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Recycling Receives Waste Watcher Award

09/04/2013
Recycling Receives Waste Watcher Award
The City of Allentown Bureau of Recycling and Solid Waste is being honored with a 2013 Waste Watcher Award from the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP) and the Solid Waste Association of North America – Keystone Chapter. The award was accepted last month by city Bureau of Recycling and Solid Waste Manager Ann Saurman and Recycling Coordinator Jane Kramer at PROP’s annual conference in Wilkes-Barre.

The Pennsylvania Waste Watchers program recognizes recycling, waste reduction, reuse, and composting programs in Pennsylvania that have exhibited exemplary performance. This year, more than 70 municipalities, counties, private businesses, individuals, and community organizations from throughout Pennsylvania are being recognized for going above and beyond what is mandated under Act 101 for their communities or programs.

In 2012, the Bureau of Recycling and Solid Waste launched a new mulch program to process all of the material collected during weekly curbside collection (January, and April to November) and material that is dropped-off by the public. The program also benefits the city’s Parks Department and public and private property owners in Allentown. The city purchased a Vermeer 7000 Tub Grinder that can quickly process large quantities of yard waste and large tree stumps.

“It’s been a very successful program,” said Saurman. “We’ve been able to reuse and recycle those items and keep them out of the waste stream. We’ve saved the city money and provided an additional service for our taxpayers.”

Prior to the purchase of the Tub Grinder, the Parks Department was purchasing mulch to use in the city’s parks system. Now the Recycling staff grinds material from curbside collection, drop off and Christmas trees and then screens the material into various grades of mulch to be used on trails, flower beds and other locations. Some material is pumped into silt socks for Parks to use for erosion control.

Mulch is also available to the public. In 2012, the city began a mulch loading service for the public at $12 per cubic yard. Self-loading of material is free. Approximately 2,350 tons of yard waste was collected and processed in 2012.

The city’s Yard Waste Site at Fish Hatchery and Oxford Drive is open to Allentown property owners during the week and Saturdays. Some 300 to 500 customers utilize the site on a weekly basis.
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