These mandatory recycling guidelines apply to all Cheltenham residents who have Township trash collection. Apartment and condominium residents should contact the property’s owner or manager for details about their recycling programs. Businesses and institutions are also required to recycle, per state and Township law, and must submit annual recycling reports from their private haulers to the Township’s Public Works Department by the end of each calendar year. Call the Refuse Superintendent at 215-635-4600 for additional information about business and institutional recycling.


Refuse/Recycling Map


Automated Single-Stream Recycling

  • Collections are the same day as refuse collection.  Place the recycling cart at the curb no more than 12 hours before the scheduled collection day and remove it within 12 hours after collection. Note: Refuse and recycling collections begin at 7AM.
  • Glass, cans, plastic, paper and cardboard may all be recycled together in a single wheeled automated recycling cart. Carts are 95-gallon capacity and remain with a property following a home sale.  No other recycling receptacle may be used for the Township’s program.
  •  Empty and rinse glass, cans and plastic containers to remove organic food material and residue, but labels may remain.
  • Position the cart at least 3 feet away from surrounding obstacles, including trash cans, vehicles, poles, hydrants or landscaping. Place the cart in the street with the wheels back against the curb or grass. When not out for pickup, store cart ideally in a shed or garage or in side or back yards. Storage in front yards or beyond the front building line is discouraged.


Include plastic items marked with recycling code numbers “1” through “7.” Do not recycle plastics with other code numbers or those without any codes.

    Some common uses for code numbers “1” through “7” are:

  1. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE) - soda & water bottles, peanut butter jars
  2. High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) -milk jugs, shampoo containers, detergent bottles
  3. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) - water bottles, household cleaning containers, salad dressing. But DON'T recycle packing peanuts.
  4. Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) - food & some yogurt containers
  5. Polypropylene (PP) - butter tubs, plastic cups, reusable food containers, yogurt tubs
  6. Polystyrene (PS) - yogurt containers, plastic beverage cups. But DON'T recycle PVC pipe.
  7. Other - reusable water bottles

Single stream recycling truck uses automated arm to collect recycling cart


  • Include all glass bottle and jar food and beverage containers. Do NOT include broken glass, windowpanes, mirrors, light bulbs, ceramics, porcelain, dishware, or drinking glasses.


  • Include metal and aluminum cans and loose metal jar lids and steel bottle caps.


  • Include newspapers, magazines, brochures, office paper, file folders, greeting cards, mail, paperback books, phone books, paper bags, dry-food cartons (like cereal boxes), paperboard boxes, egg cartons, cardboard beverage carriers, paper towel rolls, and corrugated cardboard. Always try to flatten boxes.
  •  Do not include hardback books, Styrofoam or waxed paper or cartons.
  • Cardboard too large to fit in the recycling cart must be cut/crushed down or dropped off at the following locations and times:

 Dumping materials when the facilities are closed is prohibited.

IMPORTANT! Do NOT throw any of the following non-recyclable items in your recycling cart because that will taint the entire recycling stream, jeopardizing the usability of recycled materials throughout the supply chain. 
  • Plastic bags - do NOT bag recyclables.  Bags jam the recycling machinery.
  • Shredded paper
  • Coat hangers
  • Aluminum foil or Cooking plates
  • Waxed paper, waxed cardboard (frozen food boxes and orange juice cartons)
  • Ceramics or dishware
  • Windowpanes or mirrors
  • Paint, pesticides, or oil
  • Food or yard waste
  • Fabrics/clothing
  • Plumbing fixtures, car parts, scrap metal. 
  • Styrofoam or packing peanuts
  • VHS Tapes, CD cases.
  • Electronic waste like cell phones, computers, televisions, and VCRs. 
  • Biohazardous waste, household sharps

Recycling Education

Montgomery County Recycling Guide: recycling items from A to Z


Want to see the recycling process after it leaves your home? Republic Recycling Services created this video tour of one of its recycling facilities.


Commercial Recycling

 Since 1995, PA Act 101 and Cheltenham Ordinance 1820-95 have required all commercial and institutional entities to recycle high-grade office paper, aluminum cans, corrugated paper and leaf wastes.  The Township Ordinance also requires these entities to submit reports detailing the tonnage they recycle to the Refuse Superintendent, Cheltenham Township, 8101 Old York Rd., Elkins Park, PA. The report must appear on the recycling hauler’s letterhead, as required by the state. 

Recycling is not only the law. It’s also a valuable boon to the environment, reducing pollution while preserving natural resources. 

For more information, contact the Public Works Department.

Where to Recycle Used Oil

Scrap Metal

The Township will accept some types of scrap metal for drop-off recycling. Contact the Public Works Department at 215-635-4600 for details.