New South Side council member sworn in

South Williamsport Borough Council approved Joseph LaRue to replace Councilman Ben Landon for the second ward at Monday’s meeting. LaRue is a registered pharmacist and a South Williamsport Lions volunteer.

Council also approved Councilman Daniel Cupp as president pro-tem in lieu of Landon’s resignation. Longtime employee Keith Anderson is the new superintendent of Public Works.

Council is slated to decide next month if the borough will participate in single-stream recycling in order to comply with regulations for the haulers who choose to participate.

Jason Yorks, resource recovery manager, said the borough’s ordinance specifies the haulers provide a tote per customer and year-end tonnage reports to the borough, he said.

In response to a question by Councilman Henry Frey, Yorks said the residents who opt in to the program are responsible to wheel the totes to the curb and back.

Yorks emphasized the single-stream recycling program is on a voluntary basis for all customers. Curbside (tin, glass and aluminum) and drop-off recycling will remain, and will still be source-separated.

The benefit of single-stream recycling, he said, is convenience: people may combine fibers and containers in one tote. Plus, it should lessen the garbage bill, he said.

If customers opt in to single-stream recycling, they would pay about $5 more a month; the haulers set the charges, Yorks said.

“Recycling is not free; it’s not free for trucks, fuel or the staff,” Yorks said.

While the county must provide curbside recycling to be compliant with regulations, it isn’t a cost-effective service, Yorks said, and if single-stream recycling takes off in upcoming years, it may balance that cost out.

Recycling is important, Yorks said, as the average Lycoming County resident produces between 4.5 and 5 pounds of garbage a day, whereas a mere .5 pound per person is recycled a day. About 40 percent of the garbage that goes to the landfill is recyclable, Yorks said. The landfill in Montgomery will max out by 2024 if maximum tonnage comes in every day, he said.

Council approved project finalization for the West Front Street reconstruction, and approved a resolution to submit the Community Development Block Grant application for $80,954 to fund that project. SEDA-COG will administer the grant, and part of the grant application is asking for $17,1770 to cover its costs. The application is submitted to the Department of Community and Economic Development.

Council approved a budget modification to use leftover CDBG funds from 2011 for $89,668 and 2012 for $40,079 from the sewer lateral project to the West Front Street reconstruction project.