Waste Reimagined

By definition, waste means something "discarded as no longer useful." But what if the opposite were true? What if we RETHINK waste and consider the value it holds? What if we RECOVER opportunities from waste to RENEW our world?

What if waste were a resource?

LCSWMA answers this question every day in innovative, creative and sustainable ways. Watch the story unfold in the videos below.

How much do we throw away?

4.4 Punds of Trash Per Day

Did you know, the average American creates 4.4 pounds of trash, also called municipal solid waste (MSW), per day? That translates into 1 ton of MSW per person annually.

Across the United States, much of that waste is sent to landfills (54% according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).

But in Southcentral Pennsylvania, LCSWMA diverts most MSW from the landfill (96% - 98% each year). Instead, we transform waste into a resource for making great things happen in our community. Because we believe waste is valuable, powerful, and provides opportunities for beautiful and creative things. More importantly, we understand that waste connects us.

Curious to learn more?

What happens after something is thrown away?


Well, it never really goes "away." It must go somewhere. At LCSWMA, it’s our job to manage the waste in a way that protects and benefits our community.

In Lancaster and Dauphin Counties, LCSWMA manages the waste through our nationally recognized and award-winning Integrated System that not only reduces landfill use, but powers our community.

In fact, we power 1 in 5 area homes with trash!

Explore Our Innovative Approach:

How does the Integrated System work?

1 Million Tons of Solid Waste

Each year, around 1 million tons of solid waste moves through LCSWMA’s Integrated System. Our innovative approach to managing the waste includes four key steps:

Step 1

Minimizing the Volume &
Toxicity of Waste

This includes curbside and drop-off recycling, as well as proper disposal of household hazardous waste.

Recycling & HHW

Step 2

Consolidate &
Transfer the Waste

Private haulers deliver the post-recycled waste to our Transfer Station Complex, where it is loaded into trailers and transferred for further processing and disposal.

Transfer Station Complex

Step 3

Combust the Waste for Volume Reduction & Energy Recovery

Our waste-to-energy facilities (WTE) combust the waste, reducing its volume by 90% and creating renewable energy (electricity).

Waste-to-Energy Facilities

Step 4

Minimal Landfilling

Only a small percentage of waste that is not recycled or converted to energy is disposed in our environmentally sound landfill.

Frey Farm Landfill

Did you know waste is powerful?

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Not only does LCSWMA divert 96-98% of MSW from the landfill each year, we also provide green energy to our community. A few of these projects include:

  • Powering the equivalent of 45,000 area homes with trash.
  • Generating enough wind energy to create 5-6 million gallons of ice cream.
  • Using compressed natural gas to prevent 10 million pounds of air pollutants each year.
  • And more!

Discover how waste is a powerful resource:

Can you imagine waste creates beautiful things?

Beautifying Our Community

In addition to reuse, recycling, and renewable energy, waste also provides an opportunity to create beautiful things in our community.

LCSWMA owns over 1,000 acres of land. This land is not only used to host the Integrated System, but also open space and recreational trails for the community to enjoy.

Waste also connects us in ways we may not realize, including the arts and other cultural activities.

See how we make waste a beautiful thing:

We invite YOU to help transform waste into a resource!

While LCSWMA works hard to transform waste into a resource, we need the help of residents, businesses, institutions, and community groups. It takes all of us to create a more sustainable world.

Show us how you RETHINK waste, RECOVER value from it, or take a RENEWed approach to minimizing your garbage footprint.

Take a photo and share it on social media using: