To curb litter, Philadelphia began distributing lidded recycling bins in April as part of the Philadelphia Streets Department’s new recycling campaign, focused on educating people about what is acceptable for recycling and preventing contamination from unacceptable materials. Providing lids for recycling bins stems from a city case study conducted from August 2017 to May 2018, said Kyle Lewis, the department’s recycling program director. In addition, he said, some residents complained about not having lids for their bins.

The case study tested if lidded recycling bins could reduce litter and boost recycling volume. During the study, recycling bins with lids were distributed on two recycling routes in Port Richmond and Brewerytown. Household surveys reported positive feedback. “We began to use the lids partially as a result of that study, and partially recognizing the need to cut down on litter and the idea that materials can blow around on a windy day,” Lewis said.

City-distributed recycling bins and lids are available from any of Philly’s six Sanitation Convenience Centers. The lids, which are not attached to the bins, can also be used by Philadelphians who already have a recycling bin. Philadelphians need to register online to request a replacement bin or to get their first bin. Residents can also obtain their own recycling bin, which must be less than 32 gallons and have a recycling logo.

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