How does a city leader demonstrate Baltimore's commitment to curbside recycling?
If you're Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, you tossed boxes of used paper onto a garbage truck as you kicked off a curbside recycling program yesterday in southwest Baltimore.
Schmoke visited the home of Annie Albert, in the 1200 block of Wicklow Road in Rognel Heights, to introduce the city's paper recycling program to the neighborhood.
He said 78,000 homes already have curbside pickup of paper products, and, as of yesterday, an additional 34,000
homes will be served.
Children from the Rognel Heights Recreation Center helped Schmoke toss boxes of paper products onto a garbage truck as the mayor told them about the benefits of recycling.
"None of that paper is going to a dump," Schmoke told the children. "It's all going to a company that will change this old paper into new paper."
William Brown, 10, and Raymond Bass, 11, said they were glad the mayor had chosen their neighborhood for inclusion in the recycling program.
Brown, who ran to the front of the group so he could be the first to toss his paper onto the truck, said his plans were to "teach my family how to keep the Earth clean."
Schmoke said the paper recycling program, which will include all 233,000 city homes by September, has included young people since it began because interested children can often inspire their families to start caring about the Earth.
"We're going to make sure that we protect the environment, and we're going to do it family by family, home by home, and we're going to get the young people involved," Schmoke said. "Baltimore is committed to curbside recycling."
The recycling program has not required any additional municipal funding because it has used money already allocated for trash FTC collection, said Al Riddick, the city's recycling coordinator. On the second day of trash pickup each week, some garbage collectors pick up recyclable products instead of trash.
So far, no new equipment or workers have been required for the recycling program, though that could change when the program expands to include cans and bottles before December, Riddick said.