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Clarion Area School District Not Recycling; Clarion Borough Says It Must or Face Penalty

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 @ 04:12 PM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

clarion-areaCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – The Clarion Area School District could be facing some steep fines for failing to operate a mandated recycling program.

Non-compliance with the ordinance could bring a fine of up to $500.00 a day, and a letter from Clarion Borough Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer Scott Sharrar states the school district must show proof it is complying by January 4.

“I told them at the beginning of October, and on November 30 when I sent the letter out, they still hadn’t done anything,” Sharrar told on Tuesday morning.

“It’s not like I just gave them 30 days; they knew they had at least 90 days. As long as they have something in the works or are trying to implement the plan, I’m not going to cite them. I just want to get them involved with something.”

Clarion Area S.D. had operated a recycling program in the past but stopped doing it at some point.

Pennsylvania Act 101,  enacted in 1988, requires recycling for any municipality in Pennsylvania with a population of over 5,000.  The law also mandates curbside pickup of residential recycling and requires commercial businesses and institutions such as the Clarion Area to recycle, and it is the responsibility of each establishment. For example, Clarion University has a working recycling program.

Clarion Area Superintendent Mike Stahlman indicated a recycling program at Clarion would have significant costs and might require a tax increase.

Sharrar doubts that assessment.

“Last year I went to the businesses on Main Street who were recycling and ask for proof that they were recycling,” said Sharrar.

“The school throws a lot away, even office paper. We’re thinking one person could go around and pick up all the recyclables and place them in the proper dumpster, and it would take no more than one hour. It really doesn’t justify hiring and an extra person or a tax increase. They will have to sign a contract with the recycling company that comes in once a week to take the recycling dumpster.”

As part of its recycling program, Clarion Borough was required to include curbside pickup for leaves.

“We noticed that in the last several years that our numbers have dropped,” continued Sharrar. “Every year we have to turn in recycling figures to the county, and they turn it over to the state, and we noticed our numbers are dwindling. I get a report from local garbage companies for businesses, and they tell me the weight of recyclables, and it was down about 30 or 40 tons. With the grass clippings/tree limbs and recyclable materials, we’re at over 500 tons of material we recycle from the borough each year.”

Sharrar also indicated that the 570 rentals in town also recycle.

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