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Help with collecting hazardous waste

State Sen. Steve Santarsiero helped introduce legislation to aid counties with the collection of household hazardous waste

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State Sens. Steve Santarsiero, Scott Martin and Amanda Cappelletti introduced legislation to help counties with the collection of household hazardous waste. Senate Bill 1220 would increase the limit on matching funds that each county may receive from $100,000 to $250,000.

“Our counties are taking the lead on collecting millions of pounds of household hazardous waste annually, but some counties, like Bucks County, are only receiving a fraction of the cost back,” said Santarsiero. “It is in the best interest of our communities to dispose household hazardous waste properly to protect our environment. Raising the cap on the reimbursement will allow the counties spending the most to offer more services to their residents.”

“Bucks County has been calling on the state for years to better fund these types of programs, so we applaud Sen. Santarsiero and this bipartisan effort,” said Bob Harvie, chair of the Bucks County Commissioners. “Household hazardous waste collections are among the most popular programs we provide at the county level, because Bucks County residents know proper disposal of these items is critical to protecting our environment. Additional resources that help us continue providing this resource to our residents would be immensely helpful.”

Under Act 190 of 1996, counties currently receive a state funding match of up to $100,000 to help with the cost of collecting household hazardous waste. Despite this proposed 150 percent cap increase to $250,000, there would be no need to increase the funding allocated by Act 190, given recent annual expenditures by counties on this program.

“This legislation recognizes the important work counties do to ensure hazardous waste is disposed of safely and it will compensate them fairly for continuing to do so, without any additional cost to taxpayers,” said Martin. “It’s a common sense update to a vital service that counties have offered for more than 25 years.”

Household hazardous waste includes unused household products that may explode, catch fire or be generally harmful to the environment if not properly disposed, such as oil-based paint, pesticides, pool chemicals, drain cleaners, batteries and motor oil.

“Pennsylvania households struggle to safely dispose their household hazardous waste on their own,” said Cappelletti. “Counties fill the need by holding events where residents can dispose of these items, but are in need of assistance to sustain the programs. By aiding counties in funding these initiatives through this legislation, our communities will have the resources necessary to safely dispose of hazardous waste, and keep our environment clean and protected.”

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