Logan applies for DEP grant

Supervisors pursue funds for food waste equipment

The Logan Township supervisors on Thursday voted to apply for a $350,000 Department of Environmental Protection grant on behalf of the Intermunicipal Relations Committee to buy a collection truck, recycling bins — and equipment that would allow the IRC to launch a follow up to last year’s pilot collection of commercial and institutional food waste.

The food waste equipment would consist of collection carts for use by participating restaurants, supermarkets and institutional cafeterias and a “tipper” that would attach to the IRC dump truck to lift and empty the material in those carts into the truck bed, according to IRC Exe­cu­tive Director John Frederick.

Participating food producers would pay about $25 a ton for the pickups, a cost the IRC hopes would be offset by savings in what those participants pay their regular waste haulers, Frederick said.

The money collected by the IRC should offset its cost for the program, Frederick said.

The IRC would use the food waste to help accelerate decomposition of the leaves and other vegetable matter composted at its Buckhorn facility, according to Frederick and Logan supervisors Chairman Jim Patterson.

The food waste can include paper napkins and paper plates, said Logan Manager Tim Brown.

A restaurant that participated in the pilot last year provided three tons of food waste during one two-week period, the owner said then.

That waste included uneaten food from diners’ plates, food prep garbage like carrot tops and materials that had overstayed its time on the buffet line, according to the owner.

The program could begin in early 2020, Frederick said.

While no participants have committed in writing, enough showed interest based on the pilot that the IRC is confident it can run “several decent-sized collection routes,” Frederick said.

The $18,000 local match for the grant would be taken from Logan’s annual subsidy of the IRC.

The other two municipal members — Altoona and Hollidaysburg — are also applying to DEP for grants on behalf of the IRC — the city for money to buy and renovate the former J&J Recycling facility on Margaret Avenue and the borough for a collection truck.

The municipalities can apply for those grants, but the IRC cannot at this time, because enough time hasn’t lapsed since it received a DEP grant for a grinder, Frederick said.

DEP officials have said the preapplication for the municipal grants indicates that success is likely, Frederick told the Logan supervisors.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.