Mixed paper now can be added to recycling pile

September 06, 1995|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Sun Staff Writer

The place for junk mail is no longer the trash can; it's a brown bag.

Anne Arundel County expanded its weekly curbside recycling program yesterday to include nearly all kinds of paper, not just newsprint and cardboard.

Magazines, catalogs, books, cereal boxes, gift wrap, office paper and envelopes are some of the paper goods that can be diverted from the county's landfill near Millersville to the recycling market.

The change is not costing the county anything because its recycler, Browning-Ferris Industries, is paid by the household, not by the variety it picks up, said Beryl Friel, county recycling manager. BFI re-sells paper, and the market for that is strong.

By the end of the fiscal year, BFI could be collecting at least as much mixed paper as it does newspaper and cardboard, said Lisa Ritter, spokeswoman for the county department of public works.

Ms. Friel estimated that 2.7 percent of what people throw out is paper that could be recycled.

In fiscal 1994, county residents recycled 13,054 tons of newspaper and cardboard in the weekly curbside program.

Inspectors noted yesterday some mixed paper in with newspaper and some plumper than usual bags set out. A few callers complained that the only word they received of the change was in newspapers. Ms. Friel said that was done so that the haulers would not be inundated the first week. Notices explaining what materials can be recycled will be hung on doors in coming weeks, she said.

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