Recycling Programs You May Not Know About

Posted: July 18, 2011

Information on new recycling programs in Centre County for shingles and plastic plant containers, from Amy Schirf, Education Coordinator, Centre County Solid Waste Authority

This month I thought I would mention two relatively new recycling programs that many residents may not be aware of, and then close the column with some “green tips” that residents have recently passed along to me.  We’ll start with asphalt roofing shingle recycling. 


The Centre County Solid Waste Authority has recently begun an asphalt roofing shingle recycling program.  Shingles are accepted at the Authority’s Transfer Station during regular business hours (8:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday-Saturday). 

The Authority will accept shingles, nails and tar paper only.  Any other material will make the shingles unacceptable for recycling, including any organic material.  

The shingles are shipped to Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. in Patton Township, and re-ground for use in asphalt operations.  The tipping charge for shingles is half of the Authority’s municipal waste tipping fee - $35/ton.   Unacceptable shingles or shingles that are not free of organic material will be charged the full tipping fee of $70/ton.  For more information on shingle recycling, call the Authority’s office at 814-238-7005. 

Plastic Plant Containers

This February, Lowe’s launched a nationwide Garden Center recycling program to help keep rising mounds of plastic nursery containers out of landfills. During a three-month pilot test in 22 stores, Lowe's accepted 230,000 pounds of plastic plant containers for reuse or recycling.  Lowe’s has expanded the recycling program to all stores in the continental United States - more than 1,700 locations.  

Acknowledging that plastic nursery containers are not accepted in Centre County’s recycling program, Lowe’s Garden Center recycling program gives consumer’s a responsible recycling option for their plastic plant containers.  Lowe’s in State College provides a cart for customers to return plastic plant trays, pots and tags, regardless of their condition or where their plants were purchased. 

 Lowe's also provides recycling centers in its stores for customers to recycle rechargeable batteries, cell phones, compact fluorescent light bulbs and plastic shopping bags.

Green Tips

Over the past few months, I have been receiving green tips from residents and I thought this would be a nice time to pass some of them along.

The first tip has to do with reuse and is geared towards those who use the single-cup coffee system, such as the Keurig, Breville or Cuisinart.  Instead of throwing away each individual coffee K cup, why not purchase a reusable single coffee filter?  Just fill the reusable K cup filter with your favorite ground coffee – brew – enjoy - empty - and use over and over again.  Many thanks to Karen O. for the idea.

Another tip has to do with summer and baseball.  The State College Spikes celebrate Going Green Nights at each Tuesday home game.  Fans have the opportunity be “green” by recycling their containers, using water-conserving restrooms and sitting in a stadium made from 75% recycled materials.  And it doesn’t hurt that Medlar Field at Lubrano Park is the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified Ballpark in the country.   

Thanks for recycling!