The Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority’s ultimate goal is to be waste-free in 30 years.
To accomplish that, the authority is encouraging the county’s residents to recycle more, said Joanne Shafer, deputy executive director and recycling coordinator. The authority hired Advanced Disposal for consulting services with the intention of getting partially reimbursed with state grant funding.
On Tuesday, the Board of Commissioners approved the municipal waste planning grant with the state Department of Environmental Protection. The grant total is $54,056 with $43,245 from the state and a $10,811 match from the authority.
With the dedication of county residents to recycling, Shafer is hopeful that it can continue to build on its current mark of 51 percent recycled solid waste. The state goal for counties is 35 percent, she said.
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“Citizens here in Centre County really believe in recycling, and they get very, very passionate about it,” she said. “And (they) want to make sure that there’s more and more and more.”
And they are trying to come up with creative ways to do it.
They will wrap up a successful pilot program Wednesday collecting plastic bags among 16 State College-area elementary schools. Shafer said they have collected about 4,500 pounds of bags so far with one more collection day coming on Wednesday.
With those numbers each school will receive a bench made completely from the recycled plastics. A final announcement of how much each school donated will be revealed Monday, she said.
Authority officials are also now collecting shingles and vinyl siding as people are doing spring work on their homes. The shingles will be utilized by Glenn O. Hawbaker through a public private partnership to be used for asphalt.
The authority also is planning for its annual household hazardous waste collection weekend that is set for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 2 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 3 at its College Township collection facility, 253 Transfer Road.
They will be accepting most household hazardous material with the exception of latex paint, used motor oil, antifreeze, alkaline batteries and medications.