County commissioners can't agree on which recycling program to support.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- The Lawrence County Council of Governments has decided it will not participate in a countywide recycling program if the county fails to buy a certain type of equipment.
COG members met Wednesday to discuss an alternative recycling system being proposed by county Commissioner Brian Burick.
The county initially received a $900,000 state grant for V-Quip equipment, specially designed containers made in Canada that would accept recyclables at centrally located spots in the county.
Burick, however, said he has doubts about the system and suggested using an alternative one, which is less costly to operate. Burick estimates the other system, which will include centrally located bins not made by V-Quip, will cost about $500,000 for the equipment and about $12,000 per year to run.
Commissioners have said they believe it would cost from $25,000 to $100,000 per year to operate the V-Quip system, which needs specially designed trucks to pick up the recyclables.
To operate the V-Quip system, Burick said, the county would have to raise the tipping fee it charges garbage haulers. The county now charges haulers $1.75 per ton they take from the county. It has been proposed to increase it to $2.50 per ton.
Will pass it on
"Any time we raise the fee, haulers pass it on to citizens. The only other place to find the money [to operate the V-Quip system] is the general fund, which I will not support," Burick said.
John DiMuccio, New Castle city administrator, said he was happy that Burick would not support an increase in the tipping fee, which would increase the city's garbage hauling costs.
"We would have to pay for something that we won't benefit from because we already recycle," DiMuccio said.
Communities with 5,000 or more people are under state mandate to recycle. Five Lawrence County communities now have mandated recycling.
Deadline for vote
Burick said the commissioners must vote on the matter by Feb. 28 to keep the state grant the county was awarded to put a recycling system in place.
Commissioner Ed Fosnaught said he will support buying the V-Quip system because he believes the county needs the Cog's assistance in operating any recycling program.
Commissioner Roger DeCarbo said he will not support the V-Quip System because he believes it is too costly, but he will support Burick's alternative if costs are kept to a minimum.