DEP Awards $863,000 Grant to Promote Continued Growth of State's Recycling Industry
The DEP has awarded a $863,429 grant to Penn State University to create the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center at Penn State-Harrisburg to encourage the continued growth and economic health of the Commonwealth's recycling and reuse industry, which already leads the nation in employment, payroll and sales numbers.
"The success of our recycling program is proof that environmental stewardship can be a driver for sustained economic growth," said Secretary McGinty, who made the announcement at the Penn State Harrisburg Campus in Middletown, Dauphin County. "This center will assist in developing healthy, accessible markets for Pennsylvania's recycled materials."
Pennsylvania's recycling industry comprises more than 3,247 recycling and reuse businesses and organizations that generate more than $18.4 billion in gross annual sales, pay $305 million in taxes and provide jobs for more than 81,322 employees at an annual payroll of approximately $2.9 billion.
The mission of the Recycling Markets Center, or RMC, is to expand and develop more secure and robust markets for recovered secondary materials, stimulate demand for products with recycled content, and research and maintain up-to-date market trend data. The center will be the lead organization to develop recycling markets in Pennsylvania, working with environmental, technical assistance and economic development organizations to support generators, haulers, processors, manufacturers and end-users of recycled materials and products.
"Our job is to create the center, and get it up and running. However, the RMC will have its own board of directors and staff, and will operate as an independent entity," said Dr. Charles A. Cole, Berg Professor of Environmental Engineering and Director of the Environmental Training Center at Penn State Harrisburg, which, as the parent entity, will review such items as RMC strategic plans, business plans and financial reports. "The center is an exciting prospect and will continue Pennsylvania's leadership in the important field of recycling, by showing the way to develop new markets for recycled products."
DEP earlier this month awarded $485,270 in recycling markets infrastructure development grants to finance equipment purchases that will increase the use of Pennsylvania-generated recycled feedstock at Waste Not Technologies LLC of Saylorsburg, Monroe County, and St. Jude Polymer Corp. of Frackville, Schuylkill County. The increased ability of manufacturers to locate and consume materials from state recycling programs will encourage the development and expansion of Pennsylvania's recycling industry, directly benefiting both our environment and the economy.
"The RMC is the next logical step in our recycling program," Secretary McGinty said. "For us to recycle more of our trash instead of sending it to landfills, which is better for our environment, we must make sure there are viable local markets for all the recycled materials."
Act 175 of 2002 requires DEP to develop a recycling program plan, including a market-development program, and formulate strategies to make recycling programs in Pennsylvania self-sufficient. Market development programs will be financed by the Recycling Fund, which is supported by a $2 per ton fee on all materials disposed of in landfills in Pennsylvania. Act 175 extended the Recycling Fund fee through 2008.
Governor Rendell has proposed an $800 million bond referendum to expand and enhance Growing Greener. Part of this initiative would provide $25 million a year to the Recycling Fund to assist municipalities with existing programs that give more than 10 million Pennsylvanians access to recycling. The money also will help 42 municipalities newly mandated to recycle as a result of the 2000 federal census. However, the Legislature did not pass the Governor's initiative before adjourning for summer.
For more information on Pennsylvania's recycling market development programs, visit http://www.dep.state.pa.us, Keyword: "DEP Market Development."
DEP has awarded $137,600 in Waste Recovery Demonstration Grants for two public-private partnerships to develop innovative resource-recovery projects in Philadelphia and McKean counties. These projects are for public and private entities working in partnership to develop innovative waste-recovery processes.
Liberty Township, McKean County, in conjunction with RecycALL Inc., will receive $100,000 to develop and demonstrate a manufacturing process that utilizes mixed broken glass derived from the processing of recyclables. The glass will be used as a raw material in the production of concrete products such as highway barriers and drainage outlet boxes.
Philadelphia, in partnership with the White Dog Café, will use $37,600 to establish an on-site, in-vessel, food-composting demonstration project. The project will highlight composting operational needs and issues in an urban setting while producing a compost soil amendment.
DEP offers up to three Resource Recovery Demonstration Grants worth as much as $100,000 each year to municipalities, counties and solid waste authorities to fund up to 75 percent of the cost of developing unique and innovative demonstration projects that recover energy or materials from solid waste. Grants are funded under the Solid Waste Resource Recovery Development Act, known as Act 198 of 1974. Demonstration projects must recover at least 50 percent of the solid waste entering the system, either in the form of energy or materials. Eligible costs include education, final engineering, capital costs, and testing and evaluation.
PENNDOT Recycling Initiatives
Tarrtown Bridge Project Tire Shred Embankment Project
The Tarrtown Bridge Project, which will use approximately 750,000 tires as lightweight geotechnical fill, is ongoing. The tire shredding and bridge construction contract was awarded to A&L Construction (Belle Vernon, PA). The PENNDOT Strategic Environmental Management (SEM) Program Office developed the geotechnical subsurface and embankment model for the Tarrtown project to model slope stability, embankment movements, and settlement, and developed trigger values for the instrument alarm system designed to monitor temperature, pressure and voltage in the fill area. This project used tires from two municipal cleanups, thus saving disposal costs for DEP and the associated municipalities. PENNDOT also held two tire amnesty days, and a tire collection day for tire dealers, replacement and automotive companies to supply clean car and truck tires for no tipping fee in order to obtain the tires necessary for the project.
Post-Consumer Shingles in Hot Mixed Asphalt (HMA) in a Paving Demonstration Project
Evidence that PENNDOT's SEM Program Office is becoming recognized for promoting recycled materials reuse is that contractors are now beginning to initiate material substitutions on PENNDOT projects. A contractor initiated the project for this project with no cost substitution. This project was conducted even though the first post-consumer shingle project conducted by PENNDOT was evaluated in May -June 2004 as not being successful. As a result, PENNDOT SEM Program Office has opened dialogue with the contractors to address perceived issues and performance in anticipation of possibly conducting additional demonstration project projects.
Recycled glass manufactured to meet the specifications for fine or coarse aggregate in DEP's on-lot sewage system regulations had been acceptable for use as a replacement for aggregates in on-lot systems for many years. However the required approval process of this material by the Department on a site-by-site basis made its use impractical. In February 2004, a listing was added to the alternate aggregate section of the Alternate Systems Guidance to help remove previous barriers from the use of recycled glass in on-lot systems. Glass sand for on-lot systems including free access intermittent sand filters and recirculating sand filters now requires approval only by the sewage enforcement officer, and not by the Department, on a site-by-site basis, which is the same requirement that all aggregates have. As a result, one MRF has depleted their stockpile of about 8,000 tons of broken glass cullet within a few months of approval of this requirement.
Rails to Trails Project
PENNDOT is working with a local conservancy group to construct an embankment for handicap access to an old rail trail with the use of crushed glass as fill material. It is estimated that approximately 22,500 tons of glass cullet will be needed for the 700 linear foot section of the trail that needs to be filled to meet existing grade. DEP provides support for such projects through a Memorandum of Understanding with PENNDOT's Strategic Environmental Management Program Office (SEM). Funding in the amount of $90,000 from the SEM Program Office will offset additional design and purchase costs associated with utilizing the glass cullet.
Crushed Glass-Dredge Material Blends
DEP is supporting a demonstration project through PENNDOT's SEM Program in conjunction with the Army Corp to utilize dredge material from the Delaware River to blend with crushed glass in order to enhance the physical properties of the material so that it can be used in embankments or as structural fill material. If this project is successful, this method may be utilized in metropolitan areas in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Erie, where PENNDOT can receive dredge material provided for free by the Army Corp and blend it with locally crushed glass, thus saving on transportation costs of appropriate soils into these urban areas. This use will require a beneficial use permit from DEP and language for the permit will be developed as part of the project. Field-testing is now complete and modeling efforts will be underway shortly.
Workshop on the Engineering Applications Using Crushed Glass
DEP and PENNDOT will conduct the second crushed glass workshop in Spring 2005. The purpose of the workshop is to share new information on crushed glass applications in transportation and other engineering applications. The last workshop brought together PENNDOT district engineers and glass processors, and resulted in renewed interest in using glass as an alternative to aggregate in transportation projects.
Glass Processors Update
All of the glass processors in PA have been visited by DEP recycling staff.