Please enable JavaScript to properly view our site.

We the People

Why is Manheim not in Manheim Township? Why doesn't Lancaster have a county-wide composting program? [We the People]


The town clock in Manheim at the corner of South Main Street and East High Street.

LancasterOnline is answering your questions through We the People, a public-powered journalism project.

You ask, you vote, and our reporters find the answers. 

Here are a few answers to questions that have not yet made it to the voting round. 

The voting round will be held next Monday.

How long have the Amish been in Lancaster County? Where do they get their buggies? [We the People]

If you have a question about something in or around Lancaster County, submit it below. Your question may be featured in a future article.

Submit your email to start asking your question.

"Why is Manheim Township called that when it doesn't border Manheim at all?"


PennDOT is planning a $40 million project to widen one mile of Route 222 in Manheim Township to six lanes and improve its ramps with the Route 30 interchange. The work is slated to begin in 2022.

Manheim Township, incorporated in 1729, was one of the first townships established in Lancaster County, along with 14 other townships that still exist today.

The other townships are Caernarvon, Conestoga, Donegal, Drumore, Earl, Hempfield, Lampeter, Lancaster, Leacock, Martic, Sadsburg, Salisbury and Warwick.

Bird-in-Hand, Marietta, Ephrata: where did Lancaster County town names come from?

With the exception of Salisbury, all other townships have modified their borders with time, according to a book, "From the Beginning: A History of Manheim Township" by C. Nat Netscher.

Immigrant farmers from Germany settled in Manheim Township soon after it was established.

Manheim Township was named after the German town, Mannheim, according to Netscher. 

Later, settlers would make their homes in northern Lancaster County. 

Rapho Township, the land where Manheim Borough originated, split from Donegal Township in 1741 and was incorporated, or run by its own local government.

Farmers would go on to settle in present-day Manheim Borough in the 1760s, though the borough was not incorporated until 1838.

In short, Manheim Township was settled and named first, and Manheim Borough was settled later by different people. And though they have the same name, and were named after the same German town, they are two entirely different entities.

Question submitted by Hollie M.

Was Lancaster County Central Park once a landfill? Why do gas prices vary city to city? [We the People]

"Why isn't there a food composting program for our residents?"

Food, not lawns

In the couple's kitchen, hundreds of red earthworms crawl contentedly through a compost bin filled with vegetable scraps and shredded newspaper. (JUSTIN GRAYBILL / NEW ERA)

Largely, Lancaster County does not have the infrastructure to support a large-scale, county-wide composting operation, says Kathryn Sandoe, Chief Commercial Officer of LCSWMA, Lancaster's waste management organization

Proposing this plan and bringing it to fruition would take a lot of change, said Sandoe in an interview with LNP | LancasterOnline. This would mean passing county-wide legislation that mandates a uniform food composting program to be followed by all of Lancaster County's 67 municipalities, much like Act 101 that mandates trash and recycling.

Even if legislature were to pass, there would be several operations to implement.

Sandoe breaks it into three categories:

While there isn't a universal food composting program in Lancaster County, there are ways to compost food in your own home.

Previous reporting from LNP | LancasterOnline says that home composting is as easy or as difficult as someone wants to make it. It can be as simple as having a pile of food scraps in one's backyard, or as involved as getting a special composting bin. 

Here are tips from Planet Natural, a research center that focuses on organic gardening, for making the perfect home compost bin.

Here are a few more tips from HGTV, which talk about the variability of home composting.

5 ways to avoid waste and save money at home

Sometimes, organizations like LCSWMA will host home composting classes. Be on the lookout for these types of events on our community calendar.

Question submitted by Katie R.

For more We the People