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February 2007

Pennsylvania awards $2.3 million in municipal recycling performance grants

Pennsylvania announced that 20 communities will share grants totaling more than $2.3 million for their recycling efforts in 2004.

One of Penn Township's successful recycling innovations is its collection of holiday gift packaging. Nearly 85 percent of materials collected are sold as commodities for manufacturers’ use.

In addition to the curbside recycling collections required by state law, Penn Township has a drop-off recycling program. Residents can take materials not collected at curbside to the drop-off center. The additional materials include corrugated cardboard, magazines, junk mail and newsprint. Eyeglasses and hearing aids are also collected for reuse.

Penn Township's collections at its drop-off recycling center include 21 tons of electronics, 90 tons of tires and 10.5 tons of textiles and cloth. The township also used 15 tons of waste salt collected from snack manufacturer Snyder's of Hanover for its winter roads program.

Penn Township encourages residents to recycle through its "pay-as-you- throw" refuse system. Residents are charged for refuse collection based on the amount of trash they dispose. Residents don't pay extra for recycling collections, though. So the more they divert to the recycling bins, the less they pay to throw away their trash.

In 2004, Pennsylvania recovered nearly 4.8 million tons of recyclable materials. The economic value of remaking those materials into new and useful products exceeded $113 million. Communities avoided some $260 million in disposal costs based on the estimated statewide average disposal cost of $54 per ton.

DEP has approved 765 of 793 recycling performance grant applications and awarded $18.1 million for calendar year 2004 recycling. The remaining 28 applications are being reviewed, and additional grant awards may be announced in the coming months.

To download a grant application, visit DEP's web site at, keyword "Recycling."

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