HARRISBURG – To protect the environment and improve the economic competitiveness of its communities, Gov. Edward G. Rendell said Pennsylvania will reimburse Allegheny, Armstrong, Bucks and Centre counties a total of $530,000 to help them pay for the revision of their municipal waste management plans.
“Making plans for proper management of waste and recycling is essential for keeping Pennsylvania’s communities growing and competitive,” Rendell said. “Clean communities provide a high quality of life and invite economic development. Recycling is a valuable tool in protecting the environment, saving energy and creating jobs.”
Armstrong County will receive $52,400 in funding to conduct a recycling study. In addition, waste management planning grants will be awarded to Allegheny County ($198,568), Bucks County ($81,277) and Centre County ($200,000).
The Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, or Act 101 of 1988, requires each county in Pennsylvania to submit an officially adopted municipal waste management plan to the Department of Environmental Protection for the waste it generates.
The plans describe the origin, content, and weight or volume of municipal waste currently generated within the counties, and for waste expected to be generated during the next 10 years. They also:
• Ensure disposal capacity for the next 10 years.
• Identify facilities where municipal waste is disposed or processed assets and the remaining available permitted capacity of such facilities.
• Contain an analysis of the affect of recycling on waste generated within the county.
• Describe the costs of related facilities, recycling programs or waste reduction programs during the next 10 years.
“Pennsylvania has found innovative ways to manage its municipal waste, improve recycling programs and prevent illegal dumping because it works closely with county and municipal governments,” said DEP Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty. “Working together to reduce and manage waste and improve recycling performance across the state will help us continue to improve the beauty of our communities and keep Pennsylvania economically competitive.”
County waste management plans must address recycling, an important driver of the state economy and a key tool for reducing waste. In 2005, Pennsylvanians recycled a record 4.86 million tons of municipal waste, saving consumers and industries nearly $263 million in disposal costs and providing businesses with materials valued at $577 million.
The commonwealth’s recycling and reuse industry includes more than 3,200 establishments with total annual sales of $18.4 billion. The industry employs more than 81,000 people and has an annual payroll of $2.9 billion.
Recycling saves energy by reducing the amount of natural resources that have to be extracted from the earth and manufactured into finished products. The materials Pennsylvanians recycled in 2005 saved almost 98 trillion British thermal units, or Btus, of energy and cut more than 2.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the air.
Applications for the county municipal waste management planning grants may be submitted at any time.