Council OKs waste plan in Baltimore Co.

September 23, 1992|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Staff Writer

After defeating an attempt to ban any new incinerator from Baltimore County, the County Council has approved a new 10-year plan for solid-waste disposal.

The plan was amended before passage to boost recycling in the county. It now sets a goal of 50 percent recycling of waste by 1997, up from the current state-mandated goal of 20 percent recycling by 1994.

In addition, the amendments introduced by Councilman Melvin G. Mintz, D-2nd, call for an evaluation of whether a new recycling plant could be situated in Texas in place of the current plant there, which shreds trash after removing metals for scrap.

Councilman Vincent J. Gardina, D-5th, who proposed the unsuccessful amendment to ban new incinerators, cast the lone vote against the solid-waste plan.

Responding to Mr. Mintz's concern about future incinerators, other council members noted that the county has no plans to build an incinerator and that they merely want the option left open as a last resort.

"Even if we recycle 70 percent of the trash, if the landfill is full, we have to do something with the rest," said Chairman William A. Howard IV, R-6th.

The plan fulfills a state mandate requiring plans for solid-waste disposal to be filed at least once every 10 years.

The new update is the result of a directive the state Department of the Environment issued in June 1991. It requires every subdivision to submit a revised plan for meeting the terms of the Maryland Recycling Act of 1988, which requires jurisdictions with more than 150,000 people to reduce waste by 20 percent by 1994.

Before Monday's 6-1 vote, several council members -- notably Mr. Howard and Mr. Mintz -- had been pushing for more public scrutiny of the plan's periodic revisions and a more aggressive effort to recycle waste.

Local recycling advocates and Mr. Mintz want the county to expand curbside pickup of glass, plastic and metal containers quickly. But officials say more markets for those items have to be found.

The county limits most curbside recycling collections to mixed paper and lawn waste, which are the heaviest, bulkiest items and the ones most easily disposed of.

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