Solid Waste Authority still eyes electronics collection

BROOKVILLE — At the Solid Waste Authority meeting Wednesday, Solid Waste/Recycling Coordinator Donna Cooper expressed hope about hosting an electronics collection in Jefferson County.

The authority discussed this possibility two months ago at its May meeting; however, Cooper said she is more hopeful now because “there’s so many electronic companies that are looking for electronics because of the new disposal law.”

This new law states that beginning in January 2012, retailers in Pennsylvania will be prohibited from selling any TV or computer whose manufacturer has not put a recycling plan in place.

The law requires that manufacturers who want to sell in Pennsylvania must develop plans by then to recycle those devices, either through retailers, home pick-up, mail-in or municipal or community-group collections.

Furthermore, by January 2013, electronic waste — also known as e-waste — will no longer be transported to landfills.

As of the meeting, Cooper was in the process of putting together a request for proposals to send to about five or six electronic recyclers by the end of the week.

She fashioned the proposals similarly to a Butler County approach.
According to Cooper, Butler County has successfully convinced an electronic recycler to take responsibility for the entire collection.
If it works out for Jefferson County, the Solid Waste Authority would not be responsible for being at the site or taking in the electronics, and most importantly, at minimal cost.

“I don’t know if any company is going to think that we’ll generate enough electronics at a collection to make it worth their while to come into the county, but it’s worth a shot,” she said.

The proposal itself is pretty lengthy, she said, because it puts all of the responsibility on the electronic recyclers.

Cooper also reported the final numbers for 2010’s annual recycling report.

The authority increased the total number of tons recycled in 2009 by about 1,000 tons. In 2009, the total was 17,086.2 tons, and last year’s total was 18,043 tons.

In addition, the authority collected 42 percent of the waste generated for 2010. Waste generated includes the actual amount of solid waste and sewage sludge that is thrown away. Last year’s amounted to 25,228.6.
Cooper admitted that when she first started gathering the numbers, she wasn’t very hopeful.

“I thought for sure we were going to be way down, but we actually came out a little better than we were,” she said.

Despite the increase, only 14 percent — or 3,680.2 tons — counted toward the Act 101 performance grant, which gives money back to the authority. Among materials regarded as Act 101 include aluminum cans, plastic bottles, tin cans, newspapers and magazines.

In other business:
• Greg Kruk, from Ferraro, Kruk & Ferraro LLP of Brockway, introduced himself as the authority’s new solicitor.

• According to Treasurer James Sleigh, $20,000 will be transferred from the authority’s savings account and into its checking account for July.
• Oct. 29 is the date for the final National Take Back the Drug Day. According to Cooper, it is the last collection because of new federal legislation that will allocate funding for future pharmaceutical collections.

• The next regularly scheduled Solid Waste Authority meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 24.