Blue Recycling Bin Distribution Phase 3 to Begin August 17


Last updated 8/17/2021 at 8:05am

The City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works Environmental Services Division will begin phase 3 of its distribution of 32-gallon blue curbside recycling bins to city residents on August 17. The distribution program is part of a transition away from a bag-based recycling program into a bin-based collection method. 

The Blue Bin Rollout program began in the fall of 2020. Over a two-year period, the City of Pittsburgh is distributing over 100,000 blue recycling bins to those they service – single family homes, duplexes and apartment buildings with five or fewer units – with a goal of becoming "Bag Free by '23."

This third phase will serve homes in the remaining central and eastern neighborhoods. Residents of South Pittsburgh neighborhoods will receive their bins in spring 2022.

"The City of Pittsburgh is now offering residents a method that makes it easy for people to create the habit of single-stream recycling, which allows residents to combine all recyclable materials in one container," said Mayor William Peduto. "Blue bins offer many advantages such as saving on costs for both residents and the city, providing high-value recyclables to the circular economy and cutting contamination." 

Prior to receiving the new recycling bins, residents will receive notification via U.S. Mail announcing when to anticipate the arrival of their new blue curbside recycling containers, along with information on what can and cannot be placed in the bin. 

Rehrig Pacific Company – which is manufacturing the bins in Pennsylvania – will deliver a 32-gallon blue recycling bin with tight-fitting lid to each designated residence. Each bin will come with an information packet describing its proper use, and each bin will be scanned and linked to a specific address. Up to two 18-gallon totes are available as an alternative for medical exemption. Qualifying individuals must contact 311 City Response Center to request totes. 

When using the blue bins, residents must loosely place recyclables in the bins without plastic bags, which can jam up equipment at processing facilities. Residents can deposit into the bins glass and plastic bottles, jugs and jars (lids removed), aluminum and steel cans, and mixed paper. Clean cardboard must be flattened, boxed and placed next to the bin. 

A series of webinars on how to recycle correctly with the City of Pittsburgh were hosted earlier this year and a video is available at Residents can learn more about the Blue Bin Rollout program and recycling in the City of Pittsburgh by visiting the website at or by contacting 311.

Funding for the Blue Bin Rollout is provided in part by grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, The Recycling Partnership and Mayor Peduto's commitment to move the city toward zero waste.


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