Millions in grants available to farmers


HONESDALE, PA — A great deal of the money Congress set aside for struggling dairy farmers has gone unclaimed, said Wayne County Commissioner Chairman Brian Smith at the board’s September 10 meeting.

Smith first encouraged farmers to contact the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) office in Mayfield, which is assisting farmers who are currently selling milk or sold milk from March through June. Smith said the NRCS can point them in the right direction for financial assistance. The Mayfield office’s number is 570/282-8732.

He also urged farmers to take advantage of the USDA’s CARES Act-funded Dairy Indemnity Program. Out of the $15 million allocated to help dairy farmers who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, $13.5 million is still available.

“At a minimum, you will receive $1,500 when you apply,” Smith said. Farmers have only until the end of the month, Wednesday, September 30, to apply for the program. The application is available online.

At another point in the meeting, recycling center director Randy Heller explained what is and what is not accepted through the county’s recycling program. There has been much confusion as a result of COVID-19 closings and reopenings, Heller said.

• Plastics: only #1 and #2, and only plastics “with a neck on it.” In other words, the county can accept a plastic soda bottle, but not a margarine tub or a “clam-shell” take-out container.

• Cardboard and chipboard: almost all kinds accepted, except for waxed.

• Mixed paper: almost all kinds, including magazines, junk mail and newspapers, but no carton paper.

• Glass: clear, green and amber/brown glass accepted but must be separated. No drinking glasses, ceramics, light bulbs or sheet glass accepted.

• Metal: steel and aluminum can be mixed together. Labels on aluminum cat food cans should be removed before recycling. No scrap iron.

Heller explained that these strict guidelines are in place because the county does source separation recycling rather than single-stream.

“The reason we do all that is to keep those recyclables at their highest and best value and reuse,” Smith said. Heller added, “The cleaner your materials are, the better your markets are.”


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