If the recycling phenomenon hasn't touched your household yet, to steal a phrase from the baseball legend Satchel Paige, "Don't look over your shoulder; it might be gaining on you."
That's especially true in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel and Howard counties, where new local budgets that went into effect July 1 include strong pushes for recycling aimed at residential areas.
In little more than a month, some form of voluntary recycling on a routine basis will involve all 230,000 single-family homes in Baltimore City. Within the next year, Anne Arundel County's recycling programs are scheduled to double -- touching 50,000 households, instead of the current 25,000. And in Howard County, the current 12,000 households is expected to become 18,000 with continued phasing in of trash collection routes countywide. In each of these jurisdictions, attention also is being paid to boosting business participation in recycling. Elsewhere in the metropolitan area, Baltimore County's efforts are lagging badly. It is still studying ways to expand three small pilot programs involving 5,400 households, but claims significant commercial recycling success. Recycling plans for Carroll and Harford counties are only in their infancy.