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Recycling Grants Will Benefit Luzerne County Communities

October 13, 2018

A new recycling packer; a truck-mounted leaf vacuum; 5,000 recycling bins — these are a few of the things that $1.7 million in recycling grants will fund in some Luzerne County communities this year.

The state Department of Environmental Protection has awarded $37 million in Recycling Development and Implementation Grants to 195 county and municipal governments, including eight in Luzerne County, DEP announced Friday.

The grants are for recycling collections and education, as well as leaf litter pickup.

“By providing these grants, we are helping bolster recycling in communities all over Pennsylvania, and reduce the amount of material going into our landfills,” DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said in a news release. “Whether it’s from increased education for residents or an entire facility for sorting recyclables, these grants are making a difference.”

Many of the grants are for community leaf collection programs. Leaf litter cannot be sent to landfills, and many municipalities prohibit open burning.

“Composting leaf waste from residential areas is a good practice,” McDonnell said. “It allows a beneficial use of the leaves that fall every year, and cuts down on air pollution from burning leaves.”

Kingston Twp. is using its $185,565 grant to purchase a truck-mounted leaf vacuum that will cost about $174,000, and to reimburse the township for purchases related to a compost site it opened a couple years ago — things like surveillance cameras, a security gate, spotlights and other upgrades, said township Manager Kathleen Sebastian.

“It’s going to help with our stormwater management and the permit we get from DEP because we’re going to be able to get rid of a lot more leaves,” Sebastian said, explaining that leaves can block stormwater grates, and collecting them will prevent them from entering the watershed.

A new recycling truck will use up the lion’s share of a $223,340 grant going to the City of Pittston, while the remainder will be used for educational programs and recycling containers, said city Administrator Joe Moskovitz.

“We actually recycle more than we tip at a landfill anymore. And this wouldn’t be possible without the funding and support of DEP,” Moskovitz said. “We’re very thankful. Recycling trucks have gone up considerably in price.”

Hanover Twp. will use its $159,791 grant toward a new mini packer and 5,000 new recycling bins for residents, said township Manager Sam Guesto.

“The packer will replace an aging recycling truck. It will be a welcome addition,” Guesto said.

Other local grant recipients are:

• Dallas Area Municipal Authority, $207,855.

•Dupont Borough, $25,481.

•Kingston Municipality, $238,050.

•Plains Twp., $287,093.

•Wilkes-Barre City, $350,000.

Wilkes-Barre city Administrator Ted Wampole and grant coordinator Mark Barry declined to comment on the award because the city had not yet received official notification from DEP.

Messages left for other award recipients were not immediately returned.

Examples of eligible projects include operating leaf compost facilities; developing web-based programs on recycling for consumers; expanding recycling processing facilities; installing data collection systems on recycling vehicles; continuing and creating curbside recycling programs; and developing educational materials to encourage residents to properly recycle.

Contact the writer:

smocarsky@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2110, @MocarskyCV

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