Officials weigh fines to spur recycling SOUTHEAST -- Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

February 22, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

Faced with a decline in the percentage of trash being recycled, Sykesville officials are considering fining nonparticipants in their curbside recycling program.

The town may have to institute fines "if there is no other way to convince people to get in the habit," said Council President Kenneth W. Clark.

At the council's Feb. 8 meeting, he recommended a warning system before fining residents and businesses.

Town Manager James L. Schumacher said he will report to the council on other towns in the Maryland Municipal League that have mandatory fines.

He is gathering the information now, he said.

Councilman Jonathan Herman has called for mandated recycling.

"Filling up Dumpsters with cardboard is a total waste," Mr. Herman said. "People can start out recycling the simpler items like cardboard and newspaper. Eventually, we want 100 percent recycling."

Mr. Schumacher said he would be satisfied if people in the town's 1,100 households would recycle 35 percent of their trash.

Sykesville began curbside recycling last spring. In November, trash crews began picking up bundled newspaper. Participation had reached as high as 25 percent, but dipped below 15 percent in December.

"If residents don't recycle voluntarily, they will have to pay the bills from increased tipping fees" at county landfills, he said.

Town officials recently leased a baler, which can bundle cardboard for resale at about $35 a ton.

The equipment also can bale newspaper and aluminum.

Randy Hughes, Bureau of Streets and Sanitation supervisor, has sent a letter to 70 town businesses asking for cooperation in the recycling program.

"At least a dozen of those businesses are huge producers of cardboard," Mr. Schumacher said.

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