The Lackawanna County Commissioners Corey D. O'Brien, Jim Wansacz and Patrick M. O'Malley in conjunction with the Solid Waste Management Authority announced today a "one bin" paper recycling program will go into effect, which will greatly increase participation and generate huge cost savings for the local municipalities.
"This is great news for Lackawanna County because it streamlines a vital environmental function for everyone," explained Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey D. O'Brien. "We have consolidated all paper fiber into one large grouping making it much easier for residents to figure out and manage. It is also much more economical for the small municipalities to collect everything in one pick-up."
"The recycling center stepped-up big time on the paper fiber recycling process. It cost them some resources to retool their conveyor belts and process lines to accommodate the new arrangement," said Commissioner Jim Wansacz. "This was an investment that will pay dividends in the future due to the increased recycling by our residents. This new process has taken the confusion out of what can and cannot be commingled."
"This is an all around good plan for protecting our environment. Everyone now knows recycling is reduced to two bins - one for paper fiber items, such as newspapers and magazines, boxes and cardboard, and the other for the traditional glass, aluminum cans and plastic," said Commissioner Patrick M. O'Malley.
Under the new combined, "one bin" paper recycling program, households will be able to combine newspaper, office paper, magazines, phone books and heavy and light cardboard all in one container.
The new format will also enable families to mix in discarded mail and cereal, tissue and gift boxes. It's imperative that all of the box items be clean of any food waste and liners.
Aside from the ease of this new format for Lackawanna County residents, municipalities will also reap huge benefits.
The new one bin paper fiber system will now eliminate the costs of several separate collections, manpower and vehicle usage, saving thousands of dollars for area cities, townships, and boroughs. The money saved under this new arrangement can be assigned to other projects or programs in their general budgets.
This new process will also help to generate an increase in participation by residents, which in turn could create the potential for more performance funding from the state.
To accommodate this new arrangement, the conveyor belt, processor lines and other equipment have been retooled at the recycling center.
This enhanced recycling program will increase environmental benefits, reduce landfill costs, make it easier for people to participate, and safeguard wildlife and other natural resources.
This new format is a huge upgrade from past paper fiber collectables. Presently, the recycling center was only accepting source separated newspaper with magazines and phone books, source separated corrugated cardboard, and source separated office paper.
The "one bin" recycling program for glass bottles and jars without tops, aluminum and steel cans will be increased by including tops on all plastic bottles and jars and adding plastic tubs, tops and lids.
To educate the citizens of Lackawanna County on this paper fiber change, an educational brochure will be direct mailed to residents in every municipality that participates in the County's recycling program.
For further information on the new "one bin" paper fiber collection, contact Barbara Giovagnoli, community outreach and education specialist, in the County's office of environmental sustainability, at 570-963-2017, ext. 1.
Information from Lackawanna County Commissioners