An increase in the city's tipping fee prompted Havre de Grace City Council members to encourage residents to recycle more.
The Havre de Grace City Council unanimously passed a resolution during Monday's meeting to raise the town's tipping fee to $15.50 per quarter from $12.25 per quarter — or a hike of $13 a year.
The tipping fee, which is a quarterly charge to cover Harford County's per ton costs for use of landfills, was increased to cover the county's charges, which has risen to $67 per ton of solid waste from $50 per ton.
City Councilman Randolph Craig said the past quarterly charge of $12.25 had "nearly" covered the town's costs to dispose of solid waste, but not all of it. The projected increases in costs per ton, the councilman said, are $68 in 2012, $70 in 2013 and $72 per ton in 2014.
To offset the rising costs, several council members encouraged the widespread practice of recycling, especially since the city, like the rest of Harford County, recently changed to single-stream recycling. Craig went on to say the Budget Finance Committee recommends incrementally increasing the fee to match the county's rising charge, but to revisit this plan in a year after aggressive recycling efforts.
"The only way to reduce tipping fee charges is to increase recycling," Councilman Fred Cullum said. He said that while it's difficult to reduce a household's daily garbage output, families can make an effort to increase how much they recycle. Recycled goods do not increase the cost of solid waste per ton.
Councilwoman Barbara Wagner reiterated the importance of recycling and suggested that families use goods with less packaging to help reduce the garbage they produce.
Also during Monday night's meeting, the council passed a resolution requesting federal, state and county redistricting commissions include Havre de Grace in the same district.
Craig stressed the importance of "continuity in communities." Havre de Grace shares the same district, on the state level, as Cecil County, he said.
City Council President William Martin agreed, saying "we want to keep our city together when it comes to" the state and federal level.
In other business during Monday's meeting:
*A resolution supporting the Education Enhancement Programming for the Boys and Girls Club of Harford County was passed.
*A resolution to approve the Carson Scholars Fun and Ben Carson Reading Project was passed.