WHEN RESIDENTS RECYCLE, they not only help save the planet, but help save their local governments money.
Take Westminster. Figures from last year show the city recycled about 29 percent of its solid waste, which saved more than $88,000 in tipping fees. Those savings help keep city taxes down.
"I think it's great," said city planner Katrina Tucker, who drafted the recycling report. "That's a significant savings, not having to pay to landfill that waste. It indicates that residents are becoming more and more aware about recycling."
County figures show about 57 percent of the solid waste countywide was recycled last year. Those figures include the recycling efforts of businesses and residents.
Westminster's figures are primarily from collections at individual homes.
"The city only collects residential trash, so I don't track commercial figures," Tucker said, adding that any waste generated at City Hall is included in Westminster's figures.
The bulk of residential recycling is from yard waste - clippings and branches that are composted into mulch.
"It's definitely reused," Tucker said, noting Westminster uses its mulch at city parks and around plants on Main Street.
"That number goes up every year. It makes a big difference, recycling all that biodegradable waste so that it is not in our landfills."
City residents are reminded that glass, plastic and metal recyclables will be picked up by York Waste Disposal, Westminster's trash collection company, along with regular trash if it is placed loose in a recycling container.
Paper and cardboard should be placed in brown paper bags or tied in bundles no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet. Recyclables in plastic bags will not be collected.
Yard waste, which can be placed in bushel baskets or transparent plastic bags, is collected between 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Nov. 1. Residents should call the city for information on recycling larger items, such as bulk trash and appliances.
"It's all a cost savings to the city," Tucker said, adding she believes recycling begins with buying goods with minimal packaging.
"You don't have as much packaging to begin with," she said.
Tucker encourages residents to consider saving and reusing packing materials, such as boxes and plastic foam peanuts, they receive with goods ordered from catalogs or through the Internet.
"Styrofoam is not part of our recycling package at this time," she said. "As that area of purchasing grows, we need to find a way to recycle the components."
Classic country music
Hear country music classics and oldies when Bob Plunkert and Real Country perform from 8:30 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday at Westminster Moose Lodge, 309 Buena Vista Drive.
Plunkert, who is considered one of Carroll County's rising stars in country music, focuses his performances on hits recorded by stars such as Buck Owens, Johnny Bush and Ray Price long before this young singer was born.
Information: Bob Plunkert, 410-848-6823, or Westminster Moose, 410-857-5821.
Amy L. Miller's Central neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.