Curbside recycling begins Wednesday


The county launches its curbside recycling program Wednesday for residents in unincorporated areas, but most municipalities won't begin their programs until later this summer.

The dozen or so trash haulers serving residents outside municipal borders are required to offer curbside recycling by Wednesday in order to secure a solid-waste collection license from the county. Several haulers are waiting to receive equipment and will start their recycling programs later.

Recycling is voluntary for residents in unincorporated areas. Trash haulers have designed their own methods for collecting recyclables and are expected to inform customers, but most plan to pick up recyclables once per week.

Each hauler also is devising its own billing plan for recycling. For example, Fogle's Refuse Service plans to charge more than its regular trash collection fee if residents don't recycle and offer a .. discount to those who do, said owner David Fogle.

The firm, which will keep track of recycling along the routes, hired four employees and bought two new trucks to prepare for recycling.

Dixie Hughes, secretary-treasurer of Hughes Trash Removal, said the company would "swallow" most costs associated with recycling, but some increase might be passed along in bills.

Six municipalities -- Westminster, Hampstead, Manchester, Union Bridge, New Windsor and Taneytown -- united to contract with one hauler to provide once-a-week trash collection and once-a-week recycling for about $44 annually per household.

The commissioners increased the landfill dumping fee from $15 per ton to $40, a cost that haulers pass on to customers.

The average household generates 1 to 1.5 tons of trash per year, without recycling, county officials say.

Haden Trash Removal is expected to begin recycling Aug. 3 in Westminster, Aug. 5 in New Windsor, Aug. 6 in Taneytown and Aug. 7 in Hampstead. Haden already operates a recycling program in Union Bridge. Manchester will join the other five municipalities in 1994, when its current contract expires, but is expected to launch its own recycling effort in the meantime.

Westminster's recycling becomes mandatory in November, after a 90-day grace period.

The one-month delay in the start of recycling for four of the five towns was caused by the lead time needed to order recycling equipment and recycling bins for customers, said Jack S. Haden, president of Haden Trash Removal. He said he received final contract commitments from towns involved in the unified bid last week, and has promises from suppliers that the bins will arrive by mid-July.

Mandatory curbside recycling begins in Mount Airy on July 8. Sykesville has its own recycling center, and has curbside pickup for tires, batteries, yard waste, appliances and newspapers.

Glass, tin and aluminum food and beverage containers and narrow-necked plastic bottles and jugs marked #1 PET or #2 HDPE can be mixed in the same bin or bag for collection. Appropriately marked plastic containers that aren't narrow-necked can't be included because the county hasn't found a market for the materials.

Some haulers are providing free bins, while others require customers to supply bins or bags.

Paper products can be bundled in paper grocery bags or cardboard boxes, or tied with non-plastic string. Paper, which can be combined in the same bag, includes newspaper, office and computer paper, junk mail, light cardboard without the inner packaging, magazines, phone books, bags and non-metallic wrapping paper. Folded and flattened corrugated cardboard boxes also can be left at the curb.

"The fact that we've been able to expand the paper stream is very important," said Dwight Copenhaver, county recycling manager. "It should reduce the waste stream."

The county is required by state law to recycle at least 15 percent of its waste by 1994. By saving space in landfills, the county saves money and delays having to open new ones.

Residents who don't have trash service can take sorted recyclables directly to Northern Landfill, 1400 Baltimore Blvd., Westminster; or Hoods Mill Landfill, 7901 Kabik Court, Sykesville. The recyclables can be deposited free, but if trash is dumped, a fee will be charged for the visit.

The county is developing a plan to compost yard waste at the landfills and expects to phase it in by Jan. 1.

Until then, recycling officials encourage residents to do their own composting, because yard waste left for the hauler will be buried in the landfill.

Town collection schedules

Here is the trash and recycling collection schedule for the five towns contracting jointly with Haden Trash Removal for refuse service starting July 1:

* Hampstead: Weekly refuse collection on Fridays, starting July 3. Recycling begins Aug. 7.

* New Windsor: Weekly refuse collection on Wednesdays, starting July 1. Recycling begins Aug. 5.

* Taneytown: Weekly refuse collection on Thursdays, starting July 2. Recycling begins Aug. 6.

* Union Bridge: No change. Weekly refuse and recyclables collection continues each Wednesday.

* Westminster: Weekly refuse collection begins June 29. Monday and Thursday customers will have trash pickup on Mondays only; Tuesday and Friday customers will have trash pickup on Tuesdays only. Recycling begins Aug. 3.

In all five towns, recyclables will be picked up on the same day as trash pickup when the recycling program begins. Haden will distribute recycling bins and brochures explaining the recycling program to homeowners in late July.

Residents of the five towns who are missed on initial pickups or have additional questions should call Haden Trash Removal at 833-8832.

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