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New bins for recyclables to grace Latrobe area parks

| Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Sean Stipp | Trib Total Media
Biruk Eyosias, 7, a camper at the Latrobe-Unity Parks & Recreation summer day camp, recycles a can during a kickoff celebration held by the group on Aug. 20, 2014, at the Timken Plaza at Legion Keener Park for the new parks recycling program.

Children attending the Latrobe summer play camp were among the first to recycle their empty soft drink cans in new bins that will be placed in area parks.

“You put it in the recycling bin, then you put it outside,” said Kyle Young, 9, before participating in activities planned by Westmoreland Cleanways to encourage just that.

The Unity-based organization was celebrating last week with Latrobe-Unity Parks and Recreation after receiving a grant from Coca-Cola and Keep America Beautiful that will place 25 bins in each of the 10 area parks.

The recreation department applied for the grant for the blue containers, valued at $58 each, that will collect empty cans and plastic bottles.

Despite heavy rain just before the event in Legion-Keener Park, Westmoreland Cleanways Executive Director Ellen Keefe said under cover of pavilion that the effort to conserve is continuous, no matter the weather.

“Keeping our community beautiful never stops,” she said. “You can recycle at home, and you can recycle on the go.”

Keefe recalled that former Latrobe Mayor Warren Marckioni, who died in May, was a longtime employee at Coca-Cola in Hempfield before he retired to his public service for the city.

“I think he would just be thrilled to know that Coca-Cola is helping to do good for the community that he loved so much. ... I'm sure he's looking down and smiling at his friends from Coke and his beloved Latrobe,” she said.

The city began a single-stream recycling program within the past year and organized an “e-waste” recycling event in July that collected more than 28,000 pounds of electronics from 300 carloads.

In addition to the dozen children from the summer camp, also on hand were Latrobe Mayor Rosemarie Wolford; state Rep. Joe Petrarca, D-Washington Township; DeAnn Baxter of the Greensburg Coca-Cola Distribution Center; and Heidi Pedicone, program director with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.

Jeanne Ashley, executive director of Latrobe-Unity Parks and Recreation, asked the children to share what they learned from the presentation and activities.

“Be an example to them. When you take your Coke can or your water bottle or any recycling product, put it in one of these bins and ask that your friends and family do the same,” Ashley said. “It starts little, but it gets big very quickly.”

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or