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Single Stream Recycling

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By Meredith Cohn and Meredith Cohn,meredith.cohn@baltsun.com | February 1, 2010
Inside this sprawling Elkridge warehouse, a system of conveyor belts, screens, magnets and human hands sorts bins of recycling - more than 1,000 tons on an average day - collected from the Baltimore region's alleys and driveways. The Waste Management facility does the work, sorting out paper, bottles and plastic, so residents don't have to. This "single-stream" recycling, which has become increasingly widespread, encourages more people to participate, public officials say. Though communities benefit economically and environmentally from recycling, residents seem to respond most to convenience.
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EXPLORE
February 7, 2012
Last week marked an anniversary worth noting. It was on Feb. 1, 2010, that Baltimore County made the switch to single-stream recycling. Two years in, single-stream looks like a success story. "It's just gotten better and better," said Charles Reighart, county recycling coordinator. Once upon a time, people sorted various kinds of recycled materials into separate bins. Participation in recycling, however, was low - people who otherwise might be inclined to recycle didn't like the bother of sorting.
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NEWS
February 22, 2010
To the letter writer who stated that she would not recycle because her container was stolen ("Single-stream recycling isn't for us," Feb. 21) please reconsider. I just had cancer surgery and will be in radiation/chemo treatment, so I know I may miss a week of putting out paper and cans. But with single-stream recycling, I will not be inundated with stuff like under the old program. Jerks exist everywhere in the world, even Baltimore County. Please go to a grocery or liquor store for cardboard boxes and use them for recycling.
EXPLORE
August 18, 2011
An increase in the city's tipping fee prompted Havre de Grace City Council members to encourage residents to recycle more. The Havre de Grace City Council unanimously passed a resolution during Monday's meeting to raise the town's tipping fee to $15.50 per quarter from $12.25 per quarter - or a hike of $13 a year. The tipping fee, which is a quarterly charge to cover Harford County's per ton costs for use of landfills, was increased to cover the county's charges, which has risen to $67 per ton of solid waste from $50 per ton. City Councilman Randolph Craig said the past quarterly charge of $12.25 had "nearly" covered the town's costs to dispose of solid waste, but not all of it. The projected increases in costs per ton, the councilman said, are $68 in 2012, $70 in 2013 and $72 per ton in 2014.
NEWS
By Meredith Cohn | January 31, 2010
Baltimore County begins single-stream recycling Monday, allowing a new assortment of materials to be placed in a single bin for pickup. Residents can use containers up to 34-gallon capacity, trash cans up to 34-gallon capacity or small cardboard boxes - not plastic bags. Paper and cardboard may also be tied in bundles with nonplastic string or placed in paper bags. Officials ask that residents remove lids and not use wheeled containers. And so they know it's for recycling, mark the containers with an "X" or "recycle," or pick up a sticker from Baltimore County senior centers or public libraries or the trash and recycling drop-off centers in White Marsh, Cockeysville, and Halethorpe.
NEWS
Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | November 22, 2010
A 600-unit apartment complex in Pikesville demonstrated how eagerly residents of Baltimore County's apartment and condominium complexes have responded to the expansion of single-stream recycling to their households. On Monday, the scheduled collection day at St. Charles at Old Court Apartments, all 10 recycling containers, which each hold two cubic yards, were full. County officials used the complex as a backdrop as they promoted the success of the expanded recycling program, which began six weeks ago and is among the first in the state to serve multifamily dwellings.
EXPLORE
February 7, 2012
Last week marked an anniversary worth noting. It was on Feb. 1, 2010, that Baltimore County made the switch to single-stream recycling. Two years in, single-stream looks like a success story. "It's just gotten better and better," said Charles Reighart, county recycling coordinator. Once upon a time, people sorted various kinds of recycled materials into separate bins. Participation in recycling, however, was low - people who otherwise might be inclined to recycle didn't like the bother of sorting.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Mary Gail Hare , mary.gail.hare@baltsun.com | December 10, 2009
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.
NEWS
May 24, 2009
Baltimore County officials are patting themselves on the back for moving toward single-stream recycling, the radical idea that you could put paper, bottles and cans out at the same time. They say this simplification will add to county residents' already impressive recycling performance - as of the Maryland Department of the Environment's last report, Baltimore County's recycling rate was No. 1 in the state. But in truth, the recycling program in the region's most populous subdivision isn't all it's cracked up to be. For starters, the impressive 62 percent recycling rate has a lot to do with the presence of Bethlehem Steel, which recycles some pretty heavy stuff.
NEWS
By John Fritze | February 6, 2008
One month into a new single-stream recycling program, Baltimore experienced a modest gain in the amount of material being collected and hopes to see steady growth into this year, public works officials said yesterday. Single-stream recycling, which started Jan. 8 in Baltimore, lets residents place all recyclable material into one bin to be collected on the same day. Under the old system, the city picked up paper and other types of recyclables on alternating weeks. Valentina Ukwuoma, head of the solid waste bureau of the Department of Public Works, said the city collected 50 tons more recyclable material in January than it did in January 2007 - a roughly 4.5 percent increase.
NEWS
August 8, 2011
I applaud Howard County for at least trying to compost at a county level ("Thinking outside the can," Aug. 4). And as a backyard composter in Baltimore, I hope my neighbors to the west succeed. But I doubt they will. The public simply isn't ready. We can't even recycle properly. Inappropriate items fill recycle bins from soiled deli food containers to the plastic bags that carried them out of the store. You don't get much simpler than single-stream recycling and still we fail. Composting is more complex.
NEWS
Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | November 22, 2010
A 600-unit apartment complex in Pikesville demonstrated how eagerly residents of Baltimore County's apartment and condominium complexes have responded to the expansion of single-stream recycling to their households. On Monday, the scheduled collection day at St. Charles at Old Court Apartments, all 10 recycling containers, which each hold two cubic yards, were full. County officials used the complex as a backdrop as they promoted the success of the expanded recycling program, which began six weeks ago and is among the first in the state to serve multifamily dwellings.
NEWS
February 22, 2010
I too have had less than stellar success with the "new, improved" recycling ("Single-stream recycling isn't for us," Readers respond, Feb. 22). Home Depot told me I'd have to buy a $68 recycling container. My recycling was not collected several times when I put it out. Why can't we just put both paper and cans in blue bags out together? Why must they be in a special container? I too have pretty much decided to just not recycle if I have to gift wrap it. Leslie Johnston, Baltimore County Send letters to the editor to talkback@baltimoresun.
NEWS
February 22, 2010
To the letter writer who stated that she would not recycle because her container was stolen ("Single-stream recycling isn't for us," Feb. 21) please reconsider. I just had cancer surgery and will be in radiation/chemo treatment, so I know I may miss a week of putting out paper and cans. But with single-stream recycling, I will not be inundated with stuff like under the old program. Jerks exist everywhere in the world, even Baltimore County. Please go to a grocery or liquor store for cardboard boxes and use them for recycling.
NEWS
February 19, 2010
We have been faithful recyclers since Baltimore County's program began, but we won't be any longer. Things were fine when we could put materials out in paper and plastic bags. When single-stream was set to begin, we dutifully bought a container to replace the plastic, and, sure enough, the second time we put the container out, it was stolen. Someone took it today despite the fact that our name and address are clearly printed on the side of the container. We have no intention of wasting any more money on plastic containers.
NEWS
By Meredith Cohn and Meredith Cohn,meredith.cohn@baltsun.com | February 1, 2010
Inside this sprawling Elkridge warehouse, a system of conveyor belts, screens, magnets and human hands sorts bins of recycling - more than 1,000 tons on an average day - collected from the Baltimore region's alleys and driveways. The Waste Management facility does the work, sorting out paper, bottles and plastic, so residents don't have to. This "single-stream" recycling, which has become increasingly widespread, encourages more people to participate, public officials say. Though communities benefit economically and environmentally from recycling, residents seem to respond most to convenience.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Sun reporter | May 12, 2007
Amid the clatter and dust of huge machines connected by conveyor belts and catwalks, the newspapers, plastic bags, cardboard, cans and bottles come flying at workers who frantically pluck unwanted items from the recycling stream. Screens and spinning, star-shaped black plastic devices separate newspaper from cans and bottles. The fast-rotating stars push the paper higher up an inclined screen; the heavier, smaller cans and bottles tumble down to a different level.
NEWS
By Meredith Cohn | January 31, 2010
Baltimore County begins single-stream recycling Monday, allowing a new assortment of materials to be placed in a single bin for pickup. Residents can use containers up to 34-gallon capacity, trash cans up to 34-gallon capacity or small cardboard boxes - not plastic bags. Paper and cardboard may also be tied in bundles with nonplastic string or placed in paper bags. Officials ask that residents remove lids and not use wheeled containers. And so they know it's for recycling, mark the containers with an "X" or "recycle," or pick up a sticker from Baltimore County senior centers or public libraries or the trash and recycling drop-off centers in White Marsh, Cockeysville, and Halethorpe.
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