IRC works to ‘build on the positive’

In keeping with the rhythm of recycling — materials used, then returned for remanufacturing — local recycling chief John Frederick used the bad news-good news format for his status report to City Council on Wednesday.

Bad news: The IRC lost one of its four municipal members — Tyrone — last year.

Good news: The three remaining members of the council of governments — Altoona, Logan Township and Hollidaysburg, which, like Tyrone, are mandated by the state to operate curbside recycling because of their population and population density — have been working together amicably to keep the organization going.

Bad news: Starting in 2017, largely as a result of diminishing state grant funding, members have had to contribute money from their general funds to pay IRC operational costs, which was the main reason for Tyrone’s exit.

Good news: While the annual assessment for members rose from $25,000 to $55,000 in 2018, it will remain the same for this year, based on the IRC’s recently approved budget, due to frugality and success in locating other grants.

Bad news: Equipment replacement needs have risen.

Good news: Operation and sales income has risen to about $80,000 a year.

Bad news: Curbside recycling collections continue to be disappointing in comparison to those of similar-size communities in the state, falling from the bottom third to the bottom 10th during the last decade.

Good news: Curbside yard waste collection — along with special-event collections for electronics, hazardous household materials, appliances and holiday wrappings, along with collection of unneeded pharmaceuticals at the Altoona police station — have continued to be encouraging.

Bad news: Frankstown Township closed its dropoff recycling site because of rubbish contamination and other dropoffs have disappeared as well.

Good news: The IRC reworked its Duncansville dropoff site to make it available around-the-clock, after it had been available previously only from noon to

5 p.m. Tuesdays — although it now costs $25 a year and is available only to the residents of municipalities that pay a fee to the IRC based on their populations, after having been previously available to all local users for free.

Bad news: (sort of) There are “idiosyncrasies” — variations — in the way various haulers collect recyclables at curbside.

Good news: The IRC app — which Councilman Dave Butterbaugh called “user-friendly” — can help residents sort those out and deal with other issues.

“We’re trying to build on the positive things,” Frederick said.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.