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Resources for Reducing Household Waste

Updated: Jun 15, 2023

We're all trying to reduce our household waste these days. This year, our contracted trash hauler began limiting the amount of garbage that we can put on the curb each week. This may be causing some residents an inconvenience, but it is an opportunity to rethink what we're consuming and how much we are putting into the waste stream. Those single use plastics that you used for matter of minutes will sit forever in a landfill, and the piles of waste will only accumulate with each passing generation unless we change our habits today.

To celebrate Earth Week in April, we held a community meeting around zero waste practices. We heard from two awesome local companies that offer unique services to help folks cut back on what their putting in the trash.

Worm Return is a female-owned, socially responsible organic material diversion company providing composting services to the City of Pittsburgh and beyond. Their goal is to keep food scraps out of landfills and create soil amendments high in nutrients and valuable microbial life in the process. Founded by life-long environmentalist, Laura Totin Codori, Worm Return has been diverting food scraps from the landfill since January 2018.

When you sign up for service from Worm Return, a representative will come to your home weekly to pick up compostable materials and take them to their compost site to be turned in to rich, fertile, worm-filled soil! Worm Return will provide you with the container for your composting as well as a consultation to help you understand what materials from your home can be composted. This is a great option for urban-dwellers like us who just don't have the yard space for composting. They can be reached at, (412) 773-0306.

Sol Refill is a local business that provides shoppers with a better way to buy pantry, home, and body goods. Using reusable containers and a waste-free delivery service, they eliminate single-use plastics and excess packaging from the things you use the most. With Sol Refill's modern-day milk(wo)man-style service, they deliver to your doorstep and pick up the empties. Sol Refill's goal is to make sustainable choices more sustainable in your day-to-day life.

Orders can be place weekly by 6PM on Sunday and items are delivered on Wednesdays anywhere within 15 miles of Pittsburgh in reusable containers. The reusables are then picked up with your next order. Sol Refill offers a rearwards program for sticking with your commitment to eliminating single use plastics from your life! Earn $1 for each empty you return to use on your next order and Sol Refill cleans, sanitizes, and reuses them. Return 5 containers, and get $5 off!

Sol Refill's founder, Sydney, says,

"I believe we need less stuff and more meaning in our lives. I became curious about the zero-waste movement, quickly realizing it is not easy or accessible in our day-to-day reality. The goal of Sol is to help us bridge the gap between our current habits and the new ones we aspire to embrace."

Sol Refill can be reached at

These are just two small businesses that are making a big impact on the health of our environment, but our region is filled with individuals and organizations that specialize in removing items from the waste stream. Below are several resources you can use compiled by the Pennsylvania Resource Council:

Another fantastic local resource is the Buy Nothing Millvale/Etna/Sharpsburg/Reserve Township/Pittsburgh PA page on Facebook. Here you can post anything that you're looking to discard, from clothes you don't use anymore, products that you only needed a portion of, or anything that you think someone else may want to use! You never know who might be able to use an item that you are about to throw away! Here's the link to the page.

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