Wednesday, April 11, 2012

PA American Water Company Funding Recycling and Pharmaceutical Drop OFF

Posted for my personal use and not for redistribution
"Folks flocking to recycle electronics
New federal law making it harder to dispose of such waste, official tells commissioners

Reading Eagle

More than 1,500 people have dropped off items at the Berks County Solid Waste Authority's Electronic Recycling Center since Jan. 1, leaving 168,000 pounds of computer monitors, old tube TVs and other appliances.

That's already half the amount dropped off in 2011. The site is at 1316 Hilltop Road, Bern Township.

The interest is due in part to new federal legislation that will make it more difficult to dispose of such appliances, some of which contain hazardous chemicals, Jane C. Meeks, executive director of the solid waste authority, told the Berks County commissioners Tuesday.

Meeks brought with her Terry Maenza, communications director for Pennsylvania American Water Co., which is funding for the third year the authority's pharmaceutical drop-off set for April 28 at five locations in Berks.

The local effort is part of a national effort by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to take back old or unused prescription drugs to keep them from falling into the wrong hands.

Maenza said his company's interest in helping with the pharmaceutical drug collection is to keep people from flushing the drugs down their toilets or throwing them away in their trash, which ends up in a landfill. Either way, he said, the pharmaceuticals can make their way into the local water supply whether they are processed as sewage or leach into groundwater around landfills.

Maenza presented the commissioners with a $2,500 check to help cover the cost of the disposal effort and incineration of the drugs at a licensed disposal facility

In other business, the commissioners announced they plan to vote for a Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance, or LERTA program, for a proposed industrial park along Interstate 78 at Route 501 in Bethel Township.

The township and Tulpehocken School District already have the LERTA for the industrial park.

"The tax break is on the improvements only," Commissioners Chairman Christian Y. Leinbach said. "If they buy the land for $12 million they pay tax on that from day one. But year one the improvements are tax free. Year two it is 10 percent, then 20 percent and so on until year 11 when they pay full taxes."

Thomas C. McKeon, executive director of the Berks County Industrial Development Authority, which is marketing the industrial park, said two businesses are interested in the park but only if the LERTA is approved.

Together they would invest $167 million in the facilities and add 1,000 jobs, he said."

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