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Youngwood, Greensburg receive recycling grants

| Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 6:42 p.m.

Youngwood and Greensburg will be buying equipment after receiving state grants for recycling.

The state Department of Environmental Protection has awarded $77,130 to Youngwood and $34,704 to Greensburg for recycling programs.

Youngwood will use the grant money, plus some of its own, to buy a backhoe, a wood chipper, a leaf vacuum, a leaf vacuum box and signs about recycling, said John Storey, Youngwood public works supervisor.

“Essentially, we're getting about $170,000 worth of equipment, and the borough part will be about $45,000,” Storey said. “So ... we're using our money the most effective way we can.”

Youngwood's share of costs is based on a formula, Storey said.

Borough leaders expect to make up the difference between the equipment's total cost and funding via vehicle trade-ins, Storey said.

“All the equipment that we will obtain is used as part of our recycling program,” he added.

Greensburg will use its grant to buy a brush chipper, City Administrator Sue Trout said.

Greensburg's share will be $3,856, or 10 percent, she said.

Youngwood crews pick up recyclables and leaves. The borough has drop-off areas for yard waste and brush. In addition, the borough offers a recycling drop-off area at the public works facility on South Third Street.

Youngwood went to a single-stream recycling collection system in January. About 1,200 households received recycling carts in December.

Borough leaders expect recycling tonnage to increase, because recyclables — glass bottles and jars, metal and aluminum cans, most plastic containers and jugs, flattened boxes and cardboard and newspapers — can all go into one container, rather than separate bins.

Officials hoped the increased recycling efforts would enhance the community's standing as they sought the grant.

The borough collected about 200 tons of leaves last year, Storey said.

Greensburg's new piece of equipment will replace a 1990 brush chipper, Trout said.

“Our chippers are heavily used year-round picking up brush and chipping disposed Christmas trees after the holidays,” she said. “Our brush pickup is one of the best services the city of Greensburg offers its residents. It is a very popular program, which the residents have come to expect.”

This year, the DEP awarded $17.8 million to 131 municipalities and counties for recycling programs.

State law requires municipalities with more than 10,000 residents to recycle. Communities with populations between 5,000 and 10,000 and having a population density greater than 300 people per square mile also must recycle.

The DEP reports that 440 of the state's 2,700 municipalities recycle and provide curbside collection programs.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or