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Recycling initiative impacts fuel cost in Tinicum Township


A public works building heater that burns recycled motor oil has not only saved Tinicum Township thousands of dollars annually on fuel costs since its 2017 installation, but now has also helped to increase recycling grant money from the state. Residents can drop off used motor oil at the public works building on Municipal Road.

At the Feb. 4 public board of supervisors meeting, Township Manager Teri Lewis announced that the heater had allowed the township to avoid paying for a thousand gallons of heating oil in 2019. She added that it had also significantly enhanced the township’s grant application to the state Department of Environmental Protection’s recycling incentive grant, and its subsequent award.

Meanwhile, at their last public board meeting on Jan. 21, supervisors had moved to table consideration of a new ordinance regulating group residences, also known as sober living homes, and to issue a zoning violation notice to a group home that had recently begun operating in the township.

The issue had drawn a large crowd to the meeting, with neighbors of the new group residence expressing their concerns about what they had learned was a for-profit residence for those recovering from drug and/or alcohol addiction. The zoning violation was understood to be for a commercial operation in a residential zone, and any next steps were awaiting the response from the owner to the notice. No update was provided at the Feb. 4 meeting.

During discussion on Jan. 21, Solicitor Stephen Harris noted that the issue had been a point of discussion in many municipalities, deriving especially from the magnitude of the opioid addiction epidemic. He said that the federal Fair Housing Act had often been brought into play, given that it did not apply to current drug users, and that in summary, the issue was a “difficult question about which reasonable men and women can disagree.”