How to Reduce Waste in PA by Recycling Household Goods

Lawrence Holley, DEPLawrence Holley, DEP (Credit: Commonwealth Media Services)

PENNSYLVANIA — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is reminding Pennsylvania residents that recycling unwanted, gently used items commonly found in households, such as furniture and clothing, is an effective strategy to curb pollution.

“Pennsylvanians have opportunity around them to curb pollution, and they can start by looking in their closets and around their homes,” said Acting DEP Secretary Ramez Ziadeh.

DEP estimates that approximately 10% of the municipal waste stream, or approximately 500,000 tons, is made up of textiles, furniture, and other household goods.

“The potential for recovering much of this waste for recycling/reuse is great,” said DEP Manager of Division of Waste Minimization and Planning Lawrence Holley.

A resource for Pennsylvanians looking for direction and insight on how to properly recycle their household items is the Circular Merchant web platform (www.circularmerchant.com) and mobile application developed by the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center. Circular Merchant is an online exchange platform where interested citizens, businesses, or public officials can post recycled items and materials for others who may be interested in acquiring these items. Circular Merchant is equipped with smart device capabilities such that photos can be immediately uploaded; built-in mapping is available to locate the desired pick-up or send locations, and emails are automatically sent to notify interested parties of postings. The mobile application is available in mobile app stores. With the intent of finding real-time solutions for recycled materials and items, the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center (PRMC), with funding from DEP, launched the Circular Merchant platform.

The Department of Environmental Protection is urging Pennsylvanians to be mindful of ways they can reduce, reuse, and recycle household goods and clothing. One consideration could be shopping at secondhand retailers. Secondhand retailers sell previously used items. The items may be gently used or even new with tags. Either way, the customer is getting a bargain on the item. Plus, they are doing their part to reduce waste and ultimately help the environment. DEP is encouraging everyone to think about ways they can reduce, reuse, and recycle in their everyday lives.

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For more information on recycling programs in Pennsylvania, visit https://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/Land/Waste/Recycling/pages/default.aspx.

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