WILKES-BARRE — The state Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday announced that six Luzerne County municipalities will receive just over $1 million in state recycling grants.
The grants were awarded by DEP through the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act (Act 101).
DEP Spokeswoman Colleen Connolly said grant funds approved are used to develop and implement recycling programs. Through the program, municipalities and counties across Pennsylvania are eligible for up to 90 percent funding of approved recycling program costs.
“Obviously, these communities have shown the need for funding for recycling,” Connolly said. “Based on the money we awarded — more than $1 million — shows people care about recycling and they want it to continue.”
She said some towns in the state have been trying to do away with recycling by pushing it to private industry.
“But that’s not the case here in Luzerne County,” she said.
State Sen. John Yudichak, D-Plymouth Township, sent out a news release regarding the DEP grants, calling the news “an exciting announcement” for the seven municipalities and a great investment by the state into important local recycling programs.
“This funding will allow municipalities across Luzerne County to expand their recycling programs to make recycling available to more residents and to better protect and preserve our environment,” Yudichak said.
According to DEP, the following county municipalities received funding:
• Exeter Borough, $247,336 to purchase a recycling collection truck and curbside recycling containers.
• West Wyoming Borough, $202,545 to purchase a front-end loader and curbside recycling bins and also further their recycling education program.
• Dallas Area Municipal Authority, $228,665 for drop-off and recycling/education programs.
• Plains Township, $198,093 to purchase a recycling collection vehicle and curbside recycling containers.
• Newport Township, $78,187 to purchase a curbside recycling vehicle.
• Freeland Borough, $45,477 to purchase curbside recycling containers and also produce educational brochures.
• Hughestown Borough, $2,592 to purchase curbside recycling containers.
Connolly said the grants were originally to be announced in January; however, computer glitches delayed the announcement. She said once all the data was compiled, a decision was made to have more recycling people review the applications.
Connolly said the municipalities were notified Monday of the grant awards. About 902 grants were awarded across Pennsylvania, the DEP said.