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Group wants recycling back in town

September 05, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

BOONSBORO - A group of Boonsboro residents dedicated to taking recycling services in their town to the next level is instead trying to figure out how to combat an unexpected step backward now that the county recycling bin has been taken away.

"The recycling bin on Orchard Drive behind the schools was being misused so the county removed it," said Janeen Solberg, a Boonsboro resident and member of the newly formed recycling task force.

Sadly, some people are still going to the site where the bin had been and are leaving items and trash on the lot.

"I can't believe people are so irresponsible," said task force member Laura Schnackenberg, noting that tires, mattresses and even a toilet have been left at the site.

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"It was too secluded there," Solberg said as she met with others recently to make plans for improving the situation.

Letters have been written to a number of businesses to ask if recycling bins could be put there, but the response so far has been disappointing.

Ideally, the bin would be where there are people coming and going regularly, said Bridgitte Schmidt, a concerned resident and task force member.

A meeting is planned for Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. in the conference room above Boonsboro Town Hall to discuss the general situation and how to progress to curbside recycling, Solberg said.

The immediate goal is to find a new location for the co-mingled drop-off bin for cans, glass, plastics, office paper and items like cereal boxes and newspapers.

"But more importantly, we seek to educate our community on the importance of recycling and work toward curbside service," Solberg said.

Town Manager Debra Smith said the town had provided a cardboard recycling bin, but she reminded residents that boxes needed to be broken down and many people weren't doing that.

"Some out-of-state people were contacted from their mailing labels on the boxes," Smith said.

Harvey Hoch, recycling coordinator for the county, has been very supportive of their efforts, Solberg said.

Residents of Boonsboro pay $15 a quarter for trash pickup twice a week. But more and more people want recycling, and the more convenient the better.

Barb Wetzel, another task force member, said the group went into action in July when the recycling bin was removed.

"It's frustrating that it got to this point," Solberg said.

Smith said one of the biggest problems is that people in Washington County don't know the education of recycling.

New residents moving in from other areas are surprised when they learn there is no curbside recycling in Boonsboro. They were accustomed to it where they lived, Smith said.

For now, Solberg said, community input is essential, and she hopes people will attend the Sept. 19 meeting.

For more information, contact Solberg at janeen@thesolbergs.org.

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