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Delmont recycling program takes hit

| Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, 10:21 p.m.

After more than 20 years, the recycling service provided by the Delmont Lions Club is in jeopardy.

Delmont Council gave notice to the club that it must remove its recycling equipment and leave its collection spot at the borough's public works building by mid-May with a 4-2 vote this week. Council President Jim Bortz and Councilman David Piper opposed. Councilwoman Debra Jobe was absent.

The Lions Club has collected recyclables at the building since 1995. Delmont does not have a mandated recycling program.

However, the location likely violates regulations on stormwater runoff set by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Borough engineer Gary Baird of Lennon, Smith, Souleret Engineering said the recycling location leads to problems with a nearby stream. The firm recently completed a mock audit of the borough to identify any potential DEP violations.

“We've noticed that there is some spillage over onto the pavement. People come and set things on the pavement, and the biggest problem with that is stormwater runoff,” he said.

Lions Club member Christy Bash said the group plans to discuss its options for continuing the program this week. She said the group was surprised that officials took a vote to force it to move.

Councilman Carl Boyd said the time had come to notify the Lions Club that the recycling spot must be moved.

“If they're there, they're going to be in the way,” Boyd said.

Council President Jim Bortz said the club should be given a chance to determine if it could correct any problems with the site and keep the location running.

“It's kind of hard to pick up and move after 20-some years,” Bortz said.

Bash said recycling is not done to generate funds, but as a community service project. She said the club has recycled about 120 tons during the last two years. Any money collected is distributed in the community.

“All the proceeds we make, we distribute to the community groups that help us,” Bash said.

Financial information on the collected recyclables was unavailable. Bash said the amount the group receives each month fluctuates.

Mayor Alyce Urban offered to meet with the Lions Club and borough engineers to review what could be done about the site. Despite that, Boyd said, the vote to have the club leave its site was still necessary.

“In the big picture, they can't remain there,” Boyd said. “Whether we help them relocate, that's all on the table.”

Tom McGee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2867 or

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