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Boonsboro nixes recycling location

July 03, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

BOONSBORO - Comparing its recycling collection area to the county dump, the Boonsboro Town Council said Monday that it will eliminate the bin behind GESAC Inc.

"It's overflowing. There's furniture ... It looks like a landfill," said Councilman Kevin Chambers. "Though there is a national trend toward recycling, the method we are using right now does not seem to be working."

Officials said garbage, televisions and other nonrecyclable items are being left near the site.

Recycling pick-up is operated by Washington County, and the large bin behind the building on Orchard Drive is emptied twice each week, according to Town Manager Debra A. Smith.

Town council said that "abuse" of the recycling collection area has been ongoing for years, and the site was moved to its current location from Shafer Park three years ago because of similar problems.

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The town eliminated its cardboard recycling about seven months ago, Chambers said, but cardboard continues to be left. On Monday night, there were several small piles of cardboard next to the collection bin.

The council voted unanimously to end its lease with GESAC Inc., and said a committee with council and community members would investigate alternative ways to offer recycling in town. Recycling collection will end at the site within 30 days.

"It's a mess," said Mayor Charles "Skip" Kauffman Jr. "There have to be other options."

The council said it supports recycling, but could not let the abuse of the site continue. They said that trash, furniture and other items that cannot be recycled are typically taken to the landfill at a cost to the town.

"People are going to find a place to throw their trash if they can," Smith said.

She said moving recycling collection from the park to the area behind GESAC Inc. made the problem worse because it is a more isolated location.

Kauffman said town officials had reached out to several local businesses about moving the recycling collection to their property. All declined he said because of the headaches it creates.

"I think we should recycle," Kauffman said. "But that mess up there is just appalling. We need a more public location."

Smith said that it would cost about $60,000 annually to offer curbside recycling in town. That amount would be added to the $100,000 for trash collection already subsidized by the town.

She said in order to offer curbside recycling, residents' fees would have to increase.

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