Curbside recycling expands

June 11, 1994|By Patrick Gilbert | Patrick Gilbert,Sun Staff Writer

As curbside recycling expands into more areas of Baltimore County, the changes in trash pickup can come as a shock for some residents.

For example, residents of older townhouse developments, long accustomed to putting their trash on the sidewalk in front of their homes, now must carry their trash and recyclables to a central area for collection.

Samuel A. Hicks of Randallstown thinks that puts a hardship on the elderly and disabled.

"It's hard for senior citizens and handicapped people to get their trash to the front of their house, let alone carry it 50 yards or more to a central pickup spot," said Mr. Hicks, who investigates discrimination complaints for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Mr. Hicks lives in the Point of Woods townhouse development off the 9600 block of Liberty Road. Residents recently received notice from the county Bureau of Solid Waste that they would have to put their trash at a central location in the development.

For Mr. Hicks, that means taking it to the grassy island that separates the parking lots of two blocks of townhouses.

Point of Woods is not yet scheduled to come into the one-and-one curbside recycling program, but solid-waste officials said the community was notified because they want residents to get used to the arrangement before the program starts.

In the one-and-one program, residents receive one regular trash collection and one recycling pickup a week, replacing the former twice-a-week trash pickup.

Charles M. Reighart, county recycling coordinator, said the policy of trash pickup for townhouse communities is not new. Residents of townhouses built after 1982 have been doing it all along.

"So, when they become part of the one-and-one program, nothing changed except for the alternate trash-recycling pickup schedules," Mr. Reighart said.

The recycling pickup generally alternates between paper products one week and mixed containers and grass and leaves the next week.

Because of the density in townhouse development, central pickups make collection go faster, Mr. Reighart said.

He said he doesn't recall any complaints about the refuse collection policy for townhouse developments.

Michael T. "Chad" Casserly, head of the county Commission on Disabilities, said the policy as it pertains to disabled citizens doesn't violate any laws. He suggested that homeowners or the community associations create a program to help the disabled put out trash and recyclables.

Mr. Reighart said finding neighbors or relatives to help could be an answer.

Robert Hunter, president of the Baltimore County Association of Senior Citizen Organizations, said he has received no complaints from senior citizens about the policy.

Meanwhile, the curbside recycling expansion continues. Phase II for the Towson recycling area started this week, adding about 9,700 households, including homes in Anneslie, Stoneleigh, West Towson and Timonium. Phase I, with 15,700 households, has been under way since March.

Beginning the week of July 11, about 11,400 households in the upper Essex and Middle River area will be added to the one-and-one program.

And Aug. 1, another 15,300 residences in the northwestern part of the county will come into the program.

This will include the Woodmoor area between Liberty and Windsor Mill roads, part of Randallstown between Liberty Road and the Interstate 795/Interstate 695 interchange, parts of Owings Mills north of Owings Mills Boulevard and parts of lower Reisterstown.

These additions will bring to 118,600 the number of households receiving the on-and-one curbside trash/recycling service.

The county's goal is to have 220,000 single-family and townhouse residences in the program by July 1, 1995.

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