HARRISBURG – Nearly 200 county and municipal governments will be getting a boost to their recycling and leaf collection programs this year, thanks to $37 million in Recycling Development and Implementation Grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Grants were awarded to 195 county and municipal governments for recycling collections and education, as well as leaf litter pickup.
In Clearfield County, grants were given to Clearfield Borough, $76,545; Clearfield County Solid Waste Authority, $30,600; and Lawrence Township, $153,255
“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 DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
“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,” said McDonnell. “It allows a beneficial use of the leaves that fall every year, and cuts down on air pollution from burning leaves.”
Through the grant program, municipalities and counties in Pennsylvania are eligible for up to 90 percent funding of approved recycling program costs.
Municipalities that are designated financially distressed under the Financial Distressed Communities Act are eligible to receive funding for an additional 10 percent of approved costs.
Grants were also awarded based on programs designed to meet current market demands for recyclable goods.
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.