Relay to get pilot project for recycling

June 25, 1992|By Patrick Gilbert | Patrick Gilbert,Staff Writer

Baltimore County launched a new phase of its rapidly expanding curbside recycling program yesterday by beginning a pilot project in Relay that substitutes a pickup of mixed paper and yard waste for one of two weekly trash collections.

Instead of having two trash pickups a week, Relay residents will have what county officials are calling one-plus-one curbside recycling collection: one day for trash and one day for recyclables. Early yesterday, County Executive Roger B. Hayden kicked off the project by donning a bright orange jumpsuit and spending 45 minutes helping crews pick up recyclables in Relay.

The county is under a state mandate to recycle 20 percent of its residential and commercial waste by Jan. 1, 1994. The goal is based on the weight of waste currently generated by the county.

"The Relay pilot project is aimed at mixed paper and grass and leaves because they are the heavier materials in our residential waste stream," said Charles M. Reighart, the county recycling coordinator.

The county has set a goal of collecting mixed paper and lawn waste from 155,000 households by 1994, Mr. Reighart said. Slightly more than 36,000 households now get recycling pickups.

Two other communities, Campus Hills in Towson and Colonial Village in Pikesville, also have pilot projects for one-and-one collections, but those include bottles, cans and plastics, which weigh less than the material collected in Relay.

By the end of this month, the number of curbside recycling areas will have increased significantly. During all of 1991 and the first quarter of 1992, only two new areas were added, Mr. Reighart said. However, 19 new curbside recycling areas are expected to be added during the second quarter, which ends June 30. Some curbside recycling areas still have two trash collections plus one recyclable pickup a week.

The county hopes the one-and-one collection process, if it goes well in the pilot projects, will eventually save the county money, Mr. Reighart said. The county now pays 49 private haulers $15.9 million a year to collect trash and recyclables. County officials believe recycling will lower the number of weekly collections by the private haulers.

"We also hope that by only having one trash collection a week we can encourage residents to do more recycling, and that would save us money in incinerator tipping fees and landfill costs," said Mr. Reighart. "Plus, it makes environmentally good sense to recycle as much as possible instead of just dumping it."

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