Recycling brings cash into O'Hara's coffers

Tawnya Panizzi
| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 7:18 p.m.

Recycling in O'Hara Township not only helps the environment, it helps the taxpayers' wallets.

The municipality has raked in nearly $70,000 so far this year for its performance as well as its efforts to increase recycling awareness in 2012.

The money was made available through two grants from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

O'Hara was among a handful of communities in Allegheny County to receive a grant from the state, worth $45,270, for developing and implementing a recycling program.

The other $24,632 was awarded based on the amount of recyclable items the township actually collects.

“We're proud of our grants,” Township Manager Julie Jakubec said.

The $45,270 will help pay for two new leaf vacuums. They are automated, which makes for quicker collection, she said.

The money was part of $17.8 million doled out by the DEP earlier this month to 131 municipalities for environmental stewardship.

“Recycling plays a key role in improving Pennsylvania's economy and protecting its environment,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “These grants further that cause, and DEP is proud to invest in local programs that help the awardees strengthen their recycling programs.”

Municipalities were awarded the money to help purchase compost facilities, develop websites for recycling help, create curbside programs and distribute educational materials to residents.

Performance grants are also handed out by the DEP based on the amount of recycling collected by residents and businesses in the township each year. The township has consistently earned money based on the tonnage of recyclables hauled in.

In 2012, the township received $30,834 for its ability to collect 2,586 tons of residential and commercial materials.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at

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