State touts township trash tactics
By Joan Greene
For the Tribune-Review
January 4, 2007
years, Cranberry's Collection Connection quadrupled the share of residents who
recycle, a level of success that has now earned the innovative waste-disposal
program the Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence.
During a ceremony last month
at the township's council chambers, representatives from Pennsylvania's
Department of Environmental Protection presented Cranberry officials with a
plaque and flag in recognition of the township's successful solid-waste disposal
and recycling program.
"It's a validation of doing it
right," township Manager Jerry Andree said. "We appreciate the commonwealth's
When Collection Connection was
initiated in November 2004, only 9 percent of the township residents recycled.
Two years later, recycling is now in the 40 percent range, said Lorin Meeder,
Cranberry's environmental program coordinator.
The program was designed to
improve garbage collection in general and the recycling of yard waste and
recyclable items, Meeder said. "In addition, one of the big things we wanted to
do was get the number of garbage trucks off the roads," he said.
By consolidating waste
disposal pick-up with one company -- Vogel Disposal Inc. -- nine fewer trucks
were needed for collection.
"We've saved approximately
4,000 miles of truck travel a year," Meeder said. "Environmentally, we've saved
on gas, air pollution, and the recycling of materials and yard waste (going to
compost) has reduced the amount of trash going to landfills."
Collection Connection was
designed to give residents the initiative to recycle by charging residents more
money for the use of larger trash cans, Meeder said.
Andree attributes much of the
program's success to "single stream" recycling, where all recyclable items are
placed in one container.
"This makes it easier for
residents to do and has helped turn the program into a huge success," he said.
Collection Connection has
received both local and national recognition. Cranberry's neighbors, Pine and
Marshall have started similar programs and nationally, the program is being
referred to as a model for recycling and waste disposal pickup, Andree said.
"I've received calls about the
program from communities across the country," he said. "It's a good solution for
our demographics. The community seems to love it."