Baltimore will begin a pilot program Nov. 4 to pickup recyclable trash in front of residents' homes in two sections of the city.
The city's Board of Estimates approved contracts this week for two companies to pick up, haul and deliver paper, glass, plastic and aluminum cans to recycling companies.
White Brothers Trucking, a local company, was awarded $98,511, and a national company, Browning-Ferris Inc., was awarded $105,726 to pick up the trash for one year. The contracts can be renewed for two one-year periods.
Under the pilot program, the trucks will pick up recyclable trash every other week, said Stephen Chidsey, the city's recycling coordinator.
The program will operate in one section in the city's north-central area and another in the northeast. The north-central section includes Homeland, Roland Park, Guilford, Woodberry and Hampden. The northeast section, between Harford and Belair roads, includes parts of Hamilton, Beverly Hills and Gardenville.
Chidsey said the city will distribute fliers to residents and will notify community associations of the program.
He said the trucks will pick up the trash in front of people's homes -- not in the alleys where city trash trucks drive -- because the companies hired by the city use trucks that are too wide to operate in city alleys.
Special bins also will be available at $5 each to hold recyclable items for pickup. He said the city will also provide bumper stickers for residents to place on their own trash cans if they are used to hold recyclable material.
Cans, plastic bottles and glass can be combined in the bins or cans and do not have to be separated for pickup. Recycling companies will separate the material later.
Paper should be bundled separately, he said.
Chidsey also said the program, which he hopes to eventually expand to other parts of the city, should not cost any extra money because the city will save money because the amount of trash it pays to have incinerated will be reduced. He said the city now pays $38 a ton to incinerate trash.
At the Board of Estimates meeting, City Council President Mary Pat Clarke questioned why the pickups will only be every other week, instead of each week.
"We don't want Baltimore to look like a trash heap," she said.
Schmoke then held up a foam plastic coffee cup and asked, "What are we doing with these things?"
"Banning them?" quipped Clarke.
Later, Chidsey said foam plastic items would not be included in the recycling effort because of a lack of facilities to process them.