Subchapter E. MUNICIPAL RECYCLING PROGRAMS
REQUIRED RECYCLING PROGRAMS
272.411. Affected municipalities.
272.421. Program elements.
272.422. Municipal ordinance.
272.423. Public information and education.
272.426. Alternative to curbside program.
This subchapter cited in 25 Pa. Code § 272.226 (relating to description of recyclable materials).
§ 272.401. Scope.
This subchapter sets forth the Departments requirements for the establishment and operation of municipal recycling programs.
The provisions of this § 272.401 adopted October 9, 1992, effective October 10, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 5105.
REQUIRED RECYCLING PROGRAMS
§ 272.411. Affected municipalities.
(a) By September 26, 1990, a municipality other than a county that has a population of 10,000 or more shall establish and implement a source separation and collection program for recyclable materials in accordance with this subchapter.
(b) By September 26, 1991, a municipality other than a county that has a population of more than 5,000 but less than 10,000 and which has a population density of more than 300 per square mile, shall establish and implement a source separation and collection program for recyclable materials in accordance with this subchapter.
(c) For purposes of this section, population shall be determined by the most recent decennial census by the Bureau of the Census of the United States Department of Commerce.
(d) The results of the 2000 census, or a subsequent decennial census, shall affect a municipalitys obligation to establish and implement a recycling program under this subchapter only as follows:
(1) A municipality that meets requirements of subsection (a) or (b) but which was not required by the previous decennial census to conduct a recycling program, shall establish and implement a source separation and collection program in accordance with this subchapter within 2 years after the census data becomes official.
(2) A municipality that no longer meets the requirements of subsection (a) or (b) based on the most recent decennial census, but which was required by the previous decennial census to conduct a recycling program, may discontinue the program.
The provisions of this § 272.411 adopted October 9, 1992, effective October 10, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 5105; amended December 22, 2000, effective December 23, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 6685. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (226139) to (226140).
§ 272.421. Program elements.
The source separation program shall include, at a minimum, the following elements:
(1) An ordinance or regulation adopted by the governing body of the municipality, in accordance with § 272.422 (relating to municipal ordinance).
(2) A scheduled day during which separated materials are to be placed for collection at the curbside. Collection shall be at least once per month for materials other than leaf waste. Collection for leaf waste shall be scheduled as appropriate. If no curb exists, separated materials shall be placed at a location similar to the curb where they may be collected easily.
(3) A system, including trucks and related equipment, that collects recyclable materials from the curbside or similar location at least once per month from each residence or other person generating municipal waste in the municipality.
(4) A public information and education program, in accordance with § 272.423 (relating to public information and education).
(5) Provisions for the recycling of collected materials.
§ 272.422. Municipal ordinance.
(a) The ordinance or regulation adopted by the governing body of the municipality shall contain the following requirements:
(1) Persons shall separate at least three materials from municipal waste generated at their homes, apartments and other residential establishments, and shall store the materials until collection. The three materials shall be designated in the ordinance, and shall be chosen from the following: clear glass, colored glass, aluminum, steel and bimetallic cans, high-grade office paper, newsprint, corrugated paper and plastics.
(2) Persons shall separate leaf waste from municipal waste generated at their homes, apartments and other residential establishments until collection, unless those persons have otherwise provided for the composting of leaf waste.
(3) Persons shall separate high grade office paper, aluminum, corrugated paper and leaf waste generated at commercial, municipal or institutional establishments and from community activities, and store the materials until collection. The ordinance may designate additional materials for recycling.
(b) The ordinance shall allow an owner, landlord or agent of an owner or landlord of multifamily rental housing properties with four or more units to comply with its responsibilities under this subchapter by establishing a collection system for recyclable materials at each property. The collection system shall include suitable containers for collecting and sorting materials, easily accessible locations for the containers and written instructions to the occupants concerning the use and availability of the collection system. Owners, landlords and agents of owners or landlords who comply with the ordinance under this subsection are not liable for the noncompliance of occupants of their buildings.
(c) The ordinance shall exempt persons occupying commercial, institutional and municipal establishments within its municipal boundaries from the ordinance if the following requirements are met:
(1) The persons have otherwise provided for the recycling of materials that they are required by this subchapter and the ordinance to recycle.
(2) The persons annually provide written documentation to the municipality of the amount of municipal waste generated as well as the type and weight of materials that were recycled in the previous calendar year.
(d) Nothing in the ordinance or regulation may impair the ownership of separated materials by the persons who generated them until separated materials are placed at curbside or similar location for collection by the municipality or its agents.
The provisions of this § 272.422 adopted October 9, 1992, effective October 10, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 5105.
§ 272.423. Public information and education.
(a) A municipality subject to this subchapter shall establish a comprehensive and sustained public information and education program concerning recycling program features and requirements. As part of this program, a municipality shall, at least 30 days prior to the initiation of the recycling program and at least once every 6 months thereafter, notify persons occupying residential, commercial, institutional and municipal premises within its boundaries of the requirements of the ordinance. This notice shall include an explanation of how the system will operate, the dates of collection, and responsibilities of persons within the municipality and incentives and penalties.
(b) The governing body of a municipality may place an advertisement in a newspaper circulating in the municipality, post a notice in a public place where public notices are customarily posted, including a notice with other official notifications periodically mailed to residential taxpayers, or utilize a combination of the foregoing.
The provisions of this § 272.423 adopted October 9, 1992, effective October 10, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 5105.
§ 272.424. Implementation.
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a municipality shall implement its responsibilities for collection, transportation, processing and marketing materials under this subchapter in one or more of the following ways:
(1) Collect, transport, process or market materials as required by this subchapter.
(2) Enter into contracts with other persons or license other persons for the collection, transporting, processing or marketing of materials as required by this subchapter. A person who enters into a contract or is licensed under this subsection shall be responsible with the municipality for the implementation of this section.
(b) Nothing in this subchapter requires a municipality to collect, transport, process and market materials or to contract for the collection, transportation, processing and marketing of materials from an establishment or activity if the following are met:
(1) The municipality is not collecting and transporting municipal waste from the establishment or activity.
(2) The municipality has not contracted for the collection and transportation of municipal waste from the establishment or activity.
(3) The municipality has adopted an ordinance as required by this subchapter, and the establishment or activity is in compliance with this subchapter.
§ 272.425. Preference.
In implementing its recycling program, a municipality shall accord consideration for the collection, marketing and disposition of recyclable material to persons engaged in the business of recycling on September 26, 1988, whether or not the persons were operating for profit.
§ 272.426. Alternative to curbside program.
(a) The governing body of a municipality that is required by this subchapter to develop and implement a curbside recycling program may request the Department to approve an alternative recycling program. This alternative may include recycling services by a municipal waste landfill or resource recovery facility, or recycling facility.
(b) The Department will not approve an alternative recycling program unless the municipality demonstrates the following to the Departments satisfaction:
(1) The facility in which recycling would be performed has a municipal waste management permit from the Department under this article.
(2) The facility, or a substantially similar model of the facility, has effectively processed municipal waste in the United States for at least 2 years. To meet this requirement, a facility shall have:
(i) Operated at no less than 90% of its capacity for the 2-year period, and processed municipal waste during this period that is substantially similar to waste generated by the requesting municipality that would be processed in the future.
(ii) Recycled and marketed 25% of waste that is received and be capable of recycling 25% of waste in the future, based on contractual arrangements and other factors. Products derived from municipal waste which will be incinerated, whether for energy production or not, or products derived and then disposed, do not qualify as a contribution to the 25% recycling requirement. Materials extracted from municipal waste for recycling purposes, including compost, and marketed qualify.
(3) The materials recovered or created by the facility can be marketed as readily as materials collected through a curbside program. The operator shall show where materials are sent for recycling during the life of the demonstration period, even if it is not the same facility.
(4) The alternative program is preferable to a curbside recycling program, based on a detailed analysis of the comparative economic costs, including avoided costs, and environmental benefits of each program.
(c) Immediately upon filing the request, the municipality shall publish a written notice of its request for at least 1 week in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the municipality is located. The notice shall include a brief description of the nature of the alternative program and the municipialitys economic and environmental justification for the alternative program.
(d) A request for approval of an alternative recycling program may not be construed to allow the delay or suspension of development or implementation of a curbside recycling program pending the Departments decision on the request. An approval of an alternative recycling program may not be construed to allow the delay or suspension of development or implementation of a curbside recycling program pending the availability for use of the alternative program.
(e) The Department may revoke approval granted under this section if the alternative recycling program is not meeting the requirements of this section or is not operating in accordance with the terms of the municipalitys request to the Department under this section.
The provisions of this § 272.426 adopted October 9, 1992, effective October 10, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 5105; amended December 22, 2000, effective December 23, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 6685. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (226143) to (226144).
§ 272.427. Exemption.
(a) A municipality may apply to the Department for an exemption for the requirements of this subchapter.
(b) The Department will not grant an exemption unless the municipality demonstrates the following to the Departments satisfaction:
(1) The municipality has exercised its best efforts to implement a curbside recycling program required by this subchapter for at least 2 years after it was required to establish and implement the program.
(2) The municipality has made timely grant applications to the Department under § 272.331 (relating to scope of grant).
(3) Reasonable and necessary costs of operating the required recycling program exceed the sum of the following:
(i) Income from the sale or use of collected material.
(ii) Grant money received from the Department under § 272.331.
(iii) Avoided costs of municipal waste processing or disposal.
(c) If the Department approves a request, the municipality is exempt from the requirements of this subchapter on or after the date of the Departments approval. The municipality shall immediately pay to the Department an amount equal to the depreciated value of capital equipment, buildings or other structures or facilities that were constructed or obtained through Departmental grants under § 272.331. The municipality shall pay to the Department within 5 years an amount equal to the depreciated value of capital equipment purchased with funds provided by the Department under § 272.331, less percentage contributions by the municipality for the purchase of the capital equipment, or the municipality shall convey within 90 days the capital equipment to the Department.
(d) A municipality to which the Department has granted an exemption under this section shall be entitled to raise an affirmative defense to certain Department enforcement actions as provided in section 1712 of the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act (35 P. S. § 4000.1712).
The provisions of this § 272.427 adopted October 9, 1992, effective October 10, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 5105.
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