Two Citizen Panels To Examine Garbage Proposal

Solid Waste Plan Is Still Lacking Provisions For Cost, Recycling

May 26, 1991|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff writer

Members of two citizens panels will spend the next month sifting through garbage --or rather, a plan for how to deal with solid waste

A first draft of the Carroll County Solid Waste Management Plan, drawn up by Jack Curran, chief of the Bureau of Solid Waste Management, debuted at a joint meeting Wednesday of the Environmental Affairs Advisory Board and the Recycling Committee.

The document is missing several key elements, such as how to pay for waste programs and how the county will recycle.

The plan is several stages away from the draft that the County Commissioners will review no earlier than August, said James E. Slater Jr., director of the Department of Natural Resource Protection, which includes responsibility for solid waste.

Once the commissioners approve the plan, the county will submit it to the Maryland Department of the Environment, which could suggest changes, Slater said.

In addition to the state's mandate that counties recycle 15 to 20 percent of their solid waste by 1994, the counties must submit for MDE approval comprehensiveplans for dealing with all solid waste.

Franklin L. Grabowski of Westminster, a member of the environment board, said he takes the county seriously in its invitation to provide input before the plan goesto the commissioners.

"I will, without a doubt, review every pageof it and red-line every page of it," said Grabowski, a civil engineer with STV/Lyon Associates in Baltimore.

"I will review it with acompletely open mind. That's why I'm here. I don't belong to the government. I'm freer to make comments than a county employee (would be)," Grabowski said.

The Recycling Committee and the Environmental Affairs Advisory Board are made up of representatives of business, industry, education, government, waste hauling, recycling, agriculture and conservation.

The panels act only as advisers to the commissioners, who appointed the members.

The half-inch-thick draft that members are reading begins with a statement of goals.

"I hope to see it fulfill its goals," Grabowski said.

The goals include waste minimization, reduced need for landfills and increased recycling and reuse.

But reuse through burning trash for energy, which is presentedas an option in the plan, should be a "last resort," he said.

"I would be happy if we never need to build another landfill in Carroll County," Slater said.

However, in case the county does need another landfill, Slater

said it must begin looking for a site in the next few years. The county's existing landfills, Northern Landfill in Reese and Hoods Mill Landfill in Woodbine, will last another 12 to 15 years, Curran estimated.

But Slater said the landfills could last indefinitely with curbside recycling, composting and a waste-to-energy plant.

How the county will pay for waste programs will depend onwork by an an ad-hoc group that includes representatives from the towns and haulers, Slater said. The group is to submit proposals in June, he said.

The plan includes six options, each summarizing an integrated

plan for the county's waste.

The options exist so residents and commissioners can select elements to form a new plan, he said.

"Basically, what I favor, is decentralizing," Slater said. "I'dlike to have more than one recycling facility developed."

He saidhe prefers a plan that had composting at both Hoods Mill and Northern landfills, a recycling drop-off point at Hoods Mill and a larger recycling/sorting building at Northern.

Also, he said, he would liketo start a transfer station in the western part of the county to serve the Taneytown, New Windsor and Union Bridge areas.

A transfer station allows smaller trash trucks to dump their hauls at one location. The waste would be transferred to a large truck that makes just one trip a day to Northern Landfill.

Some options include waste-to-energy, which could mean either burning trash in an incinerator that generated steam electricity, or creating trash pellets that would be sold as fuel for cement kilns or other industries.

The commissioners are working with Howard, Washington and Frederick counties on a coordinated plan that could result in a waste-to-energy plant in those counties or in Carroll.

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