Rural counties and communities face very different obstacles in building effective recycling programs. Here are three and the creative solutions they have come up with.
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“Eighteen (18) of the County’s 33 municipalities contract for trash and curbside recycling with various haulers. Of these, 17 make up the entire eastern half of the County. Twelve (12) of the 18 are Act 101 mandated and must recycle,” he continued.
"In 2009 in the rural western part of the county, we expanded from two (2) one-day per month drop-off sites to five drop off sites. Four of the drop-off sites operate a minium of five days a week and as a result, our numbers are up 80%. In 2008 we collected 206 tons of materials for recycling and in 2009, we were at 378 tons. We've also setup some effective partnerships. Four of the drop-off sites, located at municipal buildings, each use three (3) county owned 30 yard roll-off containers to collect recyclables and a county owned truck is shared by the municipalities to service the containers."
The rules are fairly simple, yet effective. Each township must:
· Request use of the truck.
· Provide a CDL certified driver.
· Monitor the containers.
· Plow for snow to keep them accessible.
· Provide daily maintenance for the site.
There is no materials sorting facility in Cumberland County, so the single stream recyclables are consolidated with recyclables collected by Interstate Waste Services and then trucked to a Greenstar sorting facility in Allentown.
The Town of Bloomsburg Recycling Center processed on average 800 tons from businesses and communities out side of the Town limits. On average the center processes and markets about 2400 -2500 tons of materials annually from our curbside, drop-off and commercial business collections. In addition to what is processed at the Towns facility another 630 tons are reported by businesses that market their own recyclables (cardboard) to private sector processors.
"Our numbers for 2009 were about the same as 2008," explained Charles Fritz, Recycling Coorinator for the Town. We sell our material with brokers who arrange transportation to appropriate mills.
"In 2009 when the economy was poor and prices were low the sale of materials accounted for roughly 35% of our revenue. In 2008 by comparison it was roughly 45%," he continued.
"Five area schools competed against one another in a one month school paper recycling challenge known as Greensylvania. The competition was done in other counties in PA as well. Competing schools in our competition were Columbia Montour Vo-Tech, Central Columbia High, Middle, and Elementary and Beaver-Main Elementary. These schools all deliver their recycling via their own maintenance dept and are not in mandated communities."
Lebanon County is really not like any other," explained Amy Mazzella di Bosco, the Recycling Coordinator for the County. "I wish we had a more coordinated program. We have 17 municipalities with ordinances that require curbside recycling, but 13 of these do not contract with a hauler. The haulers are left to comply with the ordinances and provide a service that is competitive. This costs the residents about twice what they would have to pay, if there were a more centralized and coordinated program," she continued.
"Several communities, Union Township, The City of Lebanon and North Cornwall Township have drop off centers. Palmyra is the exception, they do their own collection and own their own fleet of trucks."
The Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority acts as a clearing house for the haulers and municipalities to report their numbers. In 2008, they reported 67,091 tons of recycled materials, 32,032 of these from Act 101 materials. They also handled 89,200 tons of landfill material.