Public works considering private firm at landfill

A company would lease land for mulch operation

Carroll County

December 23, 2003|By Hanah Cho | Hanah Cho,SUN STAFF

Carroll County public works officials are considering whether to allow a private mulch facility to operate at one of the county's landfills.

Under a plan presented yesterday to the county commissioners, a private mulch company would be on about 25 unused acres at Hoods Mill Landfill near Route 97 in Woodbine.

The county would charge a leasing fee and could reduce costs associated with its mulching operation, said Franklin Schaeffer, deputy director of the county's Department of Public Works.

In the next 30 days, public works officials hope to complete a proposal requesting bids from companies interested in such a venture, Schaeffer said. The commissioners granted public works officials permission to seek bids.

The county spends about $95,000 annually for its mulching operation at Hoods Mill and Northern Landfill on Route 140 in Westminster, which take in more than 12,000 tons of yard trims, brush and leaves each year. The county composts leaves and brush, mulches wood and offers the products to residents for free.

But Northern Landfill is running out of space, and Hoods Mill is open only on Saturdays. A private mulch operation would provide a place for residents to drop yard trimmings, Schaeffer said.

"We see it as a win-win situation," Schaeffer said, noting that the Public Works Department has received several inquiries about a private mulch operation at Hoods Mill. "It would provide another place where mulch can go and ... save us some money in the process."

As part of its bid proposal, the county will ask what type of mulching services a company would provide, how much a company would be willing to pay to lease the unused lot at Hoods Mill and how much free mulch it would provide to the county, Schaeffer said.

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