SYKESVILLE — Mayor Lloyd R. Helt Jr. has big ambitions for recycling in his town.
"My goal is to surpass the county's goal of 15 percent," he said."I think we can even surpass 20 percent of our trash stream if everybody joins in."
Toward that effort, the town's sanitation supervisor, Randy Hughes, has presented a proposal for a recycling center that would cost the town very little, if anything.
In fact, the town probably would save hundreds of dollars in tipping fees because less refuse would be dumped in county landfills.
Hughes said he and the Recycling Committee looked at various methods of collecting and disposing of recyclables before settling on a recycling center at the new maintenance building.
Modern Junk & Salvage of Baltimore would operate the center, collect and dispose of materials, use its own equipment and pay the town's overhead costs.
"We would take two bays at the new maintenance building and set up recycling bins outside," said Joe Brightman, co-owner of Modern Junk & Salvage. "We'd be responsible for management and marketing of all materials, and we'd pay the electricity bill."
Those items that would be accepted include three colors of glass, aluminum and tin cans, non-ferrous metals (such as gold and copper), computer paper, cardboard and plastic containers.
Additionally, the company would take over supervision of the town's newspaper collection trailer and the used oil and antifreeze drop-offs.
As an added incentive to the community, Modern Junk & Salvage also would payfor certain recyclables.
"We would pay for 5 pounds or more of aluminum cans, and otherwise be a drop-off for any amount. Computer paper and non-ferrous metals: no minimum weight," Brightman said.
In return for operating the center, the company has asked the town for apaved lot for the recycling bins, a partition between the recycling center and maintenance shop, a separate entrance door, heavy-duty wiring or a gas generator, and some promotion.
"All these things we'dhave to do if we were to do this ourselves," Hughes noted. "This takes the legwork out of it for us and saves the town money."
The problem now is that the town doesn't have the money to meet the company's requests.
"What they're asking is perfectly right, but we just don't have the money," Town Council President Charles B. Mullins said."To get recycling money we have to spend 20 percent of the cost before we get the other 80 percent back from the state."
Mullins saidthat if the town got Modern to run the center, "we'd definitely havethe best recycling center around."
Helt said the next steps toward obtaining a center are to have the council approve it, award a contract and do what Modern asks to set it up.
Helt said he wasn't sure where the money for the project would come from but said the town couldn't rely on state funding as it used to for such things.
"Sykesville has always been in the forefront of recycling," he said. "And we want to participate in the countywide effort and set up our own center for the convenience of the people in town."