Recycling grant approved for use at city brush pile

The city’s brush pile and its long-standing illegal dumping violations may be coming to an end.

City officials reserved comment on Monday, but confirmed they were notified that Williamsport was the recipient of a $280,000 grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Jason Fitzgerald, president of Penn Strategies, a city consulting firm that helped to secure the grant, said he received noticed from the department.

The purpose of the grant is to put in a card-reading system and purchase a leaf collection vehicle, he said.

Oftentimes, the security gate at the facility at 1500 W. Third St. is locked, and the individual dumping waste must retrieve a key from the staff on site, he said.

The card reading system will make the yard waste recycling center much more user-friendly, Fitzgerald said.

“It will also make illegal dumping more difficult as the card reader will include tracking information,” he said.

The department has had some challenge from illegal dumping for years, and installed surveillance cameras to reduce the problem.

The card reading system also is expected to help residents who have to dump materials at any time of the day or night.

As of now, the facility has limited hours of 7:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and on certain Saturdays.

Yard debris is collected by the streets and parks department employees after Earth Day in April. The collection is citywide and generally takes place until mid-May.

Leaf collection generally takes place after the fall foliage through to about December.