Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Recycling in your town

While many people assume any plastic, glass or paper can be recycled, not everything can be accepted by every municipality.
Mixing nonaccepted items in with accepted recyclables can contaminate the recycling stream and create cost for municipalites that must dispose of the nonacceptable items.
Under Act 101: the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, passed by the state in 1988, communities of more than 5,000 people must recycle.
Leaf waste, automotive oil and batteries are among the things that Pa. requires be recycled.

Below is a list of communities and what each recycles. If your curbside pickup does not collect something you think can be recycled, you can search for recycling drop-off locations by clicking here.

If you have information to add to this, e-mail efaust@pottsmerc.com.

Recycling is mandatory in this township. Bins are available for free for residents at the township building at 2004 Weavertown Road. Pickup is Friday between 4 and 6 a.m. Recycling can also be dropped off at the township building or at 120 Old Philadelphia Pike. Drop-off times are 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Accepted items at the drop-off centers:

* Leaves, in a brown paper bag.
* Brush, stumps, pallets, clean wood, yard waste
* Skids, forms, molding
* Building debris including: flake board, metamine wood, press board, composite board, wood trusses
* wood reels
* land clearing materials
* mold patterns
* creosote and pental woods (rail road ties, floor blocks, telephone polls - No CCA or Green Poles accepted)
* woods applied with finishes laminate woods
* plywood, crates
* burlap
* macadam
* concrete
* soil
* painted wood (no lead paint)
* demolition wood

The township gives fliers out explaining what is and is not accepted when you pick up your bin.
The following items are accepted in curb pickup:

* paper including: Junk Mail, Tablet Paper, Post-it-Notes, Copy Paper, File Folder, Construction Paper, Fax Paper, Wrapping Paper, Clean Tissue Paper, Magazines, Newspapers, Phone Books, Catalogues, Paperback books, Paper Bags, Paper Food Boxes(remove liners & windows), Gift Boxes without liners and corrugated boxes.
All paper must be flattened and placed in a brown paper bag or tied up.

North Coventry

Recycling Services Inc.

View Larger Map

Located on Elm Street in North Coventry, Recycling Services Inc. is a nonprofit recycling foundation started by Jim Crater. Craters main goal is to encourage people to use less. The center takes most recyclables other towns don't collect including all numbered plastics; glass; magnetic tapes such as cassettes and VHS tapes; CDs; DVDs; floppy discs; paper such as cardboard, junk mail, etc.; fishing wire; clean flowerpots silverware; old glasses; vegetable oil; and much more.
A full list can be found on its Web site, www.recyclingservices.org
All materials should be cleaned before they are dropped off, especially clothing, plastics and metal food containers.

Recycling must be placed in the provided green bins. Paper should be bundled.
As of Jan. 2, 2009, all residents must use the new blue toters dropped off at residences. The toters have what can be recycled printed on them, which has expanded from before.
As of Jan. 2, the following can be recycled:
Plastic #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7
Aluminum, steel, tin cans
Bimetal cans
Empty aerosal cans
Paint cans that used to carry latex paint (must be cleaned)
Glass: clear, amber, green, both food and beverage
Paper: newspapers, inserts, magazines, telephone books, junk mail, cereal boxes, beer boxes, any food box, and books (hardcover or softcover).
PVC piping, laundry detergent and bleach bottles (cleaned), drinking straws, yogurt containers, Tupperware, egg cartons and baby bottles.

Yard Waste: The new rules state that things like hedge clippings, small branches, leaves, plants, small shrubbery and other vegetation that can be composted will be picked up once a month on the first week of each month. That pickup begins in May and will run through October.

Yard waste may not be placed in a plastic bag, but must be put in either biodegradable paper yard bags or in cans.

Christmas trees will be collected for all four weeks in January.

*No lids or covers are recyclable curbside. If garbage is found in the recycling container, the borough will not pick it up until the garbage is removed.

Recycling pickup is on Tuesday on the west side of town and Thursday on the east side. If the recycling pickup day falls on a holiday, recycling will be picked up the next work day.

Lower Pottsgrove
Municipal trash service for all homes was discontinued in 2007. All haulers contracted to pick up trash are required to pick up recycling.
The following items are recyclable in the township, but each trash hauler varies.

Paper: newspapers, inserts, junk mail, office paper, magazines, phone books, chipboard (cereal boxes).
*paper should not be put out in the rain, should be bundled or placed in a PAPER bag. Corrugated cardboard and pizza boxes are not accepted.
Cans: aluminum and steel, bi-metal food and drink containers.
Glass: clear, brown and green. No blue glass
Plastic: #1-7 and laundry detergent bottles

Upper Hanover, Red Hill
Upper Hanover participates in the Red Hill Regional Recycling program. Recyclable items must be dropped off at 56 W. Fourth St. next to the Red Hill Municipal Building. The drop-off point is open 24 hours, seven days a week.

The following items may be dropped off:

* glass food and beverage containers
* aluminum cans
* plastics
* paper
* magazines
* junk mail
* catalogs

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West Nile virus prevention measures

The following are some recommendations issued by the Montgomery County Health Department to help in eliminating mosquito breeding areas. Mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus.

* Identify and eliminate all standing water that collects on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in any puddle that lasts more than five days.

* Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that have collected on your property. Pay special attention to discarded tires.

*Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors.

* Clean and unblock all roof gutters.

* Empty and turn over wading pools when not in use.

* Turn over wheelbarrows.

* Do not allow water to stagnate in birdbaths.

* Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens are fashionable but become major mosquito breeding grounds if the water is allowed to stagnate.

* Keep swimming pools clean and chlorinated. Mosquitoes also can breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.

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Domestic Violence Help

Laurel House: 1-800-642-3150 (24-hour hot line)
TTY: 1-888-883-0770

Women's Center of Montgomery County: 800-773-2424
Pottstown Office
Women’s Advocacy Project
555 High Street
Second Floor
Pottstown, PA 19464

Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Hotline: 888-521-0983


Domestic Violence Center Women in Crisis: 1-888-711-6270

Women in Crisis: 1-610-372-9540

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Area recreation opportunities



Lower Perkiomen Valley Park: Access to Perkiomen Trail and Creek, soccer fields, paved trail. Access off Egypt Road.


Warwick County Park: Offers fishing, hiking trails a picnic area. Entrance off Country Park Road off Route 23, near Saint Peter's.


Nolde Forest State Park: Offers hiking trails that follow a stream through a restored forest, a historic house and an old mill. Trails can be accessed from Route 625 (New Holland Road) or from the park headquarters. Restrooms available in park headquarters.


Evansburg State Park: Hiking trails, playground, picnic area, nature center. Restroom facilities. Historic structures. Access off Germantown Pike on Skippack Creek Road.

New Hanover

Swamp Creek Park: Paved walking trail, historic schoolhouse, model airplane field, picnic area, exercise area. Access off Lutheran or Reifsnyder roads. Portoable toilets.


Upper Perkiomen Valley County Park: Connects to Green Lane Reservoir. Hiking trails and picnic area.

Port Providence

Lock 60: A towpath park runs along the Schuylkill River. Boats can be rented at Fitzwater Station off Canal Street off Walnut Street in Mont Clare. The locktender's house can be accessed off Route 29.


Memorial Park: Offers a spray park, baseball fields, BMX track and walking paths along the Manatawny Creek. Owned by the Borough of Pottstown. Entrance off of King Street between Manatawny Street and Route 100.

Riverfront Park: Offers a walking trail that connects to the Schuylkill River trail, a boat ramp, bicycle racks and houses the headquarter for the Schuylkill Greenways Association. Parking lots off River Road.


Pennypacker Mills: Historic mansion that was the former estate of Pa. Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker. Historic re-enactments. Take Route 73 to Haldeman Road north.

Union Township

French Creek State Park: Offers miles of hiking trails, boating and fishing in Scotts Run and Hopewell lakes, a swimming pool with bathhouses and a snack bar, boat rentals, picnic areas, basketball court, cabins and campsites, a playground and disc golf. Also is home to Forestry Service headquarters for the area. Trails can be accessed from inside the park or off Route 345 and off Park Road. Also an entrance in Saint Peter's off St. Peter's Road. Hunting allowed with proper permit. Restrooms available in park headquarters and at pool

Hopewell Furnace: A state historic site, this landmark holds re-enactment days, an ongoing archaeologic dig, hiking trails and living history tours. Access is off Route 345.

Upper Hanover

Green Lane State Park: Offers hiking trails, horseback riding trails, a nature center, picnic facilities, a playground, and a boat ramp. Restrooms available. Access trails off Route 29 (Knight Road), Perkiomenville Road.

Upper Providence

Upper Schuylkill Valley Park: Access to Schuylkill River. Access off Dreibelbis Road.

Upper Uwchlan

Marsh Creek State Park: Offers boating, boat rentals, fishing, hiking and walking trails. Restroom facilities. Access off Park Road off Route 100, or off Chalfont Road.

Valley Forge National Park: Hiking trails, biking trails, historic structures including Washington's Headquarters, museum, re-enactments, model airplane field. Restrooms at park headquarters. Bike rentals, snack bar in parking lot near main building. Access off Route 23.


Perkiomen Trail: access from Lower Perkiomen Valley Park or from Betzwood picnic area off Trooper Road. Must go south on Trooper Road until it ends. Also can access in Collegeville on Main Street, near the Wawa, and in Perkiomen Valley Park.

Schulykill Trail: Access from Riverfront Park in Pottstown. Connects to trails in French Creek and Valley Forge.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pottstown's Homeowner Initiative Program

Pottstown borough offers grants to those who buy a home split into rental units and return the home to a single living unit.
The money for the grants comes from revitalization grants awarded to Pottstown, according to information on the borough's Web site.
Grants are only awarded to home purchasers in certain areas of the borough. A boundary map is available on Pottstown borough's Web site.
The loan is forgiven if the homeowner lives in the house for seven years. No payments are required in that time.
"If the owner wants to refinance during the first seven years, the borough will subordinate its lien position in order for the financing to proceed. The homeowner is required to pay $200 for each subordination and for early termination/pay off of the loan," according to the borough's Web site.
Homeowners can apply for the grant within the first year of owning the property.
Up to $10,000 in forgivable loans are offered for single-family homes and up to $45,000 is offered for multi-unit homes that include the removal of two units, with $10,000 offered for each additional unit removed. A maximum of $55,000 is offered.
Quotes for the work must be submitted with each application.
For more information on the Homeowner Initiative, including an application and detailed instructions on how to apply, visit http://www.pottstown.org/Economic-documentLaunchingPage.html#

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Get off junk mail lists

Junk mail is direct marketing material and there are ways to get your name off lists.

For more information on reducing your junk mail, click here.


Pennsylvania Do Not Call List

To register your phone number(s) on the Pennsylvania Do Not Call List, call 1-888-777-3406.
You can also enroll online at http://dnc.attorneygeneral.gov/Register.aspx.
You can also file a complaint if someone violates the Do Not Call List by logging on to the Pennslyvania Office of the Attorney General's Web site.
Any company or individual you conduct business with or contact is exempt from the list unless you ask them not to call. Also, nonprofits and political organizations are exempt from the Do Not Call List.
You must re-register for the list every five years.


The National Do Not Call Registry

If you do not want annoying telemarketers bothering you at home, you have the option to register on the national Do Not Call Registry. Registration on the list is now permanent thanks to the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007, which was approved in February.

According to the Registry's Web site, "Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days." You must reregister if your phone number changes and must register every phone number you have. The registry only applies to the phone number, not the person.

Also, if your phone is disconnected for any reason, you should reregister on the list if you do not want to receive telemarketing calls.

Political organizations and nonprofits are not covered by the Do Not Call Registry, unless the calls are made by a third-party telemarketing service. Nor does it apply to companies you already do business with, such as credit card companies, or phone survey takers.

If you wish not to receive calls from exempt parties, simply tell them so and they must honor the request. "If they subsequently call you again, they may be subject to a fine of up to $11,000," according to the Do Not Call Registry Web site.

The Do Not Call Registry is administered by the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.

You can register you number for the National Do Not Call Registry by applying online at https://www.donotcall.gov/ or calling toll-free 1-888-382-1222. Cell phones can be put on the list.

Third parties are not allowed to place a phone number on the Do Not Call Registry.

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Digital TV conversion information

Are you ready for the most significant upgrade in television since color TV? The transition from analog to digital television (DTV) represents the most significant advancement to television technology since color TV was introduced. But while nearly every new technology we use today — including cell phones, music and radio — has gone digital, if you’re like most Americans, you may be completely unaware of the upcoming DTV transition, which will be completed on February 17, 2009.

The benefits of digital television are clear: crystal clear picture and CD quality sound; more choices through additional digital side channels — such as all weather or all traffic channels: and the capability of high-definition broadcasting.

Who needs to get ready? The DTV transition doesn’t directly affect everyone — those who have a digital tuner in their television, or subscribe to cable, satellite or telephone company television service provider need not worry. But those who are impacted are impacted dramatically. You need to take action if you are one of the 19.6 million households that rely exclusively on free, over-the-air broadcasts made available through a rooftop antenna or “rabbit ears.” Even if you do subscribe to a television service provider, you may have a television set in your second bedroom or kitchen that is impacted. Overall, the transition will directly impact more than 69 million television sets.

Fortunately, navigating the transition is easy. You have only to follow one of these three simple steps to make sure your family continues to receive free, over-the-air television:

1) Purchase a DTV converter box that will convert the digital signal into analog for an existing analog television set. The DTV converter box, sometimes referred to as a set-top box, is an electronic device that makes the new digital signal viewable on an older analog television set. Converter boxes will be available for purchase in early 2008 and are expected to cost between $50 and $70. To help cover the cost of the converter box, the federal government will offer two converter box coupons, valued at $40 each, to eligible households beginning early this year. Each coupon may be used toward the purchase of a single converter box, and the coupon program will be administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce. You will still need basic antennas in addition to the converter box to receive a digital signal on their analog sets, but current antennas will work the same as before. For more information about the converter box coupon program, call 1-888-DTV-2009 or visit www.dtv2009.gov.

2)Purchase a new television set with a built-in digital tuner. Another option you may choose is to upgrade to a new television set with a built-in digital tuner. As with older sets, you will need basic antennas that provide quality reception of over-the-air analog television signals to pick up free digital broadcast programming from local stations. Before deciding to purchase a new digital TV, make sure your current set doesn’t have a built-in digital tuner. Most sets sold in the last few years that are larger than 27 inches will likely have a digital tuner.

3)Subscribe to cable, satellite or a telephone company television service provider. All of these services will allow you to receive digital television signals on analogy television sets, as long as all the sets are connected to the service. No additional equipment is required for consumers who decide to go this route.
While there is still time to decide how to navigate the digital television transition, it is a good idea to start thinking now about which option will work best. Eligible consumers will be encouraged to apply early for the digital converter box coupons. If you choose to purchase a new television set with a digital tuner, take time to learn about available features and shop around for the best deal. Leaning toward a subscription to a cable, satellite or telephone company television service? Then spend some time looking into which of these services best suits your viewing needs and fits into your monthly budget.

The digital television transition is coming, and it means a better quality television experience for those who take one of the three easy steps above to upgrade. But consumers who don’t take those easy steps risk losing their free television programming. It pays to get prepared now for DTV.

Additional information about the DTV transition is available at www.dtvanswers.com.