Indiana Borough council’s Public Works Committee has been studying the possibility of changing the borough’s mandatory recycling program to a single-stream recycling effort that may eventually allow residents to start recycling plastics and other materials at their street curbs.
Indiana residents now are required to separate newsprint, glass and metal cans from their waste stream and put those materials at the curb where they are sorted by recycling collection workers.
In single-stream recycling, all paper fibers, plastics, metals and other containers are mixed in a collection truck instead of being sorted into separate commodities and handled separately throughout the collection process. The collection and processing systems in single-stream recycling are designed to handle a fully commingled mixture of recyclables, with materials typically being separated for reuse at a materials recovery facility.
Councilman John Hartman, chairman of the Public Works Committee, said Tuesday at council’s monthly meeting that the committee has been encouraging the Indiana County Solid Waste Authority to switch to single-stream recycling.
“We’re working diligently on it,” Hartman said. “People want it and it’s time for it.”
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Eric Barker and Gerald Smith, representing the Center for Community Growth, gave council a petition with 240 signatures of borough residents who also are encouraging council to enact single-stream recycling.
Barker told council that studies have shown that single-stream recycling can increase the volume of recycled material by 25 percent.
Hartman said his committee has also been reviewing energy services companies, commonly called ESCos, that evaluate a municipality’s energy usage and then make recommendations on changes and more efficient equipment. If installed, the more efficient equipment pays for itself within a few years and then goes on to save the municipality more money on energy costs.
Council also agreed to write a letter seeking designation for Indiana as a “Playful City, USA.” Hartman, who is council’s representative to the Indiana Area Parks and Recreation board, said the designation would make Indiana eligible to apply for a share of $2.1 million in grants available through KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization that along with its corporate sponsors helps communities build playgrounds for children.
Hartman said any grant money received through the program could be used to repair and renovate local playgrounds.
Councilman Kevin Kravetsky, who has represented Indiana’s First Ward for about eight years, said Tuesday he will not seek re-election when his term expires in December. Kravetsky said he wants to devote more of his time to his family and to the Indiana Evening Rotary.
And council appointed Kevin Patrick, a professor in Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Geography and Regional Planning Department, to fill a vacancy on the Indiana Borough Planning Commission.