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Upper Gwynedd Township has initiated a leaf and yard waste recycling program to comply with the new DEP requirements.

Upper Gwynedd Township has started a leaf and yard waste recycling program this Fall in response to new requirements initiated by the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The need for the new program arose when the DEP added leaf and yard waste to those materials that must be recycled.

Communities that apply for recycling grants are being required to initiate curbside leaf and yard waste recycling programs or risk losing grant money that the Township earns by recycling glass, plastic, aluminum, steel cans, and newspaper. The amount of grant money awarded will not increase from leaf and yard waste collection.

To comply with the new requirements, Upper Gwynedd Township has established the following program:

  1. Residents must purchase biodegradable leaf and yard waste collection bags. These collection bags can be found at home stores (Home Depot, Lowes) and some grocery stores.
  2. Waste haulers must advise their customers of specific dates for pick-up. The first collection will be in late October, the second in November, and the third in May.
  3. Residents will be limited to ten or less bags per collection.
  4. Customers can be billed by their haulers for this DEP-mandated collection. There is no fee or billing required by the Township for this service.
  5. Haulers are required to report the tonnage collected from each collection to Upper Gwynedd Township so that the amount collected can be forwarded to the DEP.
  6. Property owners may continue to compost if they wish. However, leaf and yard waste can not be co-mingled with your household trash with this PaDEP mandate.

While any community can recycle, State law requires recycling in all municipalities with over 5,000 residents. Municipalities are rewarded for the amount they recycle: the more they recycle, the more grant money they receive. In the past, communities generally avoided collecting leaf and yard waste because of the high cost of equipment and the impact on public works manpower. This has changed. Now the State is requiring communities to collect leaf and yard waste at curbside but is not including leaf tonnage to recycling award.

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