Baltimore County to switch to single-stream recycling

Change to take effect Feb. 1

December 10, 2009|By By Mary Gail Hare | The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore County expects a new recycling program to increase residential participation and decrease its own costs for solid waste disposal. Starting Feb. 1, the county will begin single-stream recycling with weekly curbside collection of paper, bottles and cans, which can all be placed in one container.

"The idea is to get more out of the waste stream," said Charles Reighart, recycling and waste prevention manager. "We are accepting a broader range of recyclables and making it easier for residents. Everything recycled avoids disposal costs."

County Executive James T. Smith Jr. will describe the ease of the environmental program in a news conference today. Reighart will announce an expanded list of acceptable recyclables and explain the new collection schedule and program guide, which will be mailed to county residents next month.

"We are looking for more residential participation and hoping this program will encourage people," Reighart said. "There is a lot of material that could be recycled but currently is not. This way there is no sorting or storing."

County crews currently alternate pick-up of paper and bottles, a program that forces residents to store items for two weeks.

With the new program, residents can place recyclables in a cardboard box, which will be collected along with the items, in any 34-gallon container, or in a similar-size trash can that is marked with "recycle." To prevent malfunctions in sorting equipment at the recycling facility, the new program discontinues acceptance of plastic bags of any color.

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