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Stuck in the mud

Published March 29. 2013 05:03PM

The closing of the Carbon County recycling program has hit a snag.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, chairman, said that the county's plan to remove all 109 blue bins from the 14 sites around the area has stalled because of weather, ground conditions and storage space. To date, 47 bins have been removed.

He said the bins are currently being stored on top of the Broad Mountain around the area near the Carbon County Communications Center, prison and dog shelter; but officials are still trying to figure out a better, more secure location for the bins.

Nothstein also noted that due to weather, the two tractor trailers that the county was using to remove the blue bins, are stuck because the ground is muddy.

"The process has been stopped for now," he said. "We're looking at what we have to do next. It's not an easy thing."

He noted that he and Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard recently spoke with the Pike County commissioners regarding how they handled the closing of the recycling program in Pike County.

Nothstein said that those commissioners tried to get bids to sell the bins to others but were unsuccessful. They now have been approved by the Department of Environmental Protection to sell them for scrap metal.

Gerhard said that the county will come up with a plan and look to see the value in the bins and vehicles from the program.

He added that the county is offering possible solutions to the municipalities that were affected by the county's decision to close the blue bin program, which is bringing in Kreitzer Sanitation to offer a proposal at the next Solid Waste Advisory Committee meeting, to be held at 11 a.m., April 10, at the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency.

In a related matter, the commissioners approved the employment separation of Patricia A. Rossmann of Summit Hill as the administrative secretary for the county Department of Solid Waste, effective March 31.

In addition, the Solid Waste office will close, effective March 31.

In other business, the commissioners acted on two motions regarding designation of a metropolitan planning organization (MPO).

The first action was to rescind the approval, made by the board on Dec. 27, 2012, that supports the designation of a five-county MPO because Wayne County has opted not to participate in the transition to an MPO.

The second action was to adopt a new resolution supporting the designation of a four-county MPO, adopting geographical boundaries for a transportation planning area to carry out a continuous, cooperative and comprehensive transportation program required by MPOs under federal law within a designated planning area.

The four-county MPO includes Carbon, Schuylkill, Monroe and Pike counties.

Commissioner William O'Gurek explained that the MPO is census driven and the only change is that it has changed from a regional planning organization to an MPO.

NEPA Alliance will continue to meet planning and funding services of the four counties involved in the MPO; as well as the newly urbanized areas of East Stroudsburg and Stroudsburg that were just designated through the census.

"It's the same thing we've been doing all these years, planning transportation programs in the years out and making use of the federal funding as it becomes available," O'Gurek said.

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