Residents say recycling not always convenient

May 13, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

SMITHSBURG -- County residents continued Wednesday night to offer their thoughts on how Washington County should manage its trash collection in the next 10 years and especially how recycling fits into the picture.

About 10 people attended a public meeting at Smithsburg Town Hall that was designed to gather public input on a new solid waste plan. The first meeting, held Tuesday night in Boonsboro at Shafer Park's community center, drew about 25 people.

Residents at Tuesday's meeting pushed curbside recycling and described current recycling efforts in the county as being in the "Dark Ages" and "archaic."

At Wednesday's meeting, Smithsburg resident Harry Reynolds pointed out shortfalls in the county's recycling efforts, such as its computer recycling program. Discarded computers can be taken to the county's landfill to be recycled but that is not convenient, Reynolds said.


"You know what happens to them," Reynolds said.

Reynolds suggested more locations to dispose of computers.

"We'd certainly be willing to take a look at that," said Harvey Hoch, the county's recycling coordinator.

Smithsburg Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said many people cannot afford to pay for an extensive recycling program in the county and she asked Hoch if another recycling bin could be placed at a town recycling site on Main Street.

Hoch did not hold out hope for another bin.

The county has 17 recycling sites where people can drop off items, and Hoch said his office is busy monitoring the sites to make sure they are being used properly.

County officials, however, said they could look at financing an extended recycling program in the county and allowing the town's to "piggyback" onto it.

The Maryland Department of the Environment wanted Washington County to recycle at least 15 percent of its waste.

County officials said Tuesday night the county has been able to recycle up to 30 percent of its waste. Hoch said Wednesday the figure is actually closer to 36 percent.

If you go ...

What: Two additional public meetings on the handling of solid waste and recycling of material that could affect the solid waste stream.

When: Tuesday, May 19, 7 p.m.

Where: Hancock's Town Hall Community Center Auditorium, West High Street

When: Thursday, May 21, 1 p.m.

Where: County Annex Building, 80 W. Baltimore St., Hagerstown

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