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Two Howard projects recognized by state engineering organization

Two Howard County environmental projects were recognized with awards from the County Engineers Association of Maryland at its conference in Ocean City last week.

The Alpha Ridge composting facility, a residential, food scrap processing center located in Marriottsville, and a stream restoration project along Trotter Road in Clarksville were recognized as with Project of the Year awards in their respective categories.

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The Alpha Ridge facility, which opened in March 2013 and cost $800,000, won in the medium projects category – projects costing between $500,000 and $5 million. The facility diverts 400 tons of food scraps from landfills and converts it into mulch, topsoil and other byproducts sold to the public. The project saved the county $125,000 in fiscal year 2014 with saving expected to rise, according to a news release. Curbside pickup for the facility is available for approximately 10,000 homes in Elkridge and Columbia.

The Trotter Road project won in the small projects category – projects costing less than $500,000. The project cost $166,000 and was done to combat erosion on the stream bank.

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"I am proud of the work we do in Howard County to maintain high-quality public works services while being responsible stewards of our environment," said County Executive Ken Ulman in a statement.

Jim Irvin, county director of Public Works, said: "These projects exemplify innovative solutions and collaborative efforts to solve a problem for our residents. I am pleased that we can be recognized for using our creative thinking and internal talent to improve our County."

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