NEW CASTLE State, city officials plan to talk about recycling, burning issues

The city banned rubbish burning in 2002.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A state official says money New Castle receives for recycling could be in jeopardy if rubbish burning is permitted.
City council and Mayor Wayne Alexander said last week they were considering reinstating an ordinance that would allow people to burn paper and cardboard Saturdays if they buy city permits.
But Freda Tarbell, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, said the state plans to meet with city officials to talk about the change. She said the city is expected to get $16,983 this year from its recycling efforts in 2002, but that money might not be sent if residential burning is allowed.
Tarbell said the city gets the money as reimbursement for the amount of waste it recycles. Last year the city received $10,793 for recycling 1,110.3 tons of material in 2001.
But Mayor Wayne Alexander says he's concerned that the city could lose even more money.
Wants new truck
The mayor said he's worried about future grants, specifically money the city wants to help buy a new truck for its recycling program. The state could pay up to 90 percent of the cost, he said. The total cost of a truck is not known.
Tarbell said state officials have not set up a formal meeting with council and mayor, but they want to inform them of the state's position on recycling. The mayor and three of the five council members are new to office.
Three new council members say burning rubbish was a big issue with voters during the election and most want to reinstate it. The other two council members, John Russo and Christine Sands, voted against the ban in 2002.
The city stopped selling burning permits in 2002, but those who bought them just before the ban were allowed to continue burning for two more years. Those permits will expire this year.
The city's curbside recycling program takes plastics and aluminum, but residents must put newspaper and cardboard in their garbage bags. The city charges residents $1.30 per bag.