EXETER — Borough officials confirmed during Tuesday’s regular council meeting that they are looking into possible alternatives to their current recycling setup.
The borough currently uses its labor force to collect its own municipal recyclable material as well as that of Exeter and Jackson townships. In doing so, the borough has received more grant funding from the state than it might have if it were only handling its own recycling.
Citing a recent study from the Pennsylvania Economy League, borough officials are concerned that continuously rising costs of fuel and labor might result in severe deficits in the coming years.
Officials are also concerned about a loss in state grant funding if other municipalities leave the current regional arrangement. The state determines funding amounts partially on the basis of the population served.
Courtdale had formerly been involved in the program as well until the summer of 2013.
Exeter is looking into the possibilities of raising the fees charged to cooperating municipalities or dropping the recycling program in favor of bidding out a single stream garbage and recycling setup from a private hauler.
Barrett Case of the state Department of Environmental Protection spoke highly of the recycling program in its current form.
“Exeter’s is the best recycling program in all of the northeast, not just Luzerne County,” Case said at the meeting.
He also pointed out that Exeter would be charged for two Ford F550 trucks if it left the program, unless it allowed the other municipalities to use them.
Exeter’s recycling coordinator and grant writer Karen Szwast shared her view that Exeter would lose more funding than it would gain from switching to a private hauler single-stream setup.