MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Morgantown Green Team was awarded $36,786 in grant money from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP).
WVDEP gives the grant through its Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan (REAP) for an educational anti-contamination campaign. In total, they issued 27 grants, totaling more than $1.5 million for recycling assistance.
Morgantown Assistant City Manager, Emily Muzzarelli, said most of their grant money will be going toward hiring a recycling manager.
“This recycling manager is going to be doing a lot of outreach to the public, going around and looking at the recycling bins, providing tags for bins if they see something like that that isn’t recyclable,” Muzzarelli said. “It’s just really going to be an educational effort and letting people know why and they’ll be doing before and after analysis on seeing if their campaign had a positive effort.”
The recycling manager, she said, will be working with the city to see how they can push its recycling efforts further, even after the grant period is over. The position will be part-time, will last 14 months and Muzzarelli said the application period is over. Now they’re just reviewing submissions hoping to interview and hire someone soon.
The city already offers curbside recycling pickup, but with this new manager, she said, they will be able to utilize that service to the maximum effect possible.
Currently, Muzzarelli said, Republic Services, is the waste collector for the city and does a fine job of doing that and educating customers on recycling.
“There’s a whole page of information with recycling,” she said. “You can see what exactly can be recycled, how to recycle it. There is also Monongalia County Solid Waste Authority that also has information on recycling. So you can do quite a bit of research on your own to kind of find out how to recycle, what things are really highly sought after, what some of the issues that we’re facing.”
She said the city will continue to focus on recycling throughout the 14 month period and way beyond that because the community and planet, as a whole, need to find new solutions. Muzzarelli said she is looking forward to hiring someone to fill the slot because it will help them strive to continue doing their best.
“There’s only so much that you can do with trash,” Muzzarelli said. “Anyone that has recycled or has a recycle — I challenge you to pull all the recyclables out of your trash right now and see how much less trash you have. We on this Earth are going to run out of place to put the trash and being able to reduce, reuse and recycle the things that are no longer of value to us reduces that.”