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County adds recycling bins in Northern Blair

Have you noticed the large, green receptacles near the Snyder Township building and District Magistrate Fred Miller’s office?
If so, use them.
That’s the message being sent by the Blair County Solid Waste Authority as it continues to increase awareness concerning recycling.
Recently, BCSWA received state funding to purchase and maintain the two recycling receptacles, and so far, both have seen tons of traffic.
“We’re excited about the efforts being put forth by the residents in the northern part of our county,” said Kris Howdyshell, BCSWA director. “I would say that when we make pick ups, we find the receptacles to be about three-quarters of the way full. That tells me that people are definitely using them and that’s what we’re looking for.”
According to Howdyshell, residents wishing to get rid of corrugated cardboard, newspapers, steel, aluminum cans and plastic bottles can use the receptacles. He said the county picks up the items on a regular, two-times a week basis.
“There are signs at each location detailing what we can accept and what we can’t,” said Howdyshell. “We’re just asking residents to pay attention to the signs, which will make our job easier in the long run.”
Howdyshell said once the items are collected, they are packaged and taken to one of two material recovery facilities in the county.
“From that point, they are sorted and consolidated,” said Howdyshell. “It’s then put on tractor trailers and shipped to a broker for re-sale to an end-user or be directly shipped to an end-user for use in their products.”
The solid waste authority does not pick up recyclables at curbside. Howdyshell said the state Department of Environmental Protection requires municipal waste haulers to offer the service with trash pick-up.
“We have coordinated special pickups in the past with municipal haulers and will most likely do similar events together in the future,” he said.
Howdyshell, who has been director at BCSWA since 2000, said he has seen an attitude change in people regarding recycling.
“In the last few years, I’ve seen a lot of people willing and wanting to recycle many different items,” said Howdyshell, “items they possibly didn’t know could be recycled before. There has been a large increase in the amount of people who want to recycle things like motor oil, appliances and tires. We try to provide those outlets.”
Howdyshell said those interested in learning more about the county’s recycling efforts, can log onto www.blaircounty.org.
The BCSWA is also looking into securing more grant funding to possibly establish more recycling site around the county.
“We have a grant round coming up and we’re again hoping to secure more funding,” said Howdyshell. “It’s a good possibility that we’ll see more additions to the program in nine months to a year. It all depends on the funding.”