Recycling program in Greene County to reopen

Pictured is the entrance sign to the Greene Arc Inc. in Prosperity. A cooperative relationship between the county, Greene Arc, Inc. and Gateway Recycling has provided an opportunity for area residents and businesses to participate in the recycling program, which is expected to reopen in phases beginning July 13. (Photo by Steve Barrett)

Greene County Commissioners recently announced that the county’s recycling program – which has been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – is expected to reopen in phases beginning July 13.

A cooperative relationship between the county, Greene Arc, Inc. and Gateway Recycling has provided an opportunity for area residents and businesses to participate in the recycling program; however, the program has been shuttered since state Gov. Tom Wolf closed all non-life-sustaining businesses in response to the pandemic.

On Monday, the commissioners issued a release announcing that the recycling center at Greene Arc Inc, which is located at 197 Dunn Station Road in Prosperity, will resume operations on July 13 for private residents who individually deliver products for recycling.

Commissioners said the facility will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a staff member will examine all products to ensure they are acceptable.

“This will not be a ‘Drop and Go,’” the release states.

Commissioners stressed in the release that Greene Arc Recycling is unable to accept aluminum products – such as soda and beer cans – at this time.

“If nonacceptable material is recognized by the staff, the citizen will need to return that to their home,” the release states. “(Residents) will not be permitted to use the dumpsters to dispose of products on-site. County taxpayers bear a financial burden averaging $1,700 a month on disposing of materials delivered to the recycling center which are not recyclable.”

According to the release, in the second phase of reopening, which is scheduled for July 20, townships that choose to participate in the recycling program will be permitted to retrieve their trailers and begin the rotation process – or swap out – of their assigned trailers. Townships are responsible for the quality of the recycling product they deliver in their trailers.

Commissioners explained that for decades recycling programs have paid for themselves or even earned revenue, but much has changed over the last couple of years.

“Recycling, although well-intentioned, has become an expensive proposition,” the release states. “Costs associated with the collection, transportation, processing and marketing of those recyclables have recently increased substantially. Currently, revenue from the sale of recyclables is insufficient to financially sustain recycling programs.”

The release states that, as one of the largest consumers of recyclables, China has banned the importation of certain types of recyclables, as well as set strict contamination limits on recyclable materials.

“No longer will they accept shipments that are mixed with trash, the wrong type of recyclable, or low-quality recyclables ... Now, supply is greater than demand, severely diminishing the value of these materials,” the release states.

Commissioners said a coordinated effort in Greene County has the potential of reducing the overhead cost associated with our recycling program, but it relies on cooperation of the public and businesses as well.

“In order to effectively receive, sort and process the anticipated onslaught of recyclable materials accumulated over the past several months, specific measures will be in effect until further notice,” the release states.

Commissioners said the following is a list of acceptable and non-acceptable recyclable products.

Paper as listed (please separate):

n Cardboard (corrugated boxes, chipboard, empty cereal boxes);

n Sorted office paper (white paper, envelopes, copy paper, shredded paper – staples and paperclips will be accepted);

n Mixed paper (file folders, junk mail, magazines); and

n Newspaper (black and white).

Metals as listed:

n Tin Cans (soup cans – rinsed and clean).

Plastics as listed (please separate):

n #1 PET bottles (water and soda Bottles – clean and empty); and

n #2 HDPE jugs (milk jugs – clean and empty).

Items that will not be accepted:

n Aluminum cans (pop, soda, beer);

n Plastics (mixed bottles, jars, bags, Styrofoam, vinyl siding, toys, buckets);

n Wood (furniture, TV stands, speakers, pianos, cabinets);

n Glass (windows, automotive glass, mirrors, ceramics);

n Electronics (TVs, computers, speakers);

n Clothes;

n Light bulbs;

n Ink/toner cartridges;

n Mattresses

n Carpets;

n Medical Equipment;

n Home appliances;

n Batteries;

n Used motor oil;

n Tires;

n Any item with food residue;

n Construction waste;

n Car parts; and

n Bicycles.

For more information on the recycling program, call Greene Arc Inc. at 724-627-5511.

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