- The City Council of Scranton, PA is moving forward with preliminary plans to update recycling regulations for the first time since 1990.
- Businesses, institutions, and multi-unit buildings would now have reporting requirements. Fines for noncompliance would also increase from $25 to a maximum of $300.
- The city is also looking at ways to increase diversion rates and qualify for more state recycling grants.
Scranton has been focused on updating its waste system recently and this ordinance would be a large step forward if approved. The city has hired a permanent recycling coordinator and also approved an 18-month, $5,000 contract with a consultant. Some existing requirements aren't being enforced and this may be preventing the city from taking advantage of state recycling performance grants.
Residents also hope that the city will focus on its current fee system. Two years ago, Scranton increased its annual collection fee from $169 to $300 per home in an effort to stabilize finances. Yet the city is also still trying to recoup unpaid fees and recently filed thousands of liens on delinquent accounts.
Now, residents say that rates should be lower for homes that recycle more and some have proposed a pay-as-you-throw model. Whether Scranton takes that approach or not, officials say it's clear that residents need some kind of incentive to turn the city's recycling program around. The City Council voted unanimously to advance the ordinance last week and will vote on whether to adopt it at a meeting on Thursday evening.