COLUMBUS TOWNSHIP — Funds for the township’s recycling program will run out in December, but Columbus residents shouldn’t see an interruption of service.

Beginning in January, township supervisors have agreed to cover half of the monthly pickup costs to keep the program operational.

“We don’t want to see the recycling go away,” said Chairman David Goodwill. “We’ll pay 50 percent for a year and see how it goes.”

In September, the Warren County Solid Waste Authority notified the township in a letter, that as of January, the authority will no longer be able to cover the entire cost of the recycling program.

“This is due to the loss of the surcharge fees and with no funds coming in, the authority board has no other choice but to try and reduce costs wherever it can,” Authority Office Manager Darlene Peterson stated in the letter.

The authority was covering the entire costs of Columbus’ program, and about six other recycling programs in Warren County, with money from a state grant.

In addition, Columbus was also being paid $240 annually from the authority for having the recycling containers in the township.

However, the grant will expire in December.

To keep the recycling containers and service in the township, the authority proposed Columbus split the annual cost of the monthly pickups with the authority.

“You would be billed for your half of your costs from the statement it (the authority) receives from Veolia each month,” Peterson’s letter said.

Veolia ES Solid Waste of Pennsylvania Inc. is the township’s trash pickup provider and also collects the recyclable materials.

The bins are located in a fenced area, which is accessible from Cottage Street.

In 2008, the total cost for the year for 20 recycle “pulls” (pickups) was $2,908. As of August 2009, the total cost for 12 pulls is $1,745.

Based on those numbers, the township may be expected to cover more than $1,000 for its half of the 2010 bill.

“The authority is greatly saddened by this turn of events that has put us in this situation,” Peterson said.

Columbus residents are being reminded that certain items — plastic bags, window glass and household items — are not accepted in the recycling bins.

The only items permitted to be recycled are No. 1 and No. 2 plastic, clear glass, brown and green glass, newspapers, tin cans and aluminum cans.

If anyone has a question about the recycling program, they may contact the township office at 664-2711 during its normal business hours: Mondays and Tuesdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

See the Journal's Friday, October 23rd edition for full story.

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