Havre de Grace city officials are talking trash.
More precisely, they’re talking about how to accumulate and dispose of less of it while increasing how much city residents recycle.
“The City of Havre de Grace is going to make an effort to educate our citizens on trash,” Mayor William Martin said at Monday night’s City Council meeting.
The mayor said the city is paying $70 per ton in a tipping fee for dumping trash in a Baltimore County landfill, up from $50 per ton when it was dumping its trash in the Scarboro Landfill in Street.
“Paying to dispose of it; not paying to dispose of it,” the mayor said about paying per ton to dump trash while getting rid of recyclables is cost free. “It’s that simple.”
Recycling is important to the city’s future, the mayor said.
“We’ve got to start recycling,” Martin said. “We are throwing money into a landfill when we don’t recycle.”
Martin praised Havre de Grace for being terrific at so many things and in so many areas. Disposing of trash, particularly pulling recyclables out of the trash stream for recycling, is not one of the city’s success stories, he said.
“We’re horrible at recycling,” Martin told Monday’s audience, taking special aim at the TV cameras for the city residents who choose to watch the City Council meetings on the Harford Cable Network. Those meetings are generally telecast the evening after the meeting.
The mayor also reminded city residents that trash is to be disposed of in cans, not in plastic bags stacked up for removal by sanitation workers.
By city ordinance, Martin said, it’s illegal to put trash out only in plastic bags.
The bags full of trash should be put in cans, not just piled up at the curb, not only making an unsightly scene, but also creating health and safety problems, the mayor said.