. (215-685-4290). Recyclebank will also recycle you electronics, and you’ll get Philadelphia Recycling Rewards points in the process.

Recycle plastic bags with Bring It Back Philly – Keep Philadelphia Beautiful.  The program partners with large supermarkets and pharmacies to provide bins for the return of shopping bags, dry-cleaning bags, bread bags, wraps from paper towels, bathroom tissue, napkins, diapers and even the plastic bag that delivers the newspaper.  Find a location near you!

Use it Again, PA! helps you find businesses that can rent, repair, or reuse your old products.  One of the best ways to minimize your waste is to avoid purchasing a new item in the first place.

Commercial Recycling

Commercial Recycling Regulations apply to all businesses that utilize a private or city waste collection in Philadelphia.

The Recycling Alliance of Philadelphia also a good source of information on commercial recycling.

The Pedal Co-op offers hauling services for recycling, and amazingly, they do it all by bicycle. Recycling pickup costs $0.21 per gallon and can be collected daily, weekly, or as necessary.


Composting is the most environmentally sound way to recycle waste. By composting organic materials, nutrients that would otherwise be relegated to the landfill are returned to the soil. Everyone in University City can compost. Learn how:

Home Composting – An informative guide from the Cornell Waste Management Institute.

Get Compost

Give Compost

  • Compost Map - Philly Compost maintains a great map of composting sites whose owners accept donations from neighbors.
  • Compost Drop off - Community Gardens accept compost. Contacting your closest community garden to see if they'll accept your organic waste. The Summer/Winter Community Garden at Summer & N. 33rd St. does take some food scraps from neighbors. Contact Joe Revlock,

Compost Pickup

  • Bennett Compost is a South Philadelphia based company that offers weekly pickup of 5 gallon compost container for residences for $15/month. Business rates are customized based on frequency and volume. Contact: (215) 520-2406,
  • The Pedal Co-Op will also pick up your compost daily, weekly, or as necessary, and compost it at their facility in West Philadelphia. Rates are $0.83 per gallon and the finished compost is used in community gardens or sold to support the composting facility. Contact: (507) 581-4421.