Sykesville seeks profit on baler Town decides to recycle cardboard SOUTHEAST -- Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

January 13, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

With a baler at their disposal, Sykesville officials hope to solve cardboard collection problems, save money on landfill fees and turn a profit.

The Town Council decided at Monday's meeting to give the machine a trial, approving a six-month lease.

"We will do better than break even on this project," said Randy Hughes, supervisor of the Bureau of Streets and Sanitation. "We can generate more than the $100 a month we need to pay for the lease."

The town hopes to recycle the four to five tons of cardboard that businesses discard each month. Once the cardboard is baled, Mr. Hughes said, he can sell it for $35 a ton.

Mark Billett, a private contractor and manager of the Sykesville Recycling Center, is buying a Maren baler and has offered to lease the machine to the town for $100 a month.

It would normally rent for $250 a month, Mr. Hughes said. Since Mr. Billett also will use the machine, he is giving the town a discount.

The machine is sitting idle at the center, but after an electrician hooks it up, it will be able to bundle cardboard into neat, 2-by-2-by-4-foot bales.

Mr. Hughes said the town could bale "just about anything" it recycles, including newspapers, plastics and aluminum.

"We will also reduce our tipping fees because we would save $38 for every ton that doesn't go to the landfill," he said.

Every recycled ton also would increase the town's percentage of recyclables by three-quarters of a percent.

Sykesville, which began curbside pickup last spring, is already well above the 15 percent county requirement for recycling.

The trash haulers could pick up cardboard on Wednesdays along with the regular trash.

"This is just a matter of educating our business people," said James L. Schumacher, town manager.

"If they work with us, we'll take their cardboard away for free," he said.

Mayor Lloyd R. Helt Jr. asked Mr. Hughes to visit the town businesses and make them aware of the program.

The council opted to test the baler's feasibility with commercial cardboard first.

If that program is successful, the town also may bale residential recyclables.

Sykesville collects about two tons of newspapers each week.

The Recycling Committee will meet at 6 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Town House to iron out details.

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