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2014 Pennsylvania

Waste Watchers Announced


Harrisburg, PA  – The Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP) is pleased to recognize Pennsylvania’s most outstanding recycling programs and projects. 

The Pennsylvania Waste Watchers program recognizes recycling, waste reduction, reuse, and composting programs in Pennsylvania that have exhibited exemplary performance.  This year, over 100 municipalities, counties, private businesses, individuals, and community organizations from throughout Pennsylvania are being recognized for going above and beyond what is mandated under Act 101 for their communities or programs. 

Act 101 – the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act –has helped generate significant economic and environmental benefits for over 20 years now.  Recycling has become a billion dollar industry in Pennsylvania and with each passing year, there is a steady increase in the amount of collected recyclables and the number of jobs created by the industry.  Recycling has saved precious resources and energy, limited greenhouse emissions as well as other air and water pollutants. 

This growth and success is the result of a serious commitment to recycling by individuals, businesses, government and recycling and organics industry personnel like these award winners.

LuzerneCounty received 27 of the “2014 Waste Watcher Awards” this year alone!   Winners include: Avoca Borough, Bear Creek Charter Community School, Black Creek Township, Carone’s Market- Freeland, Carone’s Market- Freeland , Dupont Borough, Duryea Borough, Greater Pittston Compost Facility, Hughestown Borough, Jenkins Township, Legget and Platt, Luzerne County Electronics Collections, Luzerne County Tire Collections, Mahantango Enterprises, Inc., Pittston City, Penn State Wilkes Barre Campus, SCI Dallas, St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen, The Newport Township Community Organization, Valley Proteins, Roushey’s Farm, Pittston Area High School, West Wyoming Borough, Wright Township Recycling Center.


For a complete list of all Waste Watcher winners, please visit


Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant

The Department of Environmental Protection announces an upcoming grant opportunity for small businesses undertaking energy efficiency projects. The Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Program provides a 25% matching grant, to a maximum award of $25,000, to enable a small business in this Commonwealth to purchase and install energy efficient equipment or processes that will result in improved energy efficiency.  An eligible applicant must be an independent for- profit small business with 100 employees or less whose business or facility is located within this Commonwealth.

For questions regarding the eligibility of projects, visit the grant's web site at (DEP Keyword: Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Program) or contact Dave Barnes, Office of Energy and Technology Deployment, Small Business Ombudsman's Office at (717) 783-84111 or before submitting an application. For assistance in submitting an application, persons may also contact the Small Business Development Center's Environmental Management Assistance Program, at or (877) 275-3627 or the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program, at or (814) 865-0427. The grant application and guideline package are available on the Department's web site at (DEP Keyword: Small Business Energy Efficiency).

By: Richard Hergenroeder, P.E, Covanta Energy Corporation Director of Environmental Science and Community Affairs in its      Mid-Atlantic Region


The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Mercury-Free Thermostat Act bans the sale, installation and disposal of mercury thermostats effective December 8, 2009. A goal of the Act is to give wholesalers, contractors, retailers, service technicians and homeowners a convenient opportunity to recycle out-of-service mercury thermostats. The ban only applies to old thermostats removed from service and intended for disposal. The ban does not affect mercury thermostats currently in use and these do not need to be pulled from service.

Photo from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection website

The Commonwealth has accepted plans to collect and recycle thermostats from two organizations: Thermostat Recycling Corporation and EWC Controls.


Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC)

According to the Thermostat Recycling Corporation’sMercury-Switch Thermostat Collection and Recycling Plan (pdf), the company has voluntarily collected and recycled mercury-switch thermostats since their program’s inauguration in nine states in 1997. TRC was founded by Honeywell, White-Rodgers, and General Electric and represents 25 manufacturers that distributed over 60 brands of mercury switch thermostats. Pennsylvania Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection sites, retailers and wholesalers of heating, air conditioning (HVAC), electrical systems, or plumbing products and accessories are eligible to participate in the TRC program as collection locations. Pennsylvania contractors that service/maintain heating, air conditioning, electrical or plumbing are also eligible to participate as collection locations. 

 TRC provides recycling containers to participating facilities for a modest, one-time participation fee. Each container is shipped with program guidelines, a plastic liner, twist ties for sealing the liner, zip ties for sealing the container, and a pre-paid universal waste shipping label for return shipment. Upon receipt of a container, the empty container is returned with guidelines, a new liner, zip and twist ties, and a pre-paid universal waste shipping label. Participation forms are available on TRC’s website and are also available upon request by calling the TRC toll fee line at 1-800-238-8192.


EWC Controls

EWC Controls manufactures forced air zone controls. Some of EWC Controls’ products contain thermostats produced by other manufacturers with the EWC Controls brand name on the product. EWC Controls customers who are not participating in the TRC program can recycle mercury thermostats through the EWC Controls’ program and should access their website at for details.


 Covanta Energy Corporation

Covanta operates energy-from-waste facilities in Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery and York counties where it can process 7,908 tons of municipal waste daily. Mismanaged mercury can be toxic and can bioaccumulate in mammals and fish. As a component to the company’s Clean World Initiative, Covanta Energy has partnered with its clients to help remove mercury from the waste stream and the environment.

 Information and the photo used in this article can be found at the following websites:

Last Updated: 03/18/15 15:22:28
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