Mt. Lebanon, South Park take top recycling honors

At left: Andrew Baram, chair of the Waste Reduction Committee of the Mt. Lebanon Environmental Climate Action Team, presents Mt. Lebanon Assistant Municipal Manager Marcia Taylor with a South Hills Recycling Competition trophy.

The final tallies are in. It was a hard-fought contest (well, except for Scott Township). Ten contenders vied all through 2011 to win one of two prestigious, never-before-awarded trophies, to show their commitment to the single-stream recycling mania that is engulfing the South Hills.

The idea for the contest, which measured total amount of recycling tonnage over the previous year, and highest percentage increase over the previous year’s totals, was suggested by the Mt. Lebanon Environmental Community Action Team, and was sponsored by Waste Management, Allied Waste, GreenStar Recycling and the PNC Foundation.

After a year of doggedly smashing up cardboard, crushing cans, bundling up newspapers and hustling glass and plastic to the curb (again, except in Scott—those guys managed to recycle less this year than last year. Seriously, who does that?), never-say-die little South Park emerged as the uncontested winner in the highest percentage category with an unbelievable 61 percent increase over last year’s total. Finishing a distant, distant second was Jefferson Hills at 20 percent.

Mt. Lebanon, the hometown favorite, managed to take home the trophy for most tonnage, winning by the narrowest of 7-ton margins over the South Parkers, who some ungenerous competitors remarked may have been using performance enhancing drugs.

The trophies were awarded at a triumphal luncheon at Mitchell’s Fish Market in The Galleria, where the winners were celebrated, the losers were encouraged, and all the cans and bottles went where they were supposed to go.

A 2012 contest is even now being discussed. Slate’s wiped clean. New beginning. Scott, buddy, you guys got noplace to go but up.