Sustainability Goals

Increasing recycling rates at passenger stations is one of SEPTA’s thirteen sustainability goals. The two easiest ways to accomplish this is by increasing recycling and reducing contamination.  As a part of SEPTA’s Recycling Refresh program, SEPTA has designed new waste and recycling with the hope of accomplishing both.

In order to inform passengers of what is acceptable to recycle and make it more convenience to do the right thing, SEPTA designed the recycling bins with the following things in mind:

SEPTA Recycling
SEPTA Recycling


The side-by-side positioning of the two bins ensures that no matter where a passenger is located, it will take them the same amount of effort to recycle as it would to throw something in the trash. Distance to recycling bins limits the number of people who choose to recycle – meaning if the recycling bin is further away than the trash can, passengers might choose to discard their recyclable materials in the trash can.

Visual Cues:

The shaped holes in the recycling bin lid cue customers to think whether or not their waste is recyclable.  Additionally the bright blue color is the same as the blue recycling bins the City of Philadelphia provides for household recycling.

Improved Recycling Instructions:

The stickers on the lid provide a visual, straightforward depiction of what should and should not be recycled in this bin.

But design can only take us so far – SEPTA still needs your help to achieve the recycling goal.

The most significant thing that passengers can do to help SEPTA increase recycling rates at stations is by recycling correctly. Always remember that if there are large amounts of non-recyclable material or contamination found in SEPTA’s recycling, the entire load will be rejected by the recycling company, and all of the properly recycled material in the load will also be sent to a landfill. So spread the word about recycling right at SEPTA stations!


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