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Above: Seasonal public works employees Myselo King, left, and Austin Fagan and load recycle bins for delivery to McKeesport residents. Bins are available in 95-gallon and 32-gallon sizes by contacting the City of McKeesport’s Public Works Department at 412-675-5020, ext. 631. (Submitted photo by Jennifer Vertullo, City of McKeesport.)
On "America Recycles Day," McKeesport officials are asking residents to do their part and boost the city’s recycling program.
With the help of a $216,934 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the city has purchased more than 4,000 new recycling bins, as well as a leaf collection machine. The city matched about 10 percent of the program's cost.
Every item recycled reduces the amount of trash hauled to a landfill, which is environmentally responsible and also reduces the city's trash-collection costs, Mayor Mike Cherepko said.
“This is a great opportunity to teach McKeesport residents about the value of recycling from both budgetary and environmental perspectives,” Cherepko said.
For several years, McKeesport has offered single stream recycling, which allows paper, cardboard, most kinds of plastics (numbers 1 through 7), glass bottles, and aluminum and bi-metal cans to be mixed into the same recycling bin or bag.
But the last bins purchased by the city were smaller, meaning residents had to purchase their own larger bins or use bags.
Providing residents with household bins --- available in both 32- and 95-gallon sizes --- provides a greater opportunity to participate in the recycling program, Cherepko said.
“It's our hope that the ability to distribute these bins to our residents will remove a barrier that was preventing some households from recycling,” said A.J. Tedesco, the city's community development director, who also thanked the state DEP for helping to make the bins available and affordable.
Residents using the larger bins should bag their recyclables at a weight not to exceed 30 pounds so that bags can be easily lifted into the hauler’s trucks, city officials said.
Bags tend to become heavier with less volume when filled with glass bottles or paper, as opposed to plastic bottles or aluminum cans.
City officials said America Recycles Day, a national initiative to keep America beautiful, is the perfect opportunity to promote recycling efforts in McKeesport. The city registered its bin promotion as an affiliate of America Recycles Day.
Originally published November 15, 2017.