SWA recycling pilot plans moving forward

RIDGWAY - At the Tuesday meeting of the Elk County Solid Waste Authority, Recycling/Solid Waste Coordinator Bekki Titchner said representatives from the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) and the PA Recycling Markets Center will soon visit the county's community recycling center in regard to a pilot project to collect and recycle PET thermoform packaging. PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is a strong, food-safe plastic used to make many types of containers, including soft drink and water bottles. The SWA is still working on finding a market for the material and figuring out how much it will cost for a hauler to transport. "According to the Recycling Markets Center, most plastic processing plants are now set up to deal with PET thermoform. So I asked [recycling hauling company] Ja-Sar] if any of the plants they were dealing with were, so maybe we could make a few cents off of it," Titchner said. "We're the only rural center in this national grant [for PET thermoform recycling]. So it's kind of neat. Everything else is in metropolitan areas." Titchner encouraged area businesses and industries without a recycling vendor to consider bringing their #1 and #2 plastic bottles, cardboard, paper and polypropylene Flex bags to the community recycling center. A brochure has been created for these businesses that provides more information. All the proceeds from the sale of the recyclable items, as well as any donation money, return directly to the county's recycling program. Titchner credited SWA/Conservation District Secretary Diane Myers with putting the brochure together.