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Positive responses to a survey on curbside recycling have been pouring in to the city offices for the past month.

The town surveyed 1,200 families to gauge interest in the plan.

"About two-thirds of those surveyed have returned the forms, and more than 90 percent of those want the town to go ahead with a curbside plan," said City Manager Neal W. Powell.

Powell and Councilman James L. McCarron, chairman of the Recycling Committee, will present the final tally at the Aug. 12 council meeting. Members will then discuss how to implement a plan, probably putting out bids with independent trash haulers, said Powell.

"We will award the contract to thehauler whose offer best matches our ideas," said McCarron. "This is a great concept, and I would like to see it happen soon."

Powell said he was not surprised that so many residents expressed a willingness to recycle. The town's recycling center in Memorial Park has been busy since it opened in May. Residents also keep the Dumpster on the city parking lot filled with cans and plastic.

Curbside recycling would help the environment and could save each household 20 percent to 30 percent on yearly trash-hauling bills, the survey said.

"Economics probably played some part in the overwhelming approval of this plan," said McCarron. "Savings sweeten the pot, but people want to recycle. From the onset, they have been receptive to any effort."

Ina marked contrast, Hampstead residents gave a thumbs down to Hughes Trash Removal's proposal to start a curbside program in the Aspen Runand Wolf Hill neighborhoods. Of the company's 500 customers there, 445 said they would not participate.

"We chose those areas because they are among the most populated in our service," said Edie Hughes, administrative assistant. "When they found out there was no incentive, they said no."

The company may try the plan in another area, where customers are more receptive, she said.

"I can't imagine why people weren't enthusiastic," said Shirlyn Evans-Ford, who routinely loads her car with recyclables and drives from her Hampstead home to a Finksburg center. "It couldn't be any easier, and you don't have to stockpile things for a month."

Mayor C. Clinton Becker also expressed surprise at the apparent apathy. Like Taneytown, Hampstead has a busy recycling center, which anyone, in or out of town, can use.

"Personally, I don't think anyone needs an incentive to recycle," he said. "It's more a matter of social consciousness."

Hughes may have the only customers in the county who are unwilling to recycle.

S &B; Hauling will begin a six-month pilot curbside recycling program this week, with about 3,500 customers in Finksburg and Eldersburg participating, said owner Sandra Gover.

The company mailed customers information on what it would accept and where they could purchase "recycling bags" for glass, plastic and aluminum items. The bags cost about $2.50 for a package of 30 and are available at most area stores.

"We tried to make it as simple as possible," said Gover. "You want to keep this stuff out of the landfills."

The company will receive no money for the items and will absorb the transportation costs of hauling to a center in Baltimore.

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