Arundel recycling scofflaws targeted by new bill

Councilman wants to bar vulgar patrons

September 18, 2012|By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun

Vulgar recycling scofflaws could be banned from Anne Arundel County recycling centers under a proposed law introduced Tuesday.

County Councilman John Grasso said he crafted the measure after county workers relayed tales of miscreants who responded with obscenities when asked to separate trash from cardboard.

"I don't think it's fair that the employees should have to take abuse from the customers going in there," Grasso said. "If you came into any other business, and you start telling the employees to [expletive] themselves, I guarantee you management would roll you right out there."

The offending customers, Grasso said, patronize the county's recycling center in Glen Burnie and represent a "small minority" of citizens. Most confrontations, he said, occur when someone brings in trash and doesn't want to remove recyclables from it.

Anne Arundel County spokesman Matt Diehl said that since 2006, the county budgets $14,000 in police overtime each year to pay for a regular police presence at convenience centers in Glen Burnie, Millersville and Sudley, particularly during busy times.

"The idea behind the police presence is to deter that particular situation," Diehl said.

"Employees are encouraged to suggest residents separate recyclables from trash," he added. "More times than not, people do just that. If they still don't want to recycle, so be it."

Grasso's bill will be up for a public hearing Oct. 15.

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