Commissioners approve spending $4.7 million on recycling equipment

Lycoming County commissioners Thursday put their stamp of approval on a $4.7 million project to bring single stream recycling equipment to the landfill in Montgomery.

A bid from Green Machine Sales, of Hampstead, N.H., was accepted for equipment and installation of machinery that will allow comingled recyclable materials to be sorted on site at the landfill facility.

The process allows participating area waste haulers to pick up unsorted recyclable materials from residents’ homes.

Commissioners have said that the county wants to get out of the business of curbside recycling pick ups due to costs associated with that service. Curbside service for businesses will continue, however, according to Jason Yorks, county resource recovery manager.

Recycling drop off sites throughout the county still will be available for use.

Use of single stream recycling also is hoped to increase overall recycling participation rates and extend the life of the landfill by keeping recyclable materials out of the waste fields.

While the price tag is high, Commissioner Tony Mussare said the investment is worth it. He said the county will generate revenue from the process after about three years.

“These aren’t easy numbers for leaders, the commissioners, to say, ‘Yeah, we’re good to go,'” Mussare said about the cost.

But he said he had no hesitation to vote in favor of the project because of the research that the county resource management staff have put into it.

Yorks said that portions of the equipment will be constructed at the company’s New York plant and shipped to the Montgomery facility.

He added that the equipment is expected to be delivered in December or January.

Commissioners also approved loaning $117,200 of the county’s Act 13 natural gas impact fee money to the city for a paving project on a remaining section of Reach Road.

Under the agreement, the county would be reimbursed for the money while allowing the city to speed up the completion time of paving on Reach Road.

The paving would take place on the westward section of Reach Road from the intersection with South Reach Road.

“The pavement in that area is absolutely horrible,” said Mark Murawski, county transportation planner.

“Some of the potholes you can hide a small vehicle in,” added Commissioner Jeff C. Wheeland.

Paving is expected to be complete by the end of 2014.

“They realize without county assistance they can’t get this done,” Murawski said about working with the city.

Commissioners also approved the hiring of the following personnel:

Calvin R. Irvin as a full-time replacement deputy sheriff at $17.29 an hour;

Ronda S. Houser as a full-time replacement custodial worker at $10.36 an hour;

Jerod P. Corman as a full-time replacement resident supervisor at $14.55.