Peters Township is pursuing the purchase of a container for glass recycling to be situated locally.
During council’s Dec. 16 meeting, township manager Paul Lauer said he has discussed such an acquisition with representatives of Michael Brothers Hauling in Baldwin Borough.
“They would be interested in having a drop-off center here,” he said. “To do this right, it needs a special container so that what you don’t have is the glass contaminated.”
Purchasing a container, he told council, would cost in the vicinity of $7,000 to $8,000.
“I’m fairly confident we could get a grant that would cover 90 percent of the cost,” Lauer said, noting that the state Department of Environmental Protection has expressed willingness to “allow you to go out and do the project, apply for the grant and then get reimbursed.”
Another option would be renting a container from Michael Brothers for $5,000 or $6,000 with two-year commitment. The cost per trip to empty a bin is between $350 and $375, according to Lauer.
“I personally am indifferent as to which way we would want to go,” he said, “but it would be a way we can get that up and running fairly quickly.”
Council members expressed that a purchase would be preferable.
“The advantage of buying it would be that if for some reason Michael’s got out of this business, someone else could haul that,” Lauer explained.
At the start of 2019, new contracts between hauler Waste Management and many South Hills municipalities, Peters Township included, included terms that glass no longer would be collected at curbside for recycling.
Shortly after, Michael Brothers launched a pilot program inviting area residents to bring glass to its facility at 901 Horning Road during specified hours. The program was such a success that the company now has receptacles available at all hours, with those who drop off glass asked to sort items by color and place them in the applicable containers.
The company also has supplied convenient means for recycling glass locally, including in South Strabane Township, with a container located at the municipal building.
In Peters, an ad hoc recycling committee has been meeting the past few months as a complement to the township’s environmental quality board. Monica Merrell, who serves as council’s liaison to the committee, said that the focus has been to provide more details about recycling and provide answers to residents’ questions regarding items that are acceptable for curbside collection.