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Senator proposes state recycling study | News, Sports, Jobs – timesobserver.com

by Arifa Rana

May 7, 2022
Sen. John Gordner thinks a state study could bring Pennsylvania’s recycling programs into the 21st century.
Gordner, R-Columbia/Luzerne/Montour/Northumberland/Snyder, recently introduced Senate Resolution 285 that would direct the Joint State Government Commission to assess and analyze public and private recycling infrastructure and operations across the state. Gordner said the analysis can form the foundation of policy recommendations to possibly increase investment in a statewide recycling strategy and programs that encourage uniform, lifecycle-focused efforts by state producers.
“Pennsylvania has a vibrant and robust economy related to the production of packaging, which supports thousands of good-paying jobs across our communities,” Gordner wrote in his legislative memorandum. “Many, if not all, of these products can be recycled at the end of their life, decreasing our collective dependence on virgin materials and increase the consumption of recycled materials, ideally moderating environmental impacts in the process.”
The Warren County Commissioners earlier this year gave preliminary approval to a proposal creating a new county Recreation and Conservation Authority that will help with long-term management of the now-closed Grunderville Landfill in Pleasant Township and boost current recycling efforts in the county. The $480,000 in funding Warren County will receive as part of the landfill closure can help keep existing services at municipal recycling sites in Eldred, Elk, Cherry Grove and Columbus. Those sites are currently funded with county and municipal tax dollars.
The money could also be used to change recycling efforts in the county or, under the authority, be used for outdoors recreation efforts in Warren County.
No final decisions have been made, but recycling was on commissioners’ minds when the issue was discussed in January. Dan Glotz, county planner, said the county needs to investigate different recycling options, with commissioner Jeff Eggleston saying, “The way it’s going, something needs to change.”
Gordner’s proposed study could shine some light on Warren County’s recycling future. Gordner said investment in operations to collect, sort and process materials that need to be recycled lags behind the volume of materials consumers use. That leads items to be sent to landfills. Gordner wants the study to specifically review recycling infrastructure investment strategies adopted by other states, including public-private partnerships, industry-managed product collection strategies and other legislative approaches to the management of plastics and other recyclable products, particularly packaging.
“Increased investment in recycling infrastructure should be funded to reverse this trend, help educate consumers on what can be recycled and how, invest in new operations that can create good-paying jobs, and promote increased circularity in the interest of sustainability,” Gordner wrote.
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