A bill awaiting the mayor’s signature will revamp Pittsburgh’s trash and recycling rules, requiring landlord-tenant communication and assuring safe composting practices. “This overhaul represents the first step toward bringing our waste and recycling program into the 21st century and creates a foundation that future waste and recycling initiatives can build upon,” said Councilwoman Erika Strassburger, who introduced the bill last month.
Landlords and tenants will now be required to sign an agreement on what kind of trash containers are provided and where they should be stored. The city collects municipal waste and recycling at apartment buildings with up to five units.
A new time window for placing garbage and recycling on the curb will go into effect for all residents — no earlier than 6 p.m. the night before collection. On collection day, bins and cans must be removed from the street before 10 p.m.
Those containers must be “durable, watertight … with close-fitting lids” and bags must be “leak-proof,” and all must be stored away “from view of the public right-of-way” on non-collection days, according to the new code language.
The new rules also reinforce that recycling is mandatory within city limits, even for buildings being serviced by private waste haulers, including larger apartment buildings, according to Ms. Strassburger’s office.
The bill now clearly states that recyclables should be rinsed and placed in blue bags, blue containers or a container marked for recycling. “My ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill altogether,” Ms. Strassburger said in a news release, adding that the bill works toward the city’s “Zero Waste” goal.
Fines for violating these rules start at $50 for first-time offenders in single-family homes or apartment buildings with five or fewer units. They can reach a maximum of $500 for subsequent violations.