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Bridgeville resident helps teach importance of recycling

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Nancy Alauzen of Bridgeville has been a strong advocate of recycling for nearly a quarter century.

“My dad dragged me to recycling seminars,” said Alauzen, 55. “I found it really intriguing.”

She later worked for a packaging company and discovered the many grades of plastic. What she learned, she practiced and later taught. She led a “Recycling 101” seminar for Bridgeville residents in the early 1990s, the same time the borough instituted its mandatory recycling program.

People around town may know Alauzen from her column, “Out of the Landfill,” which she writes for Bridgeville Borough's quarterly newsletter.

“It's a fun, volunteer opportunity,” said Alauzen, who has written the column for about two years.

This spring's edition listed donation spots for household items, from Goodwill to Vietnam Veterans of America, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and Construction Junction. There even were locations to drop off panty hose and bras for recycling.

“Nancy was instrumental in us going to single-stream recycling,” said Bridgeville Mayor Pasquale B. DeBlasio.

Using that method, residents can place items in the blue bins and have them divided at the recycling center. Cans, plastic and paper will be sorted later.

Residents used to be limited in what went into their bins, but that changed with the last refuse contract, he said. Alauzen's columns in the newsletter also explain what can be recycled.

“This helps busy, young mothers with three kids,” DeBlasio said. “Instead of throwing things away, they get recycled. Not only is that saving the environment, but dollars.”

Recycling also reduces the number of items sent to landfills.

“This saves the world for our children and grandchildren,” Alauzen said.

Detergent and plastic bottles can be processed into plastic lumber. Attibi Recycling accepts newspapers, and she is happy to add to that collection. She gathers papers and phone books and takes the items to local bins.

“Some friends donate their newspapers to animal shelters for bedding,” she said.

No matter the organization, it's the approach that counts: Almost everything can have a second use.

Alauzen understands that for some people recycling can be an effort, but she keeps encouraging a recycler's lifestyle. She purchases recycled bath tissue, facial tissues and paper towels.

Even her 50th birthday party in the community park became a recycling event. All the pop bottles and cans used by the 70 to 80 guests there were whisked away by friends to be recycled.

“That took a huge effort to make that happen,” she said.

Plastic bags in grocery stores are one of her biggest pet peeves. The other is litter.

“Ninety-five percent of the time, I have my insulated cloth bag with me,” Alauzen said.

It's practical, convenient and part of her passion.

“Recycle. Repurpose. Reuse.” she said.

Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or

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