(Image courtesy of Pennsylvania Resource Council)

Sustainable Sprucing-Up Made Easier with Pennsylvania Resource Council’s Hard-to-Recycle Collection Event

by Reese Randall


June 30, 2021

Summer weather can evoke DIY projects around the house. Whether the project is a simple storage pick-me-up in the attic, an upgrade to your basement living space or your neighborhood’s weekly trash pick-up; cleaning and reorganizing means letting go of household items that should be recycled while handling the waste responsibly.  

As Pennsylvania’s long-standing grassroots environmental organization, the Pennsylvania Resource Council (PRC) has worked to protect the state’s resources for future generations through environmental education, and recycling and waste programs.

“PRC’s mission is to create a Pennsylvania where nothing is wasted, which in my mind refers not only to the conservation of our natural resources and reduction of waste to landfill, but also to our people power,” says Emily Potoczny, Zero Waste Events Manager at PRC. “Our organization works with municipalities, businesses, non-profits and communities across the Commonwealth to better coordinate our efforts towards that vision of Pennsylvania without waste.”

When asked what it means to be sustainable and how can residents contribute to being eco-friendly in their daily life and at home, Potoczny believes living sustainably means being conscientious of how the decisions we make affects the world and the people around us.

“These connections can be direct, like altering your purchasing habits to buy less, buy second hand, and avoid single-use items so that you personally create less waste,” says Potoczny. One of the best ways that you can be more eco-friendly in your daily life, is to learn more about your local rules, regulations and barriers to making these sustainable decisions.

“PRC has great educational resources to learn best practices in recycling, hazardous waste disposal, hard-to-recycle options, composting, water conservation, and more, and is also a resource to help you bring more sustainable options to your community,” says Potoczny. In July, PRC will host two Hard-to-Recycle (HTR) Collection events in Allegheny County to enable area residents to conveniently dispose of numerous items not suitable for curbside recycling.

“At Hard-to-Recycle Collections you can dispose of small household appliances, electronics, tires, expanded polystyrene and glass,” explains Potoczny. “PRC coordinates with Appliance Warehouse, eLoop LLC, Liberty Tire and CAP Glass to collect and responsibly recycle these items.”

Some of these items have fees associated with them, which are listed on the PRC website.

“Since 2020, we have required pre-registration HTR collections,” says Potoczny. “Registration for each event opens one month prior to each event date, and you will sign up for a specific half hour time slot. This time slot will be shared with 60-100 other vehicles.”

In managing expectations, Potoczny suggests to please anticipate allotting the full half-hour for the drop-off.

“At the collection, first we will check registration, then volunteers will tally the items you have brought with you for the pay station and we accept all forms of payment. Staff will unload your items for you, and you’ll be on your way.”

PRC is always in need of volunteers adds Potoczny.

“You can find out about upcoming volunteer opportunities to help at our Hard-to-Recycle collections and other PRC events and programs here at Reach out to us through our website for what you would like to see more of in your community,” explains Potoczny. “PRC can help your local governments explore options for expanded recycling and waste reduction.”



Reese Randall writes bi-weekly stories for The Green Voice. She's also the contributing restaurant editor for IN Community Magazines and food stylist for GNC. To see more food, fashion, photos and videos, go to