Why recycling?

Recycling Helps Our Economy


Recycling manufacturing involves the conversion of recyclables into new products.  The primary recycling industries in Pennsylvania are steel mills, paper and paperboard mills, plastic converters, glass container plants, and nonferrous metal manufacturers.  These and other recycling manufacturers employ more than 64,000 people with a payroll of almost $2.5 billion, and annual sales of more than $15.5 billion.

Recycling Creates Jobs!


Reuse and manufacturing focuses on the refurbishing and repair of products.  The largest activities are retail sales of used motor vehicle parts and used merchandise.  Reuse and remanufacturing contributes to more than 7,000 jobs, a payroll of more than $115 million, and sales of more than $500  million annually. 

And More Jobs!


Municipal and private collectors, material recovery and composting facilities, and recyclable material wholesalers employ nearly 10,000 people in Pennsylvania with a payroll of $284 million and annual sales of $2.4 billion.

And Even More Jobs!


Support businesses that provide goods and services to the recycling and reuse establishments also contribute to Pennsylvania's economy.  Recycling and reuse equipment manufacturers, consulting/engineering services, brokers and transporters contribute an additional 13,297 jobs and $1.8 billion in annual receipts.

Recycling Contributes to State Revenues


Pennsylvania tax revenues from recycling and reuse businesses are estimated at $305 million per year.

Recycling Means Business in Pennsylvania


Recycling and Reuse Establishments         3,247

Recycling and Reuse Employment  81,322 jobs

                        Annual Sales Receipts  $18.4 billion

                                           Annual Payroll  $2.9 billion

                                      Indirect Benefits  $1.8 billion

                          Taxes to General Fund  $0.3 billion

Recycling Works for You!

If I Recycle...


Automobiles, appliances, and cans (steel)


Automobiles, wire, and bicycle frames

If I Recycle...


Milk jugs and laundry detergent bottles (HOPE plastic)


Decks, lumber, and toys

If I Recycle...


Glass bottles and jars


Bottles and jars, glass tiles, and fiberglass insulation

If I Recycle...


Cardboard, office paper, and newspaper


New boxes, greeting cards, and newsprint.

If I Recycle...


Soda bottles and peanut butter containers (PET plastic)


Fleece jackets, fiberfill, carpet, and shower curtains.

If I Recycle...




Flooring, crumb rubber, athletic tracks

Recycling Is Here!


Actually, recycling has been with us for a long time. We recycle things every day without even thinking about it. You put leftovers in the fridge to finish tomorrow. You lend a book or a garden tool to a friend. You might wash out that Cool-Whip container for storing the aforementioned leftovers, and what garage doesn’t have odds and ends of lumber from some previous household project?

Our paper and cardboard collection boxes are in place behind the Borough Building.  Called "retrievers," the paper retriever will accept just about any kind of paper, including newspaper, magazines, envelopes, junk mail, and catalogs. The cardboard retriever will take corrugated cardboard. Corrugated cardboard is the stuff that has two layers, with a honeycomb structure between the layers. Most of the boxes you get from Amazon, for example, are made from corrugated cardboard. The non-corrugated, thinner material, like cereal boxes or tubes from toilet paper or paper towel rolls, can actually be thrown in with the paper!

So why should we bother separating this stuff from our regular garbage, when Valley Waste will take just about anything we put out on Monday morning? The State of Pennsylvania is so committed to keeping paper and cardboard out of landfills, that they are actually willing to pay us to separate it.


Here are some interesting facts, 1 through 4 provided by the EPA: 

1. In 2011, 2/3 of all paper consumed in the United States was recycled.

2. Every ton of paper recycled saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.

3. Every ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees.

4. Every ton of paper recycled saves 7,000 gallons of water.

5. In 2017 Patterson Heights recycled about 125 tons of yard waste, which equates to 376 cubic yards of landfill space. This yard waste was turned into compost.

6. In 2017 Patterson Heights recycled 90 tons of leaves, which equates to 360 cubic yards of landfill space. The leaves, too, were turned into compost.

In case you don’t care to do the math, little Patterson Heights saved a local landfill from using a space 27 feet long by 27 feet wide by 27 feet deep just last year. Add to that almost 30 tons of mixed recyclables picked up by Valley Waste. 

Getting back to Pennsylvania, why would the State pay people to recycle? Unfortunately, land that is available for landfills is not limitless. And most of the people in Pennsylvania don’t particularly want a landfill in their backyard. It is in the interest of the State, and of course, the people of the State, to limit the amount of trash that goes into landfills. Luckily, paper and cardboard are among the things that are most easily removed from the trash stream, and among the things that take up the most space.

Now, Pennsylvania is not going to send us a check each time we fill a box. They will however, pay us back in grant money once we can demonstrate a track record of having a successful recycling program. We can then use the grant money for a new leaf machine, a rotating brush for sweeping and cleaning the roadways, upgrades to the playground—many things that can be used to maintain and enhance the beauty of our community.

Please take advantage of this great opportunity to recycle, for all the reasons listed above. Again, the retrievers are located behind the Borough Building, and you can drive up to them from 7th Street. If you have any questions at all, feel free to call the Borough office at (724) 846-0677, or email the office at pattersonhgts@verizon.net.

Much of the information regarding recycling on this website is from the Pennsylnania Department of Environmental  Protection.