In 2001, Clarion, Forest and Venango Counties (the Tri-County area) developed a joint Municipal Waste Management Plan (Plan) as a regional planning district. This Plan was submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in 2002, and was subsequently approved by the DEP in the same year. Since the development of the joint 2001 Plan, Venango County had moved forward with its own recent Municipal Waste Management Plan update. Therefore, early in 2012, Clarion and Forest County signed a memorandum of understanding between the two counties to continue their own joint Municipal Waste Management Plan update. This was accomplished to satisfy the legislative mandate of ACT 101 for Counties to update Plans every ten years. The following 14 sections of this Plan update describe, in detail, the joint premises of this Plan update.
The major goals of this update are:
Provide convenient access to waste and recyclables collection options;
Maximize the use of grant funding;
Increase commercial participation in recycling tonnage reporting to the Counties; and
Develop a consistent and effective approach for using donated tonnage capacity from waste disposal facilities.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) "Guidelines for the Development and Implementation of County Municipal Waste Management Plan Revisions," document number 254-2212-504, serves as the basis for the development of County-wide Municipal Waste Management Plan updates.
The purpose of Section 1 of this Plan update is to determine and describe the quantity of municipal solid waste (MSW) generated within Clarion and Forest Counties (Counties) that will be managed by the Integrated Solid Waste Management System described in this Plan (Plan). To estimate the quantity of MSW and residual waste generated on an annual basis from 2017 to 2021, weight records from disposal facilities reporting to the DEP, Municipal Recycling Reports (Re-TRAC™), and generation and disposal data available to the Counties were used. To estimate the net waste requiring disposal for the 10-year planning period, a calculated per capita generation rate based on a review of disposal tonnage recorded by PADEP and local transfer station information, will be used. A summary of the calculations and reasoning for the historical and future generation projections are detailed in Section 1 of the plan, as well as in Section 3.
The Municipal Waste Management Plan Update for the Region covers a term of ten years, from 2023 through 2032. The plan combines waste reduction, recycling of materials, and the transport of the remaining municipal waste to multiple disposal facilities contracted to accept the Region’s municipal waste.
It is with the aforementioned four (4) primary goals, along with the PADEP planning mandate, that this update of the Municipal Waste Management Plan was conducted.
Benefits of the Plan
The Municipal Waste Management Plan Update will provide the following benefits to the Region, including its forty three (43) constituent municipalities, citizens, and businesses:
Promote public health through the reduction of water and land pollution by proper waste disposal;
Reduce air pollution and other environmental forms of environmental pollution through recycling efforts (as demonstrated through the EPA WARM Model);
Reduce the amount (volume and weight) of municipal solid waste (MSW) to be disposed of in landfills through waste reduction and the recycling of materials and organics in the waste stream (i.e. household hazardous waste (HHW) and yard waste materials);
Utilize best available, practical, cost-effective waste management technologies;
Foster better communications on integrated waste management opportunities among the County, municipalities, residents and businesses, and the solid waste and recycling industry;
Utilize the capabilities of private enterprise in accomplishing the desired objectives of an effective, comprehensive solid waste management system.
Major Features of the Plan
4 out of the 42 municipalities currently have residential access to (both public and private) recyclables collection (both curbside and drop-off).
No municipalities or private entities operate a yard waste composting facility in the Region.
4 municipalities have drop-off recycling centers to offer recycling to residents in rural areas and areas that don’t otherwise have access to recycling.
Waste disposal capacity assurance for ten (10) years through contracted waste and recyclables transfer stations and disposal sites (landfills).
Ability for waste haulers operating in the Region to utilize multiple disposal facilities, for disposal of MSW.
HHW and e-waste recycling offered through County sponsored collection events and various private partnerships.
A commitment from the SOI respondents to explore a joint partnership with the Region to support increased recycling activities over the ten (10) year planning period.
Goals of the Plan
The following summarizes the priority goals of the plan to be encouraged, explored, or maintained over the ten (10) year planning period:
Assure waste disposal capacity over the ten-year planning period through long term contracts;
Assure the proper reporting of generated waste disposal through contracts;
Encourage contracted collection of waste and/or recyclables;
Continue to consider alternative technologies for waste and recyclables management/disposal based on economic viability;
Encourage the development of additional drop-off recyclables locations in municipalities that are currently underserved;
Encourage the development of spring and fall cleanup events in each municipality;
Encourage municipal ordinances that govern the handling of waste and recyclables;
Explore the development of a County ordinance for the handling of waste and recyclables;
Consider the standardization of recyclable materials collected in the Region as a joint effort with local material recovery facilities, haulers, processing facilities, municipalities, and the Region;
Continue to explore program support and funding options;
Explore the feasibility of expanding the materials collected at existing drop-off locations;
Explore a food waste sharing program with institutions in the Region;
Explore options for food waste collection and/or centralized processing in the Region;
Explore opportunities to increase corrugated cardboard recycling in the Region;
Encourage privatized curbside collection of e-waste and HHW material;
Explore a year-round permanent e-waste and HHW collection location in both Counties;
Encourage construction and demolition waste diversion and source reduction;
Maintain and expand continuing education programs to educate/re-educate residents on proper waste and recyclables management;
Waste Disposal Capacity Assurance
As stated previously,the Counties are required to secure sufficient capacity for the disposal of municipal waste generated from within its boundaries by residents, businesses, and institutions for at least a ten-year period.
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