Last bin brings recycling to every house in county

February 07, 1993|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

An article in the Feb. 7 editions of The Sun reported incorrectly the amount of trash Anne Arundel county recycles each month through its curbside program. The county collects about 187,000 pounds of recyclable materials every month.

The Sun regrets the error.

Betsy and Tom Rekus moved to Odenton from Long Island two months ago and couldn't believe that Anne Arundel County didn't have a curbside recycling program in their neighborhood.

After spending weeks throwing away trash that they thought could be put to better use, Mrs. Rekus decided to make a weekly trip to the Millersville Landfill to do the recycling herself.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

But on Friday, County Executive Robert R. Neall took them a bright yellow recycling bin and the Rekus family became the last household to be included in the county's curbside program, which serves 115,000 households.

Now, every home on a county trash route can take advantage of curbside recycling, which the county started in 1988.

"We've been looking forward to it," said Mrs. Rekus, a registered nurse who is taking time off to be home with her two young sons. Her husband is an FBI agent and works in Washington.

Mrs. Rekus said she was "very surprised" that curbside recycling did not exist when her family moved into the new Piney Orchard development in December.

"We were kind of disappointed," she said. "In just six weeks, we collected an incredible amount of trash. That's why we were going to go to Millersville. We were throwing away so much -- we weren't used to it."

Mr. Neall rode up to the Rekus home on Thornwood Drive about 10 a.m. -- a half-hour later than scheduled -- in a large Eastern Waste Industries Recycling truck.

He climbed out, grabbed the bin from an aide and walked to the house. "I'm the full-service county executive," he said before knocking on the door and saying "trick or treat" when Mrs. Rekus answered.

Five-year-old Andrew Rekus grabbed the bin from the county executive and walked outside, in front of a television cameraman. "He knows the drill already," Mr. Neall said. "He knows exactly what to do."

After the two Rekus boys had sat in the truck, pulled some levers and sounded the loud air horn three times -- anyone trying to sleep past 10 in this neighborhood no doubt failed -- Mrs. Rekus told the executive that curbside service was common on Long Island.

Anne Arundel was the first county to offer curbside recycling five years ago, and officials said it is the second in the metropolitan Baltimore-Washington area to offer it to all households, after Montgomery County. About 75 percent of the eligible homeowners take advantage of the service, recycling about 187,000 tons of material a month.

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