Hours: Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Address: 2201 Florey Lane, Abington, PA 19001
Abington Township utilizes a hybrid Pay As You Throw Program along with an enterprise fund. With an enterprise fund the harder residents work at recycling the higher the payback to them. They therefore control their own costs for services. Through this partnership with the residents and the township's efforts to control costs and generate revenues, it has been a very successful collaboration. To date the residents pay less for their fees than they did in 2006 when we began to implement the program.
The rapid escalation of costs for recycling and refuse collection disposal acted as a catalyst for changes in solid waste management in Abington Township. Thus began the looking into the feasibility of revamping our trash and recycling programs with the long range goal of stabilizing the ever increasing costs of trash disposal and providing a much fairer and equitable system of collection while building a sustainable recycling program.
The automated trash collection and recycling program is an efficient way of picking up and disposing of our trash and recyclables. The system is less costly to operate, is more efficient, provides for cleaner neighborhoods on trash day, is environmentally friendly, increases recycling and reduces our disposal trash tonnages. The standardized carts with wheels come in different sizes and are easy to maneuver. We put together a hybrid variable rate automated collection program wherein the resident pays for the size of their refuse container and also receives automated carts for paper and commingle recyclables.
The hybrid system rewards the residents for their waste reduction by reducing their refuse collection fee. This system has enabled Abington Township to achieve a 57% waste diversion rate along with a 32% cost reduction for collection. The Automated Variable Rate Collection Program coupled with our hedged recycling market paybacks have ensured that our recycling program will remain fully sustainable well into the future. In 2018, the Township was awarded $735, 649 for its recycling efforts through its recycling of 15,800 tons of material and more than 16,000 tons of leaf and yard waste.
Frequently Used Services and Asked Questions
Please click on the tabs below to be taken to more information about each topic.
Request for recycling cart exchanges can be made only on weekdays in September by calling 267-536-1036 or 267-536-1037 from of 8 AM through 4 PM.
Residents can request a smaller or larger cart. There are two sizes available 65 and 35 gallon.
Who Must Recycle?
Commercial, municipal and institutional establishments are required to create and operate recycling programs. This includes apartment buildings with four or more units.
What Must Be Recycled?
The law requires the following items be recycled:
- High grade office paper which includes white and colored paper, envelopes, computer paper and reports with covers
- Cardboard and corrugated paper
- Aluminum. This generally means cans. Our community includes anything made of metal.
- Leaf Waste
Materials should be stored separately until picked up.
There are many reasons to recycle but a few most common are:
- Its the law
- Saves money (reduced disposal and equipment costs)
- Saves resources (reduced equipment costs)
- Prevents items that can be reused from entering the landfill
How Do You Start Recycling?
A Successful Program Might Need:
- a coordinator ... Commercial, municipal and institutional establishments are required to create and operate recycling program. This includes apartment buildings with four or more units.
- a task force ... To assist the coordinator in developing the initial program. Custodial staff, administrative staff, and educators should be included.
- a waste audit ... To determine who's throwing away what and how much is being trashed. Reduction and reuse should also be considered.
- a market investigation ... To determine where your recyclable materials can be processed. Most waste haulers offer collection of recyclables. Some companies buy recyclable materials.
- a convenient collection system ... With attractive, easy to use containers, near the action ... next to the computer and soda machine ... or a central storage area. Personnel are needed to collect and record information on how much of what is being recycled.
- a review of procurement policies ... To determine if other products can be substituted for current supplies that are recyclable and/or made of recycled materials. Perhaps current buying practices can be revised.
- an education program ... To inform staff about the program, program goals, the value of waste reduction and recycling, and periodically encourage people to continue recycling. Remind them they're doing the right thing to help themselves, their community and the environment.
Non-Residential Recycling is Mandatory!
In 1988, Pennsylvania passed Act 101, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, which is the act that got Pennsylvania recycling!
The Act requires recycling programs for municipalities with a population of 10,000 or more, or for municipalities with a population of between 5,000 and 10,000 people and a density of 300 people per square mile.Non-residential establishments are required to recycle. Non-residential is defined as commercial, municipal, or institutional. Included in this are apartment buildings with four or more units.
Act 101, Section 1501 (c) (iii)
Municipal implementation of recycling programs shall include, at a minimum, the following elements:
- High grade office paper
- Corrugated paper
- Leaf waste
- And other materials deemed appropriate by the municipality generated at commercial, municipal or institutional establishments ...
Chapter 15, Recycling and Waste Reductions
It's the law, and it's a good idea! As waste disposal costs continue to rise, recycling can reduce your waste volume, and may save you money.
|Curbside Recyclables||Types||Examples||When and How|
|Soda and water bottles, medicine containers, food trays that go into the oven and other common consumer product containers.||Place curbside in the commingle cart on your normal trash day.|
|Heavier Containers that hold laundry detergents and bleaches as well as milk, shampoo and motor oil, butter and yogurt tubs, cereal box liners, etc.||Place curbside in the commingle cart on your normal trash day.|
|Window cleaner and shampoo and cooking oil bottles, clear food packaging, etc.||Place curbside in the commingle cart on your normal trash day.|
|Squeezable bottles.||Place curbside in the commingle cart on your normal trash day.|
|Tupperware, syrup and ketchup bottles, caps, etc.||Place curbside in the commingle cart on your normal trash day.|
| Lids or food containers like those covering meat/veggie trays, cinnamon roll containers, cookie boxes, etc.
||Place curbside in the commingle cart on your normal trash day.|
|Three- and five-gallon water bottles.||Place curbside in the commingle cart on your normal trash day.|
| The 3 C's: Colored, Clear and Clean glass, jars & bottles.
No broken glass, window glass, drinking glasses, cookware, or light bulbs.
|Place curbside in the commingle cart on your normal trash day.|
||Aluminum & Steel Cans||Labels do not need to be removed||Place curbside in the commingle cart on your normal trash day.|
Items that cannot be recycled:
- Medical Supplies
- Styrofoam (includes egg cartons, clamshell containers, plates, cups, and meat trays)
- Packing peanuts
- Plastic films or bags
- Big PVC pipes
- Coffee cup lids
- Plastic cutlery
- Plastic 6-pack rings
- Waxed paper and waxed cardboard
- Coat hangers
You can have a healthy green lawn by leaving grass clippings where they fall.
It's simple. Grass clippings left on the lawn decompose and act as a natural organic fertilizer. This lets you reduce the amount of commercial fertilizer you need to apply. Your lawn will remain healthy and green because each time you mow, you will be returning valuable nutrients to the soil.
Mowing Techniques & Tips
- Any mower can recycle grass clippings. Just remove the grass catcher. Ask your lawn mower dealer if you need a special safety plug or adapter kit to convert your mower into a "recycling" mower. Installing a mulching blade is also helpful.
- Never cut off more than 1/3 of the grass blade in one mowing. Keep grass mowed to 2" in early spring, gradually raise the height to 3-4" by summer, then gradually reduce to 2" by late fall.
- Mow when the grass is dry.
- Keep your mower blade sharp. Dull mowers tear the grass blade, injure the plant and cause a brownish cast to the turf.
- If the grass gets too high, mow over the clippings a second time to further shred and scatter them.
- To prevent excess growth between mowings, raise the mower height, mow, then gradually lower it over a span of several mowings. This will help prevent shock to the plants.
- When it's time to replace your mower, consider a mulching, recycling or nonpolluting reel mower. All of them do a good job of shredding and scattering grass clippings.
What about thatch?
Thatch, a matted layer of dead roots and stems, usually it is caused by too much water and fertilizer. Clippings don't produce thatch because they are 80 percent water and decompose quickly. A thatch layer of more than 1/2" should be removed.
Uses for clippings
- COMPOST. Fresh clippings should compose no more than 1/3 of the compost pile. They are an excellent source of nitrogen. Mix thoroughly with "brown" materials such as leaves or straw and turn the pile regularly to aerate it and prevent odors.
- MULCH. Pile about 1" of dried clippings on the soil to reduce weeds and moderate soil temperature. Mulching also controls erosion, run-off and evaporation. If using herbicides, wait at least two mowings after treating the lawn to use the clippings.
- SOIL ADDITIVE. Mixing fresh grass clippings into the garden improves soil texture, promotes moisture retention and adds nutrients and organic matter. About once a month, turn a 2" layer of grass into the soil to a depth of 6".
Most grasses need modest amounts of nitrogen for controlled growth and good color. Too much fertilizer increases growth and results in more frequent mowing.
It is best to fertilize around Labor Day and again at the end of October. Fall fertilization promotes a vigorous root system and helps the plant survive winter, but does not lead to the excessive top growth of spring fertilization. Apply only 1/2 pound of nitrogen per 100 square feet of lawn. To calculate how many pounds of fertilizer should be applied per 1,000 square feet, divide 100 by twice the percentage of nitrogen (N) in the fertilizer.
This chart calculates some of the common fertilizer rates for you:
|Fertilizer NPK Rating||100 / (2 x N%)||Lb. per 1,000 Sq.Ft.|
For slower, more uniform growth, use fertilizers that contain slow-release nitrogen such as methylene urea, ureaformaldehyde, sulfur-coated urea, or IBDU. The label may also read "water-insoluble nitrogen" or "slow-release nitrogen."
Pennsylvania has enough rain that turf grasses don't have to be watered to survive. Healthy lawns go brown during a drought, but quickly turn green when rainfall resumes.
If you choose to water, 1" of water will wet the soil to a depth of 4"-6". Place an empty can under the sprinkler to determine when an inch has been applied. If water runs off the lawn before reaching an inch, turn off the sprinkler and wait an hour before resuming.
- Water deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth. Light, frequent watering encourages shallow roots, which increase the risk of disease and stress injury.
- Water in the morning. Less water is lost through evaporation and transpiration.
- Don't water at midday or in the evenings. A lawn that remains damp during the night is more prone to disease.
Consider turf grass alternatives. Increase shrub beds, grow a wildflower meadow, or plant ground covers such as English ivy, pachysandra and periwinkle. They look beautiful, do not need mowing and will help reduce maintenance and yard waste.
THE KEY WORD IS "LESS"
- LESS FERTILIZER
- LESS WATER
- LESS WORK
- LESS WASTE
Recycling clippings back into the lawn is less work than disposing of them as waste. No one has to handle the clippings--not you, your lawn care professional, or the waste management crew. By not trashing grass, you can reduce your mowing time by nearly 40 percent and spend less money on fertilizer and trash bags. And you'll be doing your part for the environment by reducing waste.
If you follow these IT'S OKAY TO "LET IT LAY" guidelines, not only will you have a healthy lawn, you'll never have to bag grass clippings again.
The Township collects holiday trees from January 2 through January 31. Trees can be left curbside during your regularly scheduled trash/recyclable collection day.
The trees and greenery should be free of all decorations, wires and tree stands. The trees will be taken to the Public Works facility and chipped into mulch for residents' use in the spring. Trees will be collected curbside only, no trees can be taken to the Public Works yard by residents.
Abington Township has an annual Leaf Collection Program. The Township is divided into 15 leaf areas labeled "A" through "O". Each area will receive two vacuum collections through the months of October through December.
To notify the Public Works Department of a damaged cart, please call 267-536-1036 or 267-536-1037 between 8 AM and 4 PM, Monday through Friday.
When the Township is closed there will be no trash, recyclable or yard waste collection. Trash and recyclables collection will occur on the next business day. Yard waste collection will resume the next regularly scheduled collection date.
For example, if a holiday occurs on a Monday, residents whose trash/recyclables are collected on Monday will be collected on Tuesday; however, if the holiday occurs on a Friday, trash/recyclables collection will occur the following Monday (the next business day).
Please note, the day after a holiday the Township does single-stream recycling. This means your recyclables will be collected TOGETHER. Your items are still being recycled and are taken to a site for separation. This is done to maximize the use of trucks and allows for additional pick-ups throughout the day.
The Township is closed and there will be no trash collection on the following days:
- New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Presidents' Day
- Good Friday
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veteran's Day (observed)
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
Public Works Highway Yard
2201 Florey Lane
Abington, Pa., 19001
The composting facility also known as the highway yard is at the "dead end" of Florey Lane. Florey Lane is directly across the street from Burger King's driveway on Easton Road at the intersection of Edge Hill Road.
There are two types of mulch available, wood mulch and leaf mulch. The wood mulch is a mixture of the residents' brush, tree limbs, grass clipping and leaves which have been collected in the brown biodegradable bags. These materials had been previously put into the landfill. The leaf much is composed of leaves which were raked curbside. The Township adds no chemicals to the product.
Mulch Update during COVID-19
Mulch is available for resident pick-up at Crestmont Park and Baederwood Park. At this time, mulch will not be made available at Alverthorpe Park due to the inability to access the site. Please see the disclaimer below.
Benefits of Compost
The real beneficiaries are the end users of compost and mulch. Adding compost to soil increases the organic matter content of the soil. Organic matter is a key component of healthy soil. Increased organic matter helps a soil’s water dynamics, which means plants are more drought resistant.
Compost also provides slow-release nutrients for plants and can help reduce soil borne diseases. Mulch helps conserve soil moisture and reduce weeds. Eventually, the mulch breaks down and adds organic matter to the soil as well.
Changing our lawn management practices can divert thousands of tons of yard trimmings from the landfill. The more we can reduce our dependence on landfills by increasing the reuse of our natural resources, the greener Mother Earth will be for generations to come.
Distribution of Compost
In early spring mulch may be picked up by residents of Abington Township at the highway yard between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. WEEKDAYS only.
Mulch is also transported to Alverthorpe Park which is located at Jenkintown Road & Forrest Avenue in Jenkintown, Crestmont Park which is located on Old Welsh Road & Cummings Street, Willow Grove, Pa. directly across the street from Willow Grove Mall, and Baederwood Park which is located on Highland Avenue in Abington. These areas are open to residents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our mulch is a very popular item and does not last long.
If the resident loads the mulch there is no cost to the resident. The cost for the township loading mulch into privately owned vehicles at the highway yard is $2.50 per cubic yard.
MULCH AND FIREWOOD: Abington Township is pleased to be able to offer excess mulch and firewood to its residents free of charge. Mulch and firewood are natural materials that have been stored outside. Use of the mulch or firewood could result in exposure to allergens, weeds, insects or foreign matter. Sensitive users should wear proper clothing and protection when handling the compost and/or firewood. By entering Township property, taking mulch or firewood, and/or accepting delivery of same, you assume all risk and responsibility associated therewith and agree to waive any claim for damages you may have against Abington Township, its employees, contractors or elected officials which may arise out of your entry onto or presence on the property or the acceptance, possession or use of such mulch and/or firewood. Abington Township assumes no responsibility for and makes no representations regarding the condition, safety, or fitness for a particular purpose of any mulch or firewood.
Fundamentals of Home Composting
Composting is a natural process. Organic materials such as leaves, grass, and vegetable scraps are broken down by microorganisms, forming a rich soil-like substance called compost or humus.
Keys to Successful Home Composting
Organic materials: A good mix consists of two parts "browns" (materials such as dead leaves that are high in carbon) and one part "greens" (such as fresh grass clippings and garden prunings that are high in nitrogen).
- Moisture: Composting materials should feel moist but not overly soggy.
- Temperature: Compost should feel warm to the touch except in the cold winter months.
- Air: To prevent unpleasant odors that can occur when materials decompose without oxygen, compost should be turned regularly to ensure that air is reaching the center of the pile.
|High Carbon "Browns||High Nitrogen "Greens"||Sources of Composting Organisms|
|Dead Plants||Green Weeds||Soil|
|Shredded Paper||Alfalfa or Clover||Chicken Manure|
|Shredded Twigs||Seaweed or Pond Algae||Horse Manure|
|Pine Needles||Non-Meat and Non-Dairy Kitchen Scraps||Commercially Available Composting "Starters"|
|Sawdust from Untreated Wood
Materials Needed for Home Composting
All you need to compost is enthusiasm, yard or food waste (except meat or dairy products), and some space. Compost piles don't need to be enclosed, although many people use a bin or similar enclosure. Compost bins can be purchased, or you can easily construct one with common materials such as chicken wire, snow fencing, lumber or used pallets. Other tools that come in handy for composting are a garden hose, wheelbarrow and common garden tools.
A 4 x 4 x 4-foot area out of direct sunlight is ideal for your compost pile. Choose an easily accessible spot on a grass or soil base. Composting can begin any time of the year, but many people start in the fall when leaves are abundant.
Organic materials should be mixed, adding water as needed so that the materials feel like a moist, wrung-out sponge. The compost pile should be turned after a few weeks so that the outside layers are exchanged with the center of the pile. Turn compost piles about once a month, except in cold winter conditions. Water can be added during turning, if necessary.
|Getting Really Good Home Compost|
|Compost is too wet and soggy||Turn and add dry material; cover compost|
|Compost is dry and appears dusty||Turn and water; shade compost|
|Compost is cool to the touch||Turn and add high nitrogen "green" materials|
What to Avoid
While many yard wastes and kitchen scraps can be successfully composted, some materials should be kept out of the compost pile. Check with your local municipality for specific items which may be prohibited.
Do Not Compost
- Diseased plants or leaves
- Persistent weeds (poison ivy, multi-flora rose, bindweed, quack grass, etc.)
- Human or pet feces
- Meat, dairy products and kitchen vegetables cooked with animal fats
- Plants that have gone to seed
Using Home Compost
Compost can be applied directly around the base of trees and shrubs to serve as a mulch. It also can be worked into the top six to eight inches of the soil to provide increased water retention and valuable nutrients.
Brush and Wood Waste
Trimmings from bushes and shrubs are usually not suitable for composting. Home chippers can be used to grind small branches and prunings for mulch, ornamental landscaping or garden pathways. Old Christmas trees and similar brush may also be left in a secluded part of your yard to attract birds and serve as a natural wildlife habitat.
The Township collects yard waste throughout the year on your regularly scheduled trash collection date. Yard waste is NOT collected in the month of February. Yard waste collection is separate from our leaf collection pick-up which occurs between October and December.