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Grant to boost recycling in Jeannette

| Monday, May 14, 2012, 3:44 a.m.

With a controversial burning ban in place, Jeannette soon will receive a state grant to expand the city's recycling center and buy related equipment.

City Engineer Ed Antonacci said this week that the state Department of Environmental Protection has informed him a $372,000 grant for recycling needs is on its way.

To be eligible for the grant, the city had to have an ordinance prohibiting the burning of recyclable materials.

That ban, enacted in July, caused public outcry from some citizens who wanted to continue to burn paper products, leaves, other vegetation and certain recyclable materials.

In August, council considered rescinding the new ordinance but ultimately decided to keep it. With the law on the books, DEP awarded the grant, Antonacci said.

The city engineer said the money, less than the $560,000 grant applied for, will be used to expand the city's recycling center and to purchase a leaf vacuum and wood chipper, which the city will share with Penn Borough. Refurbishing a city truck that is used for recycling purposes also is expected to be funded through the grant.

"This is to the benefit of the city," Councilman Michael Cafasso said when discussing the grant and burning ban at council's regular meeting Wednesday.

Antonacci noted the vacuum and chipper should solve some problems for residents who opposed the new restrictions on burning of leaves, brush and tree limbs.

DEP also requires education programs about recycling as a condition to receive the money.

Antonacci was uncertain when the money would come to the city, but expected it to be soon.

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