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Hagerstown recycling rate picking up

July 18, 2003|BY SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown trash customers are recycling about 24 percent more mixed paper a month than in the past, Hagerstown City Engineer Rodney Tissue said Thursday.

In 2002, city residents left an average of 28.08 tons a month of recycled items for pickup by BFI.

For March, April, May and June of this year, the average monthly tonnage increased to 34.82 tons per month, Tissue said.

In March, 35.46 tons were recycled, followed by 32.51 tons in April, 30.35 tons in May and 40.97 tons in June, he said.

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Residents can leave mixed paper for pickup by bundling it with twine or string and placing it in a paper grocery bag, Tissue said.

In January, the city provided 18-gallon recycling bins free to 1,000 customers. BFI picks up the paper on Thursdays, he said.

Tissue said he was pleased by the increased recycling of mixed paper, defined by the city as office paper, computer paper, colored paper, newspaper, cardboard, mail, magazines, catalogs, telephone books, adhesive notes and folders.

"It is definitely moving in the direction we want it to go in," he said. "We wanted something that would increase participation in this program and a 24 percent increase is getting us in the right direction."

The city will monitor how many more trash customers ask for recycling bins and how much recycled material is put out by customers, Tissue said. There are 35 people on a waiting list to receive the bins, he said.

His ultimate goal is to have 60 percent to 70 percent of city residents recycling, he said.

Every ton recycled presumably is one less ton taken to the Forty West Landfill, for which the city must pay a tipping fee, he said.

The city does not recycle plastic, cans and bottles because it is cost-prohibitive, he said.

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