HARRISBURG, Pa. -

A pair of state grants will help boost recycling efforts in Berks County, Pennsylvania Senator Judy Schwank announced Thursday.

Exeter Township was awarded $79,781 through the recycling performance grant program for diverting 9,012 tons of waste from landfills through its municipal recycling program in 2011, Schwank said.

"Exeter Township officials and residents can be proud of the success of their local recycling program, and this grant is appropriate proof of their good work," Schwank said. "And, now that they are they helping to protect our environment by helping more people recycle their waste, they are getting new state investments to help them do more."

The Berks County Solid Waste Authority will receive three grants worth a total of $31,143 through the Pennsylvania small business and household pollution prevention program, which reimburses local governments for half the cost of developing and operating household hazardous waste collection events, Schwank said.

"Most people know about recycling, but not everyone has the opportunity to participate," Schwank said. "Collections events are great ways to send unwanted plastic, glass, paper and metal to companies that can reuse the waste for other beneficial products, and I am pleased the authority is getting this money so it can continue its good work."

Recycling performance grants, Schwank said, can serve as an incentive for communities to increase the amount of materials they recycle as they promote economic growth through job creation and market expansion.