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Monroe County recycling programs granted $1.9M in funding

[Editor's Note: Unfortunately, the recycling center in Barrett is now closed...]

With recycling and waste programs struggling throughout the region, recent grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will be providing much needed relief.

A total of eight Monroe County organizations received nearly $2 million to be used for different types of recycling program and education.

“By providing these grants, we are helping bolster recycling in communities all over Pennsylvania, and reduce the amount of material going into our landfills,” said Patrick McDonnell, Department of Environmental Protection(DEP) secretary.

The state’s DEP announced earlier this month that 195 county and municipal governments would be receiving $37 million in Recycling Development and Implementation grants In Monroe County, eight programs received a total of $1,993,805. The grants can be used for recycling and education programs, as well as leaf collection.

Chestnuthill Township, Coolbaugh Township, Monroe County Waste Management Authority, Middle Smithfield Township, Oak Grove Multi-Municipal Compost Facility, Polk Township, Smithfield Township and Stroud Township were all awarded grants.

Some of the grants, like the $349,205 that went to the Monroe County Waste Authority, will go to bolstering both their leaf collection and recycling programs. According to Jim Lambert, executive director, the grant money will be going to purchasing a new collection truck and specialized equipment for recycling glass.

Lambert added that improper recycling methods have led to cost increases for the Monroe County Waste Authority in recent years and without grant funding, the organization would have difficulty keeping up.

“For us its imperative and we wouldn’t be operational if not for the availability of the grant to at least help us replenish equipment. We would be lost without it,” Lambert said.

The following townships and organizations in Monroe County will receive recycling grants from the state:

Chestnuthill Township $313,871

Coolbaugh Township $301,707

Middle Smithfield Township $33,262

Polk Township $154,433

Smithfield Township $290,512

Stroud Township $350,000

Monroe County Waste Management Authority $349,205

Oak Grove Multi-Municipal Compost Facility $200,815

Many of the others are utilizing the grant funds for leaf collection-related programs as well.

Due to mandates, municipalities with more than 20,000 citizens are required to have a leaf collection program. Some of the grants will go towards purchasing new equipment to replace outdated equipment for their recycling or leaf collection programs.

One of those municipalities is Coolbaugh Township. While Coolbaugh has a leaf collection program, the equipment it is currently utilizing is not the most efficient. With the grant money, the township can purchase a second truck for leaf collection, something that would be impossible without it.

“This is huge,” said Bill Weimer, Coolbaugh Township supervisor. “The residents are really going to be happy about it because now the leaf collection can get done in a timely fashion.”

For Stroud Township, the grant funding means that they will be able to properly dispose of yard waste. Of the $350,000 the township received, $290,000 will go towards the remaining balance of a wood grinder at their Gaunt Road yard waste site and the other $60,000 will go towards a small trailer for hauling yard waste.

[Original Article]

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