Recycling & Environmental News

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Contact: Leslie Dawson,   

Pennsylvania Resources Council Invites Submissions to Annual

“Lens on Litter” Photo Contest

     Pennsylvanians urged to document and fight waste, encourage recycling
     (Media, PA) Despite decades of efforts to improve recycling and waste management practices, Pennsylvanians
     still experience too much littering and illegal dumping in their communities. Since 2008, the Pennsylvania
     Resources Council (PRC) has run the Gene Capaldi “Lens on Litter” Photo Contest, which focuses on capturing
     ugly and avoidable examples of littering and galvanizing public commitment to solutions. Until October 31, 2022,
     PRC invites Pennsylvanians to submit photos showing the ways in which litter spoils our Commonwealth in the
      hope that education and action will follow.

     “Littering and dumping impacts Pennsylvanians everywhere and is both an environmental and economic
     problem,” said Darren Spielman, Executive Director of PRC. “We must tackle the Commonwealth’s growing
     waste problem and start moving toward the goals of a zero-waste and circular economy where post-consumer
     materials are reused and recycled.”

     Participants in the photo contest are encouraged to use their camera or mobile device to snap eye-catching
     examples of litter in their Pennsylvania community. The contest is open to amateur photographers only.
     Contestants will be divided into two categories—students and adults. Six prizes (three to each group) will be
     awarded, with the first-place winner receiving $500, second-place $250 and third-place $100. Entrants are also
     encouraged to initiate a clean-up of their photographed area for extra judging points.
     Entries (limit five per person, no smaller than 4x6 and no larger than 8x10) should be sent to:
     PRC Gene Capaldi Lens on Litter Contest 1671 North Providence Road Media, PA 19063

     High resolution digital submissions may be sent to All entries (including digital) must include
     the entrant’s name, address, telephone number, email address, title given to photo, location of litter site and how
     you learned about the contest. Students should also include age, grade and name of school. Photos submitted
     without all required information will be disqualified. All photos may be used by PRC at their discretion.
     Program sponsors include Carolyn Capaldi, Robert & Mary Capaldi, Sheetz, Inc., and Wegmans.
     For complete details, previous winners and an online submission form, visit:
                                                                                                 About Pennsylvania Resources Council
     Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) is Pennsylvania’s oldest grassroots environmental organization. Since
     1939, we have worked to protect the Commonwealth’s resources for future generations through environmental
     education, recycling, waste diversion programs, anti-litter campaigns, and much more. For more information,

2022 Lens on Litter Brochure Tri-Fold PDF_Page_2
2022 Lens on Litter Brochure Tri-Fold PDF_Page_1

         Keep America Beautiful- Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs, and resources to help people end littering in America, increase recycling in America, and beautify America's communities. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Our collective action champions environmentally healthy, socially connected, and economically sound communities. Keep America Beautiful continues to bring people together to transform public spaces into beautiful places.  

  Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful-Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is the result of two organizations with similar missions joining together to achieve a common vision, a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania. In 2010, PA CleanWays (1990) and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (2003) merged to become the new Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful whose mission is empowering Pennsylvanians to make our communities clean and beautiful.

Since 1990, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and its volunteers have removed over 141 million pounds of litter from Pennsylvania’s roadways, greenways, parks, forests, and waterways. To learn more about Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, visit   

For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website. Please feel free to keep them in the loop on any clean-ups you are planning, they will be happy to help you with supplies, promotion, or logging the information. Planting, educational events, invasive species management, and any other beautification projects also qualify.

Also visit the Illegal Dump Free PA website for more ideas on how to clean up communities and keep them clean. 

 Also try Luzerne County Keep NEPA Beautiful - Janet Sweeney- 570-718-6507  or Rachael Stark-570.905.7391– PA.  Environmental Council 175 Main Street Luzerne, PA  18709.     


During the Pick-Up Pennsylvania, which is from March 1st to May 31st, registered events can get free cleanup supplies such as bags, gloves, and vests donated by PennDOT and Keep America Beautiful.  Additionally, during the Pick It Up PA Days, which is from April 16th to May 9th, sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association, and participating landfills, registered events have access to reduced or free disposal.

                                                                                10 Steps to Organizing an Illegal Dump Cleanup provides step by step direction, from surveying the site to long-term maintenance. Click here to download a copy.  Also try     

Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off



Residents can CALL 570-929-1793 -DROP OFFS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

**There is a fee when dropping off HHW; see chart below.

***  This is a FLAT FEE, per PERSON, per appointment; $25.00

The following wastes will be accepted:

Kerosene, up to 5 gallons

Gasoline, up to 5 gallons

Latex, paint up to 5 gallons

Oil based paint, up to 5 gallons

Aerosol Cans up to 20 cans 


Hazleton Oil & Environmental, Inc., 300 Tamaqua Street, Hazleton, PA 18201

P: 570-929-1793       F: 570-929-3048

Email:    Website: 

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.