County weighs cutting back trash collection Proposal suggests pickup of once weekly in 2000

September 24, 1997|By Tom Pelton | Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County is proposing to cut the frequency of trash pickup from twice to once a week in 2000 as a way of saving money.

Some residents are skeptical about the proposal, which would cut service by half but whittle only about $10 from the average homeowner's annual garbage-collection bill of $234.

The change is part of a proposed long-term solid-waste management plan released yesterday that will be voted on by the County Council on Oct. 6.

As recycling has become more popular, the county has found that twice-a-week trash pickups are less needed, said public works spokesman John Morris.

Over the past decade, the proportion of waste recycled by county residents has grown from almost zero to 34 percent of last year's 296,000 tons of garbage and recyclable material.

During the same time, the cost to the county for disposing of waste has risen substantially. This is because of requirements that the county install liners in the Millersville landfill and regularly monitor nearby ground water, Morris said.

Under the proposed Solid Waste Management Plan, recycled waste would continue to be picked up once a week.

James Pittman, deputy director of public works, said twice-weekly pickups are becoming less common across the state.

Pittman said many county residents don't generate enough trash to justify two full pickups. Eighty-five percent of the 126,000 households produce less than four cans of garbage a week, he said.

During a County Council work session yesterday, Councilman John Klocko said he needs to see a more thorough accounting of the proposal's savings before he can vote on it.

His demand for more information was echoed by Albert M. Johnston, treasurer of the Severna Park Council, a neighborhood organization.

Pub Date: 9/24/97

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