What is the IRC?
The Intermunicipal Relations Committee (IRC) is a council of governments (COG) consisting of the City of Altoona, Logan Township, and Hollidaysburg Borough. The IRC was initially established as the Intermunicipal Recycling Committee in 1990 to address the needs of the member municipalities related to recycling and composting required by Pennsylvania Act 101 of 1988. The name was changed in 1997 to reflect a desire by the member municipalities to undertake other intermunicipal issues.
The IRC Board
Each member municipality has one vote on the board of the IRC. An elected official from each municipal governing body is the primary voting representative and the municipal manager serves as a proxy in the event of the absence of the elected official.
- City of Altoona - Councilman Bruce Kelley, Manager Omar Strohm
- Logan Township - Supervisor Jim Patterson, Alternate Supervisor Joe Metzger, Manager Tim Brown
- Hollidaysburg Borough - Councilman Brady Leahey, Manager Jim Gehret
The IRC makes recommendations to the member municipalities from time to time when changes in ordinances or related guidelines seem necessary and appropriate. The individual municipal governing bodies (city council, borough council or the township board of supervisors) will then act on the IRC recommendations, facilitating cooperation and uniformity while preserving autonomy. The municipalities have made every attempt to maintain uniform recycling programs and collect the same materials at the curbside.
How Can We Contact the IRC?
The IRC maintains an office in Altoona City Hall, 1301 12th Street, Altoona, PA 16601. The staff can be reached by phone, (814) 942-7472, or e-mail.
- Operations Assistant - Ron "Bub" Neely
- Operations and Enforcement Assistant - Stuart Porter
IRC Recycling and Compost Facilities
Why does a COG make sense?
Sometimes critics of COGs mistakenly think they add another layer of government and bureaucracy to an already bloated government system. While redundancy can happen when entities work together, COGs usually bring several efficiencies to local government efforts like recycling. Here's why.
COGs can afford to hire specialized staff. Smaller local governments especially are unable to hire individual staff people for very specific programs. When several join together and pool their resources, the group can afford to hire staff qualified for that specific sort of work.
Program uniformity makes sense and is cost effective. Especially in a program like recycling, where public education is important, a unified and consistent message makes sense. In the IRC, all the municipalities collect the same recyclable materials, require the same kinds of business and public area recycling provisions, and collect yard waste in a similar fashion.
Cooperative ventures = Better grant funding opportunities. Especially in DEP's recycling grant funding program, multi-municipal programs are given priority over individual municipal funding requests.
Special programs are more cost effective when done cooperatively. Our composting operation, household hazardous waste collections, electronics recycling program and other special waste programs would often be cost prohibitive for individual municipalities to undertake. Especially with the closure of the county's recycling office, these cooperative programs have survived because the IRC has been able to sponsor them and make them available to everyone.