Recycling & Environmental News

2023 Lens on Litter Brochure


Contact: Leslie Dawson, PRC East, 610-353-1555, Ext 4, 

Pennsylvania Resources Council Releases Details of 2023 “Lens on Litter” Photo Contest

Media, PA – The Gene Capaldi Lens on Litter Photo Contest, a program of the Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC), is an annual statewide photography contest rewarding amateur photographers who snap unusual or eye-catching images of litter across the Commonwealth. The purpose is not to glorify litter, but to bring awareness to how litter threatens public health and safety, scenic beauty, property values, the environment and wildlife.

Who: The contest is open to Pennsylvania amateur photographers only.

Judging: Entries will be judged on six criteria; 1. anti-litter message, 2. originality, 3. photographic technique, 4. quality of photo, 5. originality of title and 6. severity of the litter.

Prizes: A top prize of $500 will be awarded in each of two categories: adult and student (through Grade 12). Four additional prizes will be awarded with second place winners receiving $250 and third place $100 in each group.

Deadline: October 31, 2023

Where: The photos must be taken in Pennsylvania by Commonwealth residents.

Details: Send entries (limit five per person, no smaller than 4x6 and no larger than 8x10) to the Pennsylvania Resources Council, East Office, 1671 North Providence Road, Media, PA 19063. High resolution digital submissions may be sent to, or entered via the online entry form found at

Include: All entries (including digital) must include: 1 entrant’s name, 2. address, 3. email address, 4. telephone number, 5.ttitle given to photo, 6. location of litter site and 7. how you learned of the contest. 

For student submissions, age, grade and school name must also be provided. Photos submitted without all the above will be disqualified! Photos will not be returned and may be used by PRC at their discretion.

More Info: Questions may be directed to and additional information, an online entry form as well as previous winners, can be found at

Sponsors: We welcome any person or organization interested in becoming a sponsor to join us in this effort to fight litter blight.

Contact: Leslie Dawson,  

Political Subdivisions Grants Programs Through U.S. EPA - Source of Funding - Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)


EPA Released A Recycling Program Toolkit

EPA recently released an interactive collection of EPA and other materials to help states, territories, local governments, tribes, schools, nonprofit organizations, companies, and public-private partnerships create effective programs for recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, reuse, repair, and waste reduction. Materials in the toolkit can help communities increase participation in recycling programs and reduce contamination in the recycling stream.


Case studies from communities who have created effective recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, reuse, and repair programs. 

Training materials on how to create educational messages and campaigns that drive behavior change.

Examples of consumer education materials that states, tribes, and local government entities can adapt and use in recycling programs.

Standardized terms with examples that may be used to describe materials that are accepted by residential recycling programs.


Apply for New Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding for Recycling & Composting -- $100 Million is Now Available! 

$100M in funding is now available to help build and transform solid waste infrastructure, manage materials to achieve a circular economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create cleaner, resilient, and healthier communities. EPA is releasing new funding opportunities under the Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling grant program and the Recycling Education and Outreach Grant program, both of which were funded by the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Register for the webinars to learn more about the programs! 

Political Subdivisions Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grants ($30,000,000): For counties, cities, towns, parishes, and similar units of government to fund projects that improve materials management and infrastructure, including collection, transport, systems, and processes related to post-use materials that can be recovered, reused, recycled, repaired, refurbished, or composted. Applications for funding are due January 16, 2023. 

State and Territories Solid Waste Infrastructure-(due February 1, 2023) for Recycling Grants ($40,000,000): For states, territories, and the District of Columbia to improve solid waste management planning, data collection, and program implementation. EPA is requesting Notices of Intent to Participate in this grant program from states and territories by .

Recycling Education and Outreach Grants ($30,000,000): For states, tribes, territories, local governments, and other organizations to fund projects to improve consumer education and outreach on waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and composting by providing them with the practical tools needed to reduce waste generation, decrease contamination in the recycling stream, and increase recycling rates across the country in a manner that is equitable for all. Applications for funding are due February 16, 2023

Learn more about each of these funding opportunities at EPA’s The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Transforming U.S. Recycling and Waste Management web page. Prepare now. 

Stay connected to learn about upcoming grant webinars. Let us know if you need accommodations by email. 

Calling All Environmental Educators! Apply now for the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators 

The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding kindergarten through grade 12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students. Up to two teachers from each of EPA's 10 regions, from different states, will be selected to receive this award. Awardees receive a Presidential award plaque and an award of up to $2,500, and the teacher’s local education agency also receives an award of up to $2,500 to fund environmental educational activities and programs. Applications are now open and must be received by January 11, 2023. 

To learn more and apply, check out the following resources: 

Calling All K-12 Students! Apply now for the President’s Environmental Youth Award 

The President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) recognizes outstanding environmental stewardship projects developed by K-12 youth. The PEYA program honors a wide variety of projects developed by young students, school classes and clubs, youth camps, and youth organizations to promote environmental awareness and action in schools and communities. Each year, each of the 10 EPA regional offices selects up to one winner in each age group – Grades K-5 and Grades 6-12. Award winners receive a Presidential plaque. All application materials must be received by January 11, 2023. 

To apply, visit: 

Learn More

Partner News


Apply for Grants to Tackle Consumer Food Waste -- Up to $20 Million Available 

The ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund is a new initiative targeted to provide nonprofit and for-profit organizations with up to a total of $20 million in recoverable and non-recoverable grants to de-risk and scale high-impact solutions to food waste. 

The first open call for the ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund goes live on November 14 – interested applicants should submit a letter of intent by November 30 at 11:59pm Pacific Time through the online submission portal. The thematic focus for this open call is consumer food waste, specifically solutions and innovations that enable consumers to actively reduce their food waste at home, as well as in restaurant and foodservice settings, by making it obvious, affordable, and convenient. 

To apply, visit ReFED’s website


Apply Now for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm to School Grant Program! 

USDA’s Farm to School grants support planning, developing, and implementing farm to school programs. Grantees may include schools and districts, Indian Tribal Organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, nonprofit entities, and State and local agencies. The minimum award is $10,000, and the maximum award is $500,000. Applications are due by January 6, 2023. 

To apply, visit: 


Visit our Website

Stay Connected with EPA's Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery:


Manage Subscriptions | Unsubscribe All | Help 

 ck here to add content...

Earth Day Pointers 2


     The People of Luzerne County are recycling at a rate near 50%!  That means the people, businesses and schools of Luzerne County are separating their daily waste and only throwing away half of it.  The rest is going to manufacturing companies to be recycled into new products.  Proof that teamwork from EVERYONE works when it comes to recycling. THANK YOU!

Studies show the average American generates approximately 4 lbs of waste per day.  The PA Department of Environmental Protection [PA DEP] assigns 0.8 ton of waste per person per year.  That figures includes commercial waste.  What we pull out of the waste stream and recycle or reuse is up to each of us.  Businesses and municipalities report recycling tonnage to the state each year.  That’s our recycling %!  Thank you, thank you, Thank you everyone for doing your part.  

Thanks to your efforts the People of Luzerne County are saving natural resources; cutting landfill costs; and creating jobs by Recycling and Reducing our waste!


    Can the container that a product comes in be recycled?  Think about that the next time you are purchasing something.  Think also if the town you are living in currently accepts this particular item in their recycling program.  Typical items that are acceptable for recycling are plastic #1 & #2 bottles, cardboard, newspapers, glass, aluminum and steel and bi-metallic cans.  Does every town that recycles accept the same items? No, they do not, which is why we suggest calling your local municipality to see what is and isn’t acceptable to place in your recycling container.  Most important is to remember to rinse out your containers and make sure they are free of any liquids or food particles.  By doing this, you help it get farther down the recycling chain instead of spreading contamination, causing  all items to end up in the landfill. 


     Reduce, Reuse, Recycle..these three words have been the mantra for anyone that has been involved with recycling.  What do these three words really mean? By doing these simple steps you are helping to save the planet by saving our natural resources!  You also help create jobs in material recovery facilities,(MRF), create new products from old ones and most import help "Close-The-Loop" on the whole recycling process!   

WHAT IS MADE FROM RECYCLED MATERIALS?  Toys, playground equipment, notebooks, pens, pencils, filling for sleeping bags, some fleece products, mulch, carpeting, metal appliances, parts for automobiles, bottles, jars and tile are all examples of what can be made from recycling simple items such as plastic, paper, aluminum, steel and glass.  So the next time you go to throw away an item, look for the symbol and take a moment to think what this product was and what this product could be made into.


     When you recycle an item you are not throwing it in the garbage.  By removing items such as metals, glass, plastic, newspapers and cardboard from your garbage you are not putting out as many bags. When you put out less for refuse pick up you are paying less. Simply put- Increasing recycling tonnage decreases the cost of waste disposal at a landfill.  Ask anyone who pays for garbage, generally there is either a per-bag limit or you are paying a per-bag fee, either way it is costly. 


  • Yard-waste which includes grass clipping, leaves, branches and shrubs take up 25% of landfill space?  
  • Environmentally friendly ingredients used for cleaning include baking soda, corn starch, lemon juice, salt and vinegar are just a few of the items that almost everyone already has in their home?  Go to for more tips on how to use these products.

  • Clay-base kitty litter can be used to solidify paint? Pour enough in can to absorb paint and leave lid off to let dry.
  • Vinegar in a spray bottle works just as well on weeds in sidewalks, driveways and patios-and is safe for the environment.
  • Plastic bags do NOT belong in your recycling bin.  Please take to a local grocery store as many, if not all local stores have a container at the front of the store where you may drop these bags off-for recycling, of course.