Special Collections

While the majority of your trash and recycling can go in your curbside service, certain items require specialty disposal. Household Hazardous Wastes like paint, antifreeze, and used oil, are dangerous if incorrectly handled. Many electronics, appliances, tires, and other items can be recycled at special recycling centers.

**Don’t forget to compost your Christmas trees! Drop-off for live, undecorated trees will be available from December 26 through January at Schlegel Park (next to playground) and City Park (parking lot by basketball courts)**

Bulky Items:

Residents participating in the City’s Curbside trash collection are allowed 1 bulky item per week. No hazardous or restricted items are allowed. Things to know:

·      Mattresses and box springs mustbe completely wrapped in plastic
·      No refrigerators, air conditioners, or other items containing Freon will be accepted unless they are tagged with a certified technician’s still stating they have been professionally emptied of Freon.
·      Excessively large or heavy items will not be collected. Contact a private hauler, junk removal company, or similar service for these items.

See the Frequently Asked Questions for a list of prohibitive items.

 

 Plastic Bags:

Plastic films such as grocery bags, bread bags, and clear plastic wrap on packaging cannot be recycled curbside because they easily tangle in the sorting machines. But did you know that all these items can be recycled? Many grocery stores accept plastic film near the store entrance. Click below to find a location and stop throwing away all that plastic. Better yet, get a reusable bag and eliminate the waste entirely!

 

Where do I RECYCLE plastic bags and wraps

Electronics & Batteries:

Residences in the City of Reading are entitled to one electronics recycling item picked up curbside per week. These items are not be picked up by your normal trash or recycling service, so residents must request this service by either using the iRequest system (website, Android, iOS) or calling the Customer Service Center at 1-877-727-3234. This service is not available for residents living in multi-family buildings with 5 or more units.

·       Berks County Electronics Recycling Center (various items)

·       iGreen Electronics (various items)

·       Best Buy (various items)

·       Batteries + Bulbs (certain batteries and bulbs)

·       Call2Recycle: find a battery collection location

·       Your cell phone carrier (cell phones only)

Light Bulbs:

·       Berks County Electronics Recycling Center (fluorescent & CFL)

·       Batteries + Bulbs (various types)

 

Household Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste includes any household items labeled: Caution, Flammable, Toxic, Corrosive, Poison, Danger, Explosive, Warning, or Volatile. Common items include paint, automobile fluids, pesticides & herbicides, household chemicals, and more. Some of these materials can be recycled:

·       Berks County Solid Waste Authority collection days. HHW Brochure

·       Contact a Private Hauler about home pick-up

 

dropboxMedical Sharps and Medications:
 
Needles, syringes, and other medical sharps should not be thrown loosely into the trash. Contact your doctor to receive a special “sharps” container that you can fill with used needles and return to your doctor. If this is not an option, place sharps in a puncture-resistant container, seal lid with strong tape, and label “SHARPS.” Place in garbage.
 
Currently, the Berks County Solid Waste Authority, in conjunction with the Berks County District Attorney's Detectives, offers pharmaceutical collection through the Medication Drop Box program. 
 
Items Accepted:  Any unwanted or expired medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, including pet medications.  Ointments, inhalers, powder or patch form medication.
 
Items NOT Accepted:  Any loose pills not in standard container or bag, syringes, thermometers, bandages, sun block, lipstick, deodorant, skin cream, and/or other like products will not be accepted
 
Each drop box is securely placed and locked within a township municipal police building where it can be protected. These drop boxes resemble a United States Postal Service mailbox, whereas there is an open door to collect medications, but once dropped they cannot be retrieved. The Reading Police Department, located at City Hall (815 Washington St) maintains one such box available to the public during City Hall’s normal operating hours. For more information, visit the County’s website or find all list of current drop box locations on this interactive map
 

tiresTires

Residences in the City of Reading are entitled to the pickup of used tires at no additional cost. Tires must be from private residences – no tires from businesses are allowed. Tires must be:

·       Non-commercial passenger car, van, and light truck tires accepted

·       Tires 17” or less, with or without rims.

·       Limit 4 tires per pick-up, 12 tires per household per year.

·       Have more? Take them to the County Recycling Center.

 

Tires are not be picked up by your normal trash or recycling service, so residents must request this service by either using the iRequest system (website, Android, iOS) or calling the Customer Service Center at 1-877-727-3234. This service is not available for residents living in multi-family buildings with 5 or more units.

Everything Else

With today’s technology it is possible to recycle most things. Some manufacturers offer free recycling programs for their products, such as Brita & PUR water filters, while other items can be recycled at a cost.  To find out about additional recycling opportunities in your area, visit Eath911.com or Terracycle.com. Recycling programs include everything from cigarettes to action figures to snack wrappers If you decide to use one of these programs we would love to hear your story – email us at ReadingRecycles@ReadingPA.gov.