HARRISBURG – State Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) today questioned Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Michael Krancer on current department policies, including the status quo of statewide recycling initiatives. The questioning was part of the Senate Appropriations Committee deliberations to review Governor Tom Corbett’s $28.4 billion state General Fund budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2013-14.
Yaw, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, urged Secretary Krancer to support increased ‘single stream recycling’ efforts during the committee hearing in Harrisburg.
“I’ve talked to your regional director about single stream recycling and about mandatory curbside pick-up,” Yaw said. “In Union and Lycoming counties there are private businesses already starting to do single stream recycling on their own. It would save the Commonwealth money and the indications are it would drastically increase recycling all around,” Yaw added.
Single stream recycling is a process allowing citizens the option to combine recyclable material into a single bin, eliminating the need for separation and multiple bins. After home pick-up, single stream recyclable material is then taken to a recycling center with the ability to process, bale and market. This process has the ability to expand both the quantity and range of materials collected in all areas that have subscription waste collection.
Yaw also pressed for single stream recycling efforts throughout the state Capitol complex and indicated that Pennsylvania Department of General Services staff has been included in the conversations. “I am amazed at how limited recycling there is in this building,” he added.
During the hearing, Yaw also cited an example last year in Kelly Township, Union County, where U.S. Census population numbers for the township included the population of incarcerated inmates at the federal correctional facility located within the township. As a result of Kelly Township’s overall population number, the township would have been required by state law to implement mandatory curbside recycling in the community because it was over the 5,000 person threshold.
“Fortunately, Representative Fred Keller and I were able to work with our colleagues in the General Assembly to amend PA’s recycling law (Act 101 of 1988) to exclude the population of a state or federal facility (that conducts a recycling program administered by the state or federal government) when determining compliance with Act 101,” Yaw said.
Contact: Adam Pankake