An information-sharing program on municipal waste management was held Thursday at the Lower Towamensing Township Municipal building.
About 20 people attended the program, sponsored by the township's board of supervisors. Along with Lower Towamensing, other municipalities that were represented were Palmerton Borough, Jim Thorpe Borough, Weissport Borough, Franklin Township, Mahoning Township, Towamensing Township, and Penn Forest Township.
Lower Towamensing Township board of supervisors Chairman Brent Green welcomed those in attendance. He then introduced the panel of speakers.
The speakers consisted of Duane Dellecker, Senior Certified Recycling Professional (certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection); Heather Schanewolf, general manager of Advanced Green Solutions, Inc., Walnutport; Cindy Henning, citizen; and Jim Lambert, Executive Director of the Monroe County Waste Management Authority.
Dellecker discussed annual reporting requirements for municipalities, and why those reports are important for municipal recycling program performance grants.
He said that 904 Municipal Recycling Program Performance Grants are available to all municipalities with recycling programs. The grant awards are based on the total tons recycled and the applicant's recycling rate.
Dellecker noted "At the end of the day, there's a cost associated with recycling, and there's a cost associated with garbage."
Schanewolf then spoke briefly about state requirements on electronic waste.
She noted that her company, Advanced Green Solutions, sponsors various recycling events throughout the area.
Henning discussed what Penn Forest Township has done since the end of the "Blue Bin" program in Carbon County.
A resident of Jim Thorpe, Henning implored those in attendance to "use the resources that you have and people that are the experts."
Henning added that Penn Forest has a terrific transfer station.
Lambert then spoke on the Monroe County Municipal Waste Management Authority, of which he noted is separate from the Monroe County Commissioners.
He then encouraged those in attendance to visit the Penn Forest transfer station, which he said is a model facility, as is the Chestnuthill Township transfer station.
"They [Chestnuthill] have a real gem," Lambert said. "It is an amazing facility."
Lambert said the Authority does its best to encourage recycling efforts.
"It's hard to get people to recycle," he said. "When they stop, it's hard to get them to come back."
Lambert said he's a staunch supporter of recycling.
"I am a believer in recycling," he said. "We're open, and we're helping anyone that needs us."
Also on hand was Dave Solomon, of Solomon Container Service, of Wilkes-Barre, which provides single stream recycling to several municipalities throughout Carbon County.
"Recycling is a community effort," Solomon said. "It requires strong leadership."
Afterward, light refreshments were served.