Harford government officials are lobbying Reynolds Aluminum to assist the county's recycling effort when the company doubles the size of its Joppa aluminum processing plant.
"We would love it to be a full-service recycling facility," Bob Donald, the county's deputy director of public works for environmental affairs, said Thursday.
The company is considering moving to an undisclosed site on Route40 in Riverside that would allow it to expand to between 18,000 square feet and 20,000 square feet, local Reynolds business manager ChuckJohnson said Thursday.
The county would like the company to consider using the new location to collect not just aluminum but recyclable glass, paper and plastic. The existing Reynolds plant on Pulaski Highway accepts only aluminum products.
Reynolds has processed aluminum gathered from collection centers throughout Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia at the plant for four years.
Reynolds has made no promises to include other recyclables in its expansion plans.
Reynolds would like to begin operating in a new location by next summer, but the move would depend on the economy.
The company pays 23 cents per pound to individuals who drop off aluminum cans, lawn furniture, house siding, transmission cas
ings and other aluminum products at its two collection sites in the Edgewood Shopping Center and Short Stop Beverage Barn in Aberdeen.
It takes about 25 soda cans to make a pound, Johnson said.
The Joppa recycling center processed 13 million pounds of aluminum last year and paid out $5 million, he said.
Currently the company is conducting a nationwide campaign to convince people to turn in their aluminum foil, but will accept "just about anything that's aluminum," Johnson said.
Under state law, each county must recycle 15 percent of its annual solid waste by 1994. Harford has a goal of 25 percent of the 160,000 tons of trash its citizens and businesses generate.
A new full-service Reynolds recycling plant would cut the cost of the county's recycling plan to meet the state mandate.
Under alternative plans developed by the county in April, the annual cost of countywide curbside recycling collections would range between $1.6 million and $1.9 million a year. Plans include construction of at least one county-owned recycling center similar to the private, non-profit Susquehannock Environmental Center Inc., a full-service operation that accepts donationsand buys recyclables from people who bring them to the site.
Donald said the county is drafting a revised phased-in plan that could significantly reduce the county's recycling program start-up costs.