In The Loop

Welcome to the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority's Blog

ACT 101 Update

November 20, 2017 ·

This is the first article in an educational series, highlighting waste industry news.

SUMMARY:
Language in PA House Bill 118 effectively removed the sunset date from the $2 recycling fee and maintains the Recycling Fund established in Act 101. The bill (now Act 40 of 2017) was signed into law by Governor Wolf on October 30, 2017.

What does this mean and why is it important for our community’s recycling efforts?

Let’s start from the beginning.


Statewide recycling in Pennsylvania began in 1988 with the Municipal Waste Planning Recycling and Waste Reduction Act (Act 101) that requires larger municipalities (based on population) to recycle. The Act established a $2-per-ton fee on all waste disposed at municipal waste landfills and waste-to-energy facilities. The fees are placed into a Recycling Fund, from which the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) distributes grant money for local collection programs, public education, materials processing and composting facilities, equipment and technical training.

The Recycling Fund established in Act 101 was due to sunset January 1, 2020.

The hard work is seemingly done, why should community members care if the Recycling Fund ended?

Elimination of the fee, and the associated grant programs it supported, would have significantly impacted recycling programs throughout the Commonwealth.  Here’s how…

Up to 70% of the Recycling Fund provides:

  • development and implementation of county and municipal recycling programs;

  • municipal recycling program performance grants;

  • studies to aid in the development of markets for recyclable materials, and studies to encourage and implement waste reduction strategies;

  • research and demonstration grants for the beneficial use of solid waste;

  • and more.

Up to 30% of the Recycling fund is allotted to DEP for:

  • public information and public education;

  • municipal and county technical assistance programs for litter control, recycling and waste reduction;

  • research and demonstration projects;

  • county municipal waste management planning grants;

  • and more.

Had the Recycling Fund sunset, it would have been felt hard by Lancaster County’s 47 municipal recycling programs. It would have meant no funds for new or existing recycling programs that helped Lancaster County achieve a 44% recycling rate in 2016. But numerous organizations and associations advocated for the Recycling Fund to continue, and those efforts paid off with the passage of House Bill 118.

We hope this information helps you “rethink” waste and its impact on our daily lives including how important programs are funded. As citizens of this earth, we have a responsibility to manage it conscientiously and maximize its potential for a positive impact. 

  

Tags: In The News · Recycling

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