CCSWA airs issues to Sankey official|
Friday, September 13, 2013
By Wendy Lynn Brion Staff Writer
Bill Armstrong, a representative of Rep. Tommy Sankey, R-74 of Clearfield, attended last night's Clearfield County Solid Waste Authority meeting and the board members took the opportunity to explain to Armstrong the situation rural solid waste authorities are in with the goal of Armstrong taking the information back to Sankey.
The first issue discussed was the disposal ban for electronics. Director Jodi Brennan explained that on Jan. 1 electronics were banned from landfills. Manufacturers were instructed to look at last year's production and were required to buy back a percentage of weight manufactured. This year the buy back amount was 30 percent.
Brennan said the quotas were met by February and the recyclers are now not getting paid, meaning CCSWA's company, JVS, is not able to pay CCSWA even though they are still continuing to collect electronics from Clearfield County. Part of the problem is that the weights being produced are very different from that being collected. The companies are producing smaller, lighter weight products but people are throwing out older, bigger components.
Next year the percentage is supposed to go up to 100 percent, which will help some.
"It is really difficult for rural areas," Brennan said, because rural areas do not have the same resources urban areas have.
The board also discussed the administrative fees that were once collected by solid waste authorities. Brennan explained these had been a big revenue source for the authority. Every ton of waste from the county would result in a $2 administration fee paid back to the county from the landfill, but the provision in the bill was struck down, although the bills to dispose of waste did not go down accordingly.
Brennan said Senate Bill 460 would reinstate the fees, but a sponsor is needed from the House and the bill needs to be voted on in both houses of the General Assembly.
CCSWA is hoping Sankey will take a look at the bill and consider sponsoring it.
The authority members explained that if the revenue stream does not improve, CCSWA and other solid waste authorities will eventually have to shut down programs. When Armstrong asked how this will affect quality of life, Brennan explained that it will result in a rise in illegal dumping and there will be no place for disposal of tires or electronics.
Board Member Mike Delfosse added that the municipalities rely on CCSWA for regular clean up days as well and lack of revenue will mean those events will stop.
Board Member Lyle Millard added that the county would also lose its solid waste authority officer, Barry Lumadue. Lumadue is a county employee, but the CCSWA reimburses his salary and benefits and vehicle. Brennan said Lumadue is instrumental is getting illegal dumpsites cleaned up and the county has been doing much better with the problem since he came on board.
Don Shaw, board member, added that the administrative fees also allowed CCSWA to put some money in certificates of deposit, all of which have now been cashed in to keep the authority running.
Chairman Bill Mackereth said if the General Assembly would pass the bill, it would really help solid waste authorities to keep operating.
As it is, CCSWA may have about three years left, Brennan explained. She said one thing which has helped tremendously is the county's municipal waste plan. As a result, the CCSWA will receive a $27,500 donation from Advance Disposal Service yearly for 10 years beginning next year, and the amount the company charges for disposal service drop offs has been lowered.
In regards to the municipal waste plan, Brennan said it is still in the appeal process.
In other business:
• a prescription take back day is scheduled for Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. but the locations will not be announced until Oct. 1.
• DuBois Business College will be hosting a residential shredding event on Sept. 18 from 3-7 p.m. in conjunction with WTAJ-TV and Bergmeier Hauling.
• Brennan presented information on "10 Things You Can Recycle Through the Mail" from the website www.earth911.com. She said if you visit the website, search for the term in the search box. There are also other articles on reusing and recycling items on the website.
• the authority reminds people there are 50 special event recycling containers available for organizations to use.
The next meeting will be Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at the county administrative offices on Locust Street.