Mandatory recycling opposed Hearing held on changing law

November 09, 1993|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

Mandatory recycling found no favor in Carroll County yesterday.

The county commissioners heard opposition from a representative of trash haulers at a 30-minute public hearing on proposed changes in the county solid-waste ordinance. The hearing attracted about 10 people, most of them from the refuse-hauling business.

County Attorney Charles W. Thompson Jr. assured the haulers that the county doesn't need to require residents and businesses to recycle their trash now. He said the proposed change in the law would simply allow the commissioners to make recycling mandatory later.

Commissioner Elmer Lippy said voluntary recycling programs "get as good or better percentages" when compared with mandatory programs. He pointed to Taneytown's voluntary program as an example of one that does as well as or better than those in Westminster and Mount Airy, which require residents to recycle.

County and municipal records show that as of Sept. 30, percentages of waste recycled in Westminster (21 percent) and Mount Airy (22.6 percent) exceeded Taneytown's 16 percent.

In the county, 21 percent of waste was being recycled as of Sept. 30.

The refuse-hauling industry "is generally not supportive of mandated recycling," Pamela S. Metz, executive director of the Maryland Delaware Solid Waste Association, an industry group, told the commissioners.

Ms. Metz said that if Carroll County requires recycling, haulers want the law covering it to be "workable" for them.

Requiring businesses to recycle "may be asking commercial customers to undertake a tremendous financial burden to put out a separate container," she said. If businesses are to be included, they should be governed by separate rules rather than lumped with residential customers, she said.

Haulers should not be legally responsible for customers' noncompliance, Ms. Metz said. The draft ordinance does not specify who would be accountable for recyclables dumped into the county landfill, she said.

Mr. Thompson said the commissioners would hold the record open for 10 days for additional comments and would accept comments "up to the last minute."

The county governing board has not set a date for acting on the proposed amendments.

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