Paper recycling benefits 4-H

The Baltimore Sun

The Carroll County 4-H program has started an environmentally friendly fundraiser that offers citizens another option for recycling some of their wastepaper.

With help from the county government, which is again pushing the recycling concept through single-stream recycling, 4-H has placed 12 marked bins around the county to collect several types of paper.

Leeann Boyce, a 4-H educator, said she saw one of the bins in Silver Run and called about it. The project started with one bin, which is green and bright yellow with a "Local Fundraiser" sign on it, at the Carroll County Agriculture Center in March.

"Abitibi Paper Retriever buys the paper and they supply the Dumpsters, big metal Dumpsters, holding approximately 2 tons of paper each," Boyce said.

Abitibi empties the containers as needed and pays by the ton for the amount collected per month: 1 to 3.99 tons, $5 a ton; 4 to 7.99 tons, $15 a ton; and 8 or more tons, $20 a ton.

As the first bin filled, a 4-H volunteer offered to have a bin placed at the Union Bridge town hall, then Boyce approached the county's Environmental Advisory Committee for help.

From that, Cindy Parr, the county chief of administrative services, suggested placing the bins at the county's public libraries and senior centers.

"As a county, we are trying to increase the opportunity for people to recycle, and adding these extra boxes gives them that," Parr said. "And certainly, we're very supportive of the 4-H program and its efforts, and it helps them make some money."

Bins are at all five senior centers and four library branches -- there was no place to put one at Westminster, Boyce said. Lehigh Cement in Union Bridge also accepted a bin for 4-H.

Patty Whitson, community services supervisor for the Bureau of Aging, said the five senior centers have posted fliers and been asked to make announcements about the 4-H project to encourage their members to help fill the bins.

"I left for lunch the other day and saw somebody unloading their car, so I hope it's working for 4-H," Whitson said. "It is a great fundraiser for them."

The 4-H recycling project also was right up the Carroll County Public Library's aisle. With one of the county's first "green" buildings in the works -- the new Finksburg library branch -- the 4-H program fit right in.

Since all 12 bins have been placed in the past two months, the project has hit the 8-ton figure to earn the maximum amount from Abitibi, Boyce said.

"For August, we made $200 and that was only half of the bins being picked up," Boyce said. "We earned maybe $50 total before that because of having only one bin."

The 4-H ambassadors are promoting the project, and 4-H'ers are doing their part to collect paper from family, friends and the community, Boyce said.

The money raised is going to the 4-H general fund for a variety of needs, Boyce said, including scholarships, programs, trips, awards, recognition and leadership development activities.

Boyce likes the project for other reasons, as well.

"It doesn't cost anybody anything, there's no cost to anyone who lives in the county, and it's pretty much helping the 4-H program without anybody having to buy something," Boyce said. "We're trying not to tax the family too much, and we're trying to do our part for the environment and the families."

The Abitibi containers accept newspaper, typing paper, junk mail, magazines, catalogs, shredded paper (in plastic bags) and plain paper. Not accepted are phone books, cardboard, cereal or other food boxes, folders and trash.

Abitibi, a Canadian company with headquarters in Houston, has its local facility off Eastern Avenue in Baltimore, said Paula Reed, Baltimore-Washington area manager.

Besides offering a way to help people recycle and be environmentally friendly, it helps groups to raise money.

"The other part is, it's the most effective way for us to collect quality tons of paper for our paper mills, and it helps us maintain our environmental outreach," Reed said.

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