County recycling rate jumps to 11.3% and is expected to rise

October 11, 1992|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

Counting aluminum cans, plastic, newspapers and othe items recycled in Sykesville, Carroll's recycling rate rose to 11.3 percent in August, up from about 8 percent in July, county officials said.

County Comptroller Eugene C. Curfman initially reported last month that the county's recycling rate for August was 10 percent, but he noted that that figure didn't include the towns of Sykesville or Mount Airy.

"We're pleased to see the figure going up," said Dwight Copenhaver, county recycling coordinator. "But we still have a long ways to go."

The county began a voluntary curbside recycling program for residents in unincorporated areas on July 1. Trash haulers have designed their own methods for collecting recyclables.

Six municipalities -- Westminster, Hampstead, Manchester, Union Bridge, New Windsor and Taneytown -- have united to contract with one hauler to provide once-a-week trash collection and recycling. Manchester, however, has not begun curbside pickup.

Sykesville and Mount Airy have developed their own recycling programs.

The county is required by state law to recycle at least 15 percent of its waste by 1994. By using less space in landfills, the county saves money and delays having to open new landfills.

"I think the [rate] is pretty good," said Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy. "The remaining 4 percent or so will be probably be more difficult to achieve. But I have every confidence we will achieve it."

While the numbers are rising, county officials and trash haulers said many residents are still not recycling.

Mr. Copenhaver said the county staff will explore other methods of educating people about recycling when the September figures are reviewed. Those figures are expected to be released this week.

"We expect them to be higher," Mr. Copenhaver said.

Dixie Hughes, secretary-treasurer of Hughes Trash Removal, said the firm has seen an increase in the number of customers recycling since the program began. However, she said, it would be six to eight months before she would have any figures available on the number of customers recycling.

"It's growing each week," she said. "It's just too early to give you any kind of numbers."

Ms. Hughes said some customers remain resistant to recycling. Some have objected to cleaning cans and glass, while others don't understand that certain types of plastic cannot be accepted, she said.

The firm has found that some still prefer to take their recyclables to bins throughout the county.

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