IRC gets funds to set up recycling dropoff site

Organization hopes to have facility open in Duncansville by new year

The organization that over­sees curbside recycling in three of the four Blair County municipalities where it is mandated has received a $20,000 grant to establish a 24/7 keycard dropoff to serve several non-mandated muni­cipalities in central and southern Blair.

The Intermunicipal Rela­tions Committee hopes to have the keycard system operational at its Duncans­ville compost facility on old Route 220, south of Inlow’s Drive-In restaurant, no later than New Year’s, education and enforcement coordinator Katrina Pope said after a meeting recently.

The IRC applied in May for the money from the Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant Program on behalf of Keep Blair Beautiful, for which the IRC provides staff, because the Duncansville dropoff site is currently open to the public only from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays.

The keycards will be $25 per year to cover the IRC’s costs for having the recyclables hauled to processors.

The IRC began incurring that cost after a truck inherited from the Blair County Solid Waste Department, which closed in 2012, broke down, and IRC workers could no longer haul dropped-off recyclables from Duncansville to the IRC’s main compost facility at the Buckhorn, Pope said.

After the keycard system becomes operational, the facility will no longer accept recyclables for free on Tuesdays, Pope said.

The IRC plans to sell the keycards starting in mid-October, Pope said.

The IRC expects that the keycard facility will serve Blair Township, where it’s located, Duncansville and Newry boroughs, and Free­dom, Greenfield, Juniata, Frankstown and Allegheny townships, IRC Executive Director John Frederick said.

Before the keycard site is operational, Frederick hopes to generate enthusiasm for it among the elected officials of those municipalities.

“We want to sell a lot of memberships,” he said.

The site will accept plastic bottles, cardboard, glass, cans and paper, according to Pope.

Creating the new dropoff site became important after Frankstown Township shut down a 24/7 ungated dropoff at its municipal building because of frequent contamination.

Before the county solid waste department closed in 2012, there were 13 recycling dropoff locations, Pope said.

Afterward, the number went down to two.

It’s back up to four: the Duncansville site; the compost facility at the Buck­horn, which accepts materials when it’s open; and 24/7 keycard sites in Martins­burg and in Taylor Town­ship near Roaring Spring.

The Martinsburg site has been especially successful, Frederick said.

The IRC will need to allocate some general-fund money to supplement the grant funding for the Duncansville project, which will require construction of fencing, electrical work for the keycard system and for lights and the purchase of containers.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.