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City To Complete First Year Of Curbside Recycling

July 22nd, 2015 by WCBC Radio

The city will complete its first year of the free curbside recycling at the end of the month with officials saying the service has been a big hit with residents. “It’s been seamless. We have exceeded the expectations of any community typically adding the service for the first year,” said Mayor Brian Grim. Burgmeier’s Hauling Inc. of Altoona, Pa., implemented the recycling program last July 1. “I would say that Cumberland has been really successful,” said Dalton Wood, sales and marketing representative for Burgmeier’s. Raquel Ketterman, environmental specialist for the city, gave the estimated fiscal year-end statistics for the recycling program. “We did 144 tons of co-mingled, plastic, metal and glass. For the mixed papers, we recycled 162 tons,” said Ketterman. Ketterman worked at a booth at Heritage Days last weekend to educate the public on the recycling program and to gather public comments on the service.

“We spent two whole days taking comments. People wanted to know if they were doing it right. The comments were mostly positive,” said Ketterman. The mixed paper recycling is for softback books, magazines, junk mail, catalogs, newspapers, cereal boxes and other paper items. All recyclables are placed in a burgundy Burgmeier’s trash barrel for pickup. “I‚Äąthink it has been wonderfully run largely to the credit of Burgmeier’s,” said Grim. With city garbage pickup held twice a week, residents have two times each week to recycle. The weeks alternate between co-mingled and mixed paper. People have twice a week to set out the same commodity until it rotates to the next product that following week.

“People are taking advantage of it,” said Wood.

Mixed paper goes to PennMar Recycling on Kelly Road, according to Wood. The co-mingled product returns to Burgmeier’s Altoona facility and is ultimately transported to Greenstar, a large scale recycling firm in Pittsburgh.

“They market it and give it to people who make it a usable product,” said Wood.

Wood said there are no changes scheduled for the recycling program for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1.

“The goal is 100 percent participation. Not only are we getting increased participation but the quality is getting better and better. The stuff is relatively clean. The better that quality is at the curb, the easier it will get recycled. People are catching on how to do it. It’s getting better and better,” said Wood.

Ketterman and Grim hope the program grows in the coming year.

“We want more folks to come aboard,” said Grim.

Ketterman said a report will be presented on the recycling program at the regular meeting of the City Council on July 21.

 

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