Recycling rate rises to 14% in September County closes in on state's 15% goal

COUNTYWIDE

October 16, 1992|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

Carroll County's recycling rate jumped to 14 percent in September, falling just one percentage point short of the state-mandated goal, county officials said yesterday.

"I'm really pleased," Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said. "I believe zTC [the rate] will just keep on edging up. It will go up even more when Manchester starts [recycling], too."

Manchester is the only Carroll municipality not operating a recy

cling program.

However, its Town Council voted this week to begin voluntary curbside recycling on Nov. 1.

Five other municipalities -- Westminster, Taneytown, Union Bridge, New Windsor and Hampstead -- have contracted with one hauler to provide trash collection and curbside recycling.

Sykesville and Mount Airy are running their own recycling programs.

Carroll is required by state law to recycle 15 percent of its waste by1994. Less waste means less space used up in the county's two landfills and lower trash bills.

In an effort to comply with the state law, Carroll began a voluntary curbside recycling program for residents in unincorporated areas July 1.

Not included in the county's September figure, up from 11.3 percent in August, are materials such as cardboard and paper recycled by businesses, said Dwight Copenhaver, county recycling coordinator.

Mr. Copenhaver said that later this month the county will receive a quarterly report on the efforts of those businesses that are recycling.

He expected that figure to boost the county's recycling rate even higher.

"There are quite a few businesses that are recycling," Mr. Copenhaver said. "Some of them were doing it prior to the [county's] recycling ordinance. They're doing it to save money. If cardboard and paper aren't going to the landfill, they're saving money."

Even so, Mr. Copenhaver and the commissioners stressed, there are businesses and residents that are not recycling.

Mr. Copenhaver said the staff plans to re-evaluate education programs to target those parties.

"Our intent is to look at where we are and what we can do to improve [recycling rates]," he said.

Although the number of residents dropping off recyclable materials at the Recycling Center on Route 97 and at red bins throughout the county has dropped, the figure has not fallen as much as officials had anticipated, Mr. Copenhaver said.

The county initially planned to close the Recycling Center and remove the bins at the end of the year.

However, Mr. Copenhaver said, the staff and commissioners may need to review that decision and keep some of the bins available to the public.

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