Fewer trash pickups, more recycling sought Sykesville seeks to boost commercial clients' fees

February 28, 1996|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

The only Carroll town with a municipal trash-collection service wants to boost its recycling program, decrease residential collection and increase fees charged to its commercial customers.

Sykesville Councilman Michael Burgoyne, chairman of the Recycling Committee, has proposed cutting residential collection from twice to once a week and increasing recycling pickups from twice a month to weekly.

The committee also is calling for an increase of up to 50 percent in commercial fees charged to businesses, which account for about 40 percent of the town's trash. Commercial customers would still have their trash collected at least twice a week.

Weekly residential collection would reduce hours for sanitation crews and depreciation on the two trash trucks, Mr. Burgoyne said. Making curbside recycling pickups weekly would reduce trash tonnage if residents cooperated, he said.

"The town is not as good with recycling as it could be," Mr. Burgoyne said. "If we can double our recycling tonnage, we could save about $9,000."

The town collects about 1,800 tons of trash each year and pays the county a $45-a-ton fee for use of the Northern Landfill. The more that is recycled, the lower the tipping fee.

"We can't wait until the fees are up to $90 to start recycling," said Mr. Burgoyne.

Trash has driven the town's property tax rate up to 83 cents per $100 of assessed value, the highest in the county. It accounts for $76,000 of the budget, three times the amount allotted in 1990.

"Tipping fees are the major reason for tax increases," said Town Manger Matthew H. Candland. "The town has a responsibility to reduce the tonnage."

The Recycling Committee is drafting a proposed trash ordinance for the Town Council that it hopes to have in effect by July 1. Members plan an education campaign to generate interest in recycling. If that does not work, there could be fines or cutoffs in service, Mr. Burgoyne said.

Jim Boyer, vice chairman of the committee, predicted some initial opposition but eventual cooperation with a reduction in service.

"Nobody likes a change, but people will get used to it," he said. "This is the way it is everywhere else."

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