Yard-waste pickup starts tomorrow Service not offered in western sections

March 31, 1996|By Dan Morse | Dan Morse,SUN STAFF

Attention, Howard County yard trimmings: Starting tomorrow, you'll have your very own place in the waste stream.

The county will offer curbside pickup of grass, leaves, light brush and small sticks, though not in western Howard. Residents will receive the service weekly, on the same day recyclable newspapers, cans and bottles are picked up.

Trash pickup will remain on a separate day.

"We really want to get yard trimmings into recycling and out of the landfill," said John O'Hara, director of waste management for the county. He hopes to reduce the amount of trash going to the Alpha Ridge landfill, the county's only operating landfill, by 20 percent to 30 percent.

Residents in western Howard -- generally those west of Ellicott City and Columbia -- will not get their yard trimmings picked up because county officials expect the residents to dispose of the waste on their own large properties.

For the rest of the county -- about 80 percent of households -- the county will pick up yard trimmings and take them to a controversial regional composting yard in Dorsey.

Residents near the composting yard have complained in recent months about its smell. But Mr. O'Hara said the Maryland Environmental Service has made necessary changes. "We think they've brought the odor problem under control," he said.

He is asking Howard residents to obey these rules:

Residents can place yard trimmings in cans or bags, but they should leave the lids off and bags open. "The [collection] guys want to confirm that it is organic waste and not household trash," Mr. O'Hara said.

Each can or bag should be limited to 40 pounds.

Small sticks and limbs must be gathered in bundles no longer than 4 feet and no more than 18 inches in diameter.

Residents should place yard trimmings at the curbside the night before the pickup day because haulers will arrive as early as 6 a.m.

Residents can have an unlimited amount of yard trimmings picked up, but they will have to be more careful with their regular trash.

Starting July 1, the county is expected to limit regular trash vTC pickup to four containers per week and could make the limit as strict as two.

To find out whether yard trimmings will be picked up in your neighborhood, call 313-SORT or 313-6444.

Pub Date: 3/31/96

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