The City of Philadelphia is home to more than 50,000 businesses. These businesses—large and small, family-owned or part of a national corporation, even owners of apartment buildings—all fall under the City of Philadelphia’s Commercial Recycling Law. Just like businesses pay a waste hauler to take away trash, each and every business has to recycle. Most Philadelphians already recycle at home and have come to expect recycling everywhere they go. By recycling, businesses have the potential to save money and make a favorable impression on their customers.
Philadelphia’s long-term Zero Waste goal is to fully eliminate the use of landfills and conventional incinerators by 2035. After piloting waste audits in its municipal buildings, the City launched the Commercial Waste Report, which will provide a more complete picture of waste management in Philadelphia and help the city progress toward its Zero Waste goal. Until 2017, the City’s commercial properties were required to submit Commercial Recycling Plans. The Commercial Waste Report, which now replaces the Recycling Plan, is a more comprehensive version of the previous form. Buildings now have the opportunity to report on their waste management practices for multiple waste streams.
Yearly Requirements for Commercial Buildings
All commercial properties receiving private or City waste collection are required to report on the materials they generate and the waste and recycling haulers serving their properties by submitting a Commercial Waste Report form each year by December 31 — property types include restaurants, apartment complexes, schools, storefronts, and more. Building managers are responsible for submitting the form for single and multi-tenant buildings.
Visit the Commercial Waste Report webpage or download the Commercial Waste Report Guide for detailed information on what the City’s requirements are, how to fulfill them, and resources for identifying opportunities to reduce and divert your building’s waste.
The Zero Waste Partnership Program
Property managers can elect to learn more about opportunities for waste diversion and report in greater detail on the waste management practices at their facilities by joining the Zero Waste Partnership Program and completing the Zero Waste Partnership form on a monthly basis. Property managers who go above and beyond to pursue Zero Waste in their buildings and complete the monthly reporting can achieve different levels of recognition as Zero Waste Partners. You may wish to use the Building Waste Generation Calculator Tool (Microsoft Excel file) to help you estimate your facility’s waste generation totals and complete the form. Learn more about the Zero Waste Partnership Program, including incentives and how to join, on the Program website.
Achieving recognition as a Zero Waste Partner allows you to share with employees and the public your commitment to helping the city reach its Zero Waste goal and to creating a more sustainable Philadelphia. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Commercial Waste Report Guide (PDF)
Commercial Waste Report Guide (2-pager) (PDF)
Zero Waste & Litter Cabinet Action Plan (PDF)
Become a Zero Waste Partner
Composting in Philadelphia
Solid Resources Fee
Philadelphia Disposal, Recycling, and Donation Options (PDF)
Recycling Signage and Stickers