Community cleanup weighed down by per-ton trash dumping fees Project in Catonsville may have to be canceled


A Catonsville community's cleanup project has turned into a $25-a-ton wrangle with county government.

Now the Old Catonsville Neighborhood Association (OCNA) says the cleanup planned for Saturday may have to be canceled.

Maureen Sweeney Smith, who organized the OCNA cleanup, said the group was hoping residents would dispose of unsightly debris, and to comply with county zoning and code regulations.

A local company was donating a dump truck for four hours.

The problem was where the dump truck would have to haul the trash -- the convenient Western Landfill about six miles away in Halethorpe, or Eastern Landfill in White Marsh about 35 miles distant, Mrs. Smith said.

The county told the residents they had to use Eastern Landfill, "the appropriate facility."

Bob Olsen, director of public works, said the county was willing to absorb the dumping fees at Eastern Landfill, costing $15 to $20 a ton -- but not the fees at Western Landfill. There, the trash would have to be transferred to the Baltimore Resource Energy Systems Co. incinerator near downtown Baltimore, and costs run as high as $45 a ton.

"It would probably take us an hour and a half to get up there [to White Marsh] and an hour and a half to get back," Mrs. Smith said. "Everything was going so well, and now we have this roadblock."

"There's a substantial increase in cost if they take it to the Western Landfill," Mr. Olsen said. "We don't think we are being unreasonable."

Councilman Stephen G. "Samuel" Moxley, a Catonsville Democrat, has been trying to intercede on behalf of the association. "In the county we are touting community conservation, and one way to save the community is to have these cleanups," Mr. Moxley said.

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