KINGSTON TWP. — The concept of going green to save green has served the Dallas Area Municipal Authority well.
It was four years ago when DAMA switched gears from a weekly rotational recycling program, which required residents in Dallas Borough and Dallas and Kingston townships to sift through a dozen accepted recyclable materials, to a single-stream program.
Within the first month of implementing the single-stream program, DAMA collected 15 tons of recycled materials.
At the end of 2015, Feher calculated DAMA collected 2,003 tons of recyclable materials.
“That is 44.5 percent of what was collected was recycled,” he said. “That was 21.5 percent over the state-mandated 23 percent.”
Feher said the recycling program has in turn benefited the community.
“Our residents and businesses are phenomenal at recycling,” he said.
DAMA’s trucks travel 12 miles to Northeast Recycling Solutions recycling facility in Hanover Township. This is a shorter distance, saving in fuel costs and wear and tear on trucks then traveling 28 miles to the Keystone Sanitary Landfill in Lackawanna County, Feher said.
Plus, DAMA receives a varying rate on collected recycled materials, he said.
“Recycling rates are based on market values for the materials,” Feher said. “Paper and cardboard rates can be different than glass and plastic.”
This revenue source is turned back into the Authority to help offset costs and keep annual recycling fees steady.
Increased participation in DAMA’s recycling program has also aided the Authority in acquiring Recycling Program Development and Implementation Grants through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Such grants have aided DAMA to develop and open a composting site at the former M & M Trailer Repair property on Route 118 in Lehman Township last June.
The composting facility is open to all residents of Dallas and Harveys Lake boroughs, Kingston, Lehman and Dallas townships, he said. Clean leaf and yard waste up to 12 inches in diameter are accepted, Feher said.
“Our motto (at the composting site) is ‘if it grows, it goes,’” he said.
During regular operating hours, a monitor requires all drop-offs to be signed in, and photo identifications are checked to ensure only residents of participating municipalities are allowed access.
“Commercial haulers are not permitted,” Feher said.
Feher is working on plans to create a tire and electronic recycling collection at the composting site.
Common household batteries are not accepted yet, but Feher said as soon as he finds a facility to take used batteries he will start a recycling program for them as well.
“We do accept lead-acid batteries such as those used in lawnmowers and cars,” he said.