Commissioners’ report: Steve Silverman

Commissioner Steve Silverman


There has been much discussion this year about trash disposal in Mt Lebanon. I believe we need a strong collective approach to increase our recycling and reduce the waste going to landfills. Mt. Lebanon residents have many recycling options available both at home and while out enjoying our community. I pushed for the recycling containers you see in our parks and business district. We placed recycling containers at the tennis center earlier this year. There are, however, many other ways material can be properly diverted from the landfill:

  • Electronic waste recycling at our Public Works Facility (1250 Lindendale Drive off Cedar) will take place July 15, August 19 and September 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mt Lebanon residents/businesses may bring old computer equipment, TVs (one per vehicle) or other electronics. Most devices will be recycled for free.
  • Woody Waste curbside collection of shrubs, tree limbs and branches. All collected materials will be shredded and composted. Reservations are required. Or drop off woody waste material (no grass clippings) at the golf course maintenance facility on Pine Avenue the first Saturday of each month between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. through the first Saturday in October.
  • The Pennsylvania Resource CouncIL offers recycling events for items such as paint, automotive fluids and alkaline batteries. Dates are: household chemicals, July 22, Consol Energy Park, Washington, Pa., and September 16, South Park; hard-to recycle items, August 12, Century III Mall and October 7, Settlers Cabin Park.

Here are some other ways to reduce waste going to the landfill:

  • Use a mulching mower—I understand that grass clippings account for more than 10 percent of the total solid waste generated each year. And grass clippings have nutrients, so you may be able to skip one application of lawn fertilizer per year.
  • Recycle catalogs, magazines and junk mail along with newspapers through our municipal single stream recycling program. Or deposit them in the green and yellow Paper Retriever dumpsters that provide some compensation to nonprofit hosting organizations. Beth El Synagogue and Asbury Heights are among the local participants in this “win-win” program.
  • Recycle empty boxes from online purchases. Large boxes must be flattened and cut down to three foot lengths; otherwise, they likely will go to the landfill. Please take the extra time to cut your boxes down to the proper size.
  • Donate materials to Construction Junction. Named one of the top 10 recycling centers by Yelp, they accept appliances, building materials, doors, flooring, lighting and many other items. They have a drop-off and a pick-up program.
  • Many charitable organizations will accept your unwanted items. Some will pick up, while others require drop off. This is a partial list. South Hills Interfaith Movement, 5301 Park Avenue in Bethel Park, accepts children’s clothing regardless of the season. The Salvation Army needs kids’ bikes and sports equipment for its summer program. Goodwill of Southwestern PA  has many drop-off locations. Goodwill stores help support education and job training programs.
  • Check out online groups such as Neighborhood Cedarhurst, where people post “gently used” items they wish to sell or give away or indicate that they are looking for certain goods or services. A national online group is the nonprofit, which connects people who want to give items away with potential recipients. Membership is free.

In conclusion, I believe that a multi-pronged approach will increase recycling and divert trash from the landfills. Let’s make it easier for people to recycle. I think we need more access points for recycling and more community education about recycling. The Commission will obtain price quotes on weekly pickup of recycling to consider in our next contract award.

I hope this information will encourage you to prevent recyclable items from reaching the landfill. Every bit helps. Thank you for your consideration.