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Recycling : Commercial

Commercial - General Information

General Information

Why do I have to fill out the Commercial Solid Waste and Recycling Plan?  

  • The City of Philadelphia has updated the Commercial Solid Waste and Recycling Plan from the old paper form to a streamlined electronic version. To ensure the Recycling Office has the most complete information all businesses are required to submit the new electronic plan.
  • Recycling within businesses has been the law throughout Philadelphia since 1994. It is required under Pennsylvania Act 101 and City Ordinance 1251(A). Compliance requires:
  • Filing a Recycling Plan on-line which includes accurate and complete information.
  • Post the Certificate in a conspicuous location and ensure it is readily available for inspection upon request.
  • Distribute pertinent information included in the Recycling Plan to each employee/ tenant to ensure awareness regarding the materials recycled and method for collection.
  • Actively comply with the provisions in the Recycling Plan established for the building which includes proper recycling of the required materials generated within normal operation.
What information do I need to complete the recycling plan?  

  • Each business will need the BR T # to fill out the form. Your BR T # can be found on the envelope you received the mailing in, or you can look it up through the BR T web site at
  • Your hauler service information, including your account number.
  • Property owner/ manager information.
  • Types of materials you recycle due to generation within daily practices.
If I did not receive a letter from the City, how do I fill out the new Commercial Solid Waste and Recycling Plan?  

  • The first step is to visit the web site which will direct you to the form, Please read the letter on the opening page and at the bottom click on the "Fill the Form" button.
  • This brings you to an online form where you need to provide information regarding your management, business type, materials recycled within the business and the hauler information. At the bottom of the form page is a button, "click to submit and print", please be sure to click this button.
  • Once you click on this button you will be unable to make changes to the information submitted. The information compiled will appear in the certificate printed.
  • The certificate must be posted within the business in order to gain compliance.
I cannot get online to fill out the plan/ don’t understand how to fill out the plan.  

  • You can use your local branch of the Philadelphia Library to access the Internet.
  • Ask a family member or friend with Internet experience to assist you.
  • Please call (215) 686-5444 and someone will help you with the plan now if you have your BRT # (which is with your mailing address on the envelope the letter came in) and you need to have your hauler information available.
What do I do if I make changes within my business and need to alter the Commercial Solid Waste and Recycling Plan I already filed?  

Please email to make the appropriate alterations.

Do I still have to fill out the new electronic form if I already filled out the old form?  

Yes. We are in the process of updating our database to verify that you are in compliance. Failure to file the new electronic plan is equivalent to non-compliance and may result in a citation.
Business Recycling How -To: What materials do I have to recycle?   

You are required to recycle any mandated recyclable materials that are generated within the normal operation of your business. For most, this includes; paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, metal cans. If your business generates additional items on a regular basis such as concrete, lumber, motor oil or food waste then you must also recycle them appropriately.
Do I have to use the same hauler for my trash and recycling?  

Not necessarily.

  • If you have private hauler service you should contact your hauler for further information. The hauler will determine ability to use separate service.
  • If the City of Philadelphia picks up your trash then the city services your location for recycling.
Do I have to/ Can I put all my recyclables together for my business like I do at home?  

That depends upon your hauler service. If the City of Philadelphia picks up your trash, then the city services your location for recycling which means you can set your materials out for single stream curbside collection just as the residences throughout the city do. 

If you have a private hauler service for trash then you must have private hauler collection service for recycling. Contact your hauler to decide the best method for collection based on your business needs.
Am I able to mix my trash and recycling together and have a service in which the hauler separates the recycling from the trash for my business off site later?  

Absolutely not. Currently there is not a facility on the East Coast licensed or capable of separating the recycling from the trash. The separation must happen at your business and hauled away separately. Your recycling and trash cannot be collected together in one container and then separated from one another at an off site location.

Can I just take my trash and recyclables home?  

No. Under the City of Philadelphia Regulations you cannot take materials from your business to your residence for disposal. Refuse must be set out at the location where it is generated. Properties deemed non-compliant are subject to all the applicable fines and penalties.
Can I bring my trash and recycling to a waste facility on my own?  

No. Under the Commercial Regulations you cannot. You must be a licensed hauler registered with the City of Philadelphia to haul trash/ recycling. A hauler license is required for transporting your recyclables or waste to a recycling facility or landfill. The disposal locations will not allow unlicensed private vehicles onto the premises.
How can I make a request for educational assistance regarding compliance under the Recycling Regulations?  

You can email with the request.