Challenges of the IRC Recycling System

Written by John Frederick. Posted in Residential

Better Understanding of our Current Collection System

Changes in the IRC community recycling programs have been considered because the municipalities have struggled to reach the level of success enjoyed in other communities across the state. Research related to the discussions also showed prices were much higher than similar communities and programs. Most recently, Hollidaysburg Borough Council voted in late Spring 2017 to continue the current private subscription collection system, putting the issue aside for the immediate future. 

National Analysis Confirms Local Program Struggles

Written by John Frederick. Posted in Residential

Resource Recycling magazine recently published the summary of a recycling analysis in a number of communities around the country.  We compared those numbers to our own here in Blair County. Local processor and hauler data shows that the household recycling rate in our program is 232 pounds per household, or 37% of our recyclable material. The best programs recovered nearly 70% of their recyclable materials.

Figures from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) show the IRC program is in the bottom 15% of those serving more than 15,000 people. That means that somewhere between the store and the recycling center, the average IRC household is losing track of 634 pounds of recyclables every year. 




Expanding Recycling in Blair County

Written by I.R.C.. Posted in Residential

When one door closes another door of opportunity often opens.  Such may be the case with recycling in Blair County. Confronted by a shrinking pot of money to pay for it, Blair County ended its popular and successful drop-off recycling program in 2012.  Though this was bad news and could have spelled the end for recycling in many homes and businesses, it was just the thing that prompted municipalities to consider other ways to facilitate recycling for their residents.

After a court ruling, prompted by a challenge from the waste industry, counties throughout Pennsylvania were ordered to stop collecting fees levied on waste generated within their counties.  Our fee funded the county compost facilities and an ever-growing drop-off recycling program.  The drop-off program served every part of the county at ten different sites. The fee also funded the hazardous waste and electronics recycling programs that diverted tons of toxic material from burn barrels, disposal facilities and illegal dumps.  In Blair County it cost residents less than a nickel per person each week.

But as the county department’s reserves dwindled, it became clear that the programs could not be continued.  The department closed its doors on October 1, 2012 and the drop-off recycling containers were removed from the collection sites. This prompted some to suggest that it may be time to reexamine our waste management practices and make changes that some other counties have already embarked upon.

In nearby Centre County, all the townships (not just those larger ones mandated by state law) surrounding State College have curbside collection of recyclables as part of their weekly waste collection service. In Blair, however, recycling is required only in the mandated municipalities. Though many county residents would prefer curbside recycling, not all municipalities even require haulers to pickup recyclable material.

Though curbside recycling would be more challenging for the most rural parts of Blair County, a large portion of the county is well suited for curbside collection. The companies that provide recycling in the mandated communities are the same companies that pick up trash in the area in and around Altoona. Recycling trucks are already driving through these suburban communities from Tyrone to Newry and our nearby recycling facilities are marketing the materials that are collected.

Haulers Offering Recycling Service

Written by I.R.C.. Posted in Residential

The following haulers offer recycling service as part of their regular residential collection service in a number of Blair County communities beyond the four mandated municipalities of Altoona, Logan Township and Hollidaysburg and Tyrone Boroughs.  Call each for details and pricing.

  • Burgmeier's Hauling - 943-8975
  • Dutch's Hauling - 942-1054
  • Jim's Hauling - 696-1616
  • Pro Disposal - 736-3631

This listing is derived from response to a survey of haulers and includes only those companies that responded to the survey solicitation. Materials collected in all communities are similar and include all cans, glass and plastic bottles and jars, and mixed printed paper.  Visit our residential recycling page for information on recyclables accepted in our programs.  

Drop-Off Recycling

Written by I.R.C.. Posted in Residential

Drop-off recycling has been restored to nearly every corner of the county thanks to the cooperative efforts of a host of partnering municipalities, private sector recyclers and hauling firms and the IRC Council of Governments (COG).  The compost facilities in Buckhorn and Duncansville will be operated by the IRC COG and remain open to all county residents.

New Drop-Offs Open!

These drop-off options are available to county residents.  For locations, click on our Blair County Drop-Off Recycling Mapblair-drop-off-map

  • IRC Facilities
    • IRC Buckhorn Compost Facility - 1860 Blacksnake Road, Dysart.  For a complete list of materials accepted and/or directions to our facility, please click here
    • IRC Duncansville Compost Facility - Dunnings Highway, Duncansville (Just past Inlows when traveling south towards Newry).  For a complete list of materials accepted and/or directions to our facility, please click here
  • Municipal Membership Facilities
    • Martinsburg Area Recycling - Martinsburg Borough and Huston and North Woodbury Townships have sponsored a drop-off facility at 317 South Nicodemus Street for residents and businesses in those municipalities. Membership is required.  Call the borough or the township offices for details.
    • Taylor/Roaring Spring Recycling - Taylor Townships has partnered with Roaring Spring Borough to sponsor a drop-off facility at the township building.  Membership is required.  Call the borough or the township offices for details.
  •  Municipal Drop-Offs
    • Williamsburg Borough - 305 East Second Street, Williamsburg (Sponsored by Paul Kane Trash Removal) This site accepts all paper, bottles and cans.  The cardboard drop-off is at the Woodbury Township building on Route 866.
    • Frankstown Township Municipal Building - Frankstown Road (Sponsored by Ken Wertz Hauling) This drop-off accepts all bottles, cans, paper and cardboard.
  • Private Sector Recyclers
    • Cove Recycling - 4643 Cove Mountain Road, Roaring Spring, PA on PA Route 164 between Martinsburg and Roaring Spring (though they do not accept plastic, glass or steel cans)
    • J & J Recycling - Margaret Avenue and 19th Street, Altoona, PA
    • Burgmeier's Recycling - Old Sixth Avenue Road, Altoona, PA
    • Waste Management - Old Sixth Avenue Road, Altoona, PA 

Expansion of Curbside Recycling

Many haulers offer recycling outside the communities where curbside recycling is required by state law (City of Altoona, Logan Township, Hollidaysburg Borough and Tyrone Borough).  A list of hauling companies that recycle beyond the mandatory curbside communities is now available.

We are also encouraging businesses and residents to ask their local municipal officials to consider an ordinance to require both trash collection and curbside recycling.  Since most haulers are already recycling, such a change in other municipalities would not be difficult or expensive.  Call (942-7472) or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details on model ordinances and possible options for municipalities.

Find us on Facebook!

Contact us.

Recycling News

For recycling info on the go, download the IRC My-Waste App!!

icon-android icon-ios