Waste plan to focus on convenience

May 21, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

o Household Hazardous Waste Day is June 6.

HAGERSTOWN -- Planning officials will put a focus on convenience as they update Washington County's 10-year plan for recycling and handling solid waste, county planner Bill Stachoviak said Thursday after hearing from residents at the last of four public hearings on the topic.

The desire for more convenient recycling and solid-waste disposal was the main theme of comments from residents at meetings held last week in Boonsboro and Smithsburg and this week in Hancock and Hagerstown, Stachoviak said.

The hearings were the first step in updating the county's existing solid waste and recycling plan, which is required by the state and must be updated periodically, Stachoviak said.


About seven people attended Thursday's hearing at the County Annex Building at 80 W. Baltimore St. in Hagerstown.

Participants at Thursday's hearing were mostly supportive of the county's current direction for recycling and solid waste programs. Several asked for advice for disposing of items such as batteries and kerosene, while others wanted to know how they could work together with the county on recycling and trash collection initiatives.

Hagerstown resident Sally Hatch, who is part of the Antietam Creek Watershed Alliance, suggested several simple steps she said the county could take to keep trash out of waterways, such as placing traps in storm drains and doing a better job of street sweeping.

Chip Wood of Hagerstown suggested placing a tax on restaurants that use disposable food packaging and utensils to influence a shift back to washable dishes and utensils.

Washington County School Board Member Ruth Anne Callaham said if the county devised specific strategies for recycling in public schools, she would seek to turn them into school policies.

Deputy Director of Solid Waste Cliff Engle said he has a meeting planned with the school system's operations department to discuss strategies for the schools.

Residents may continue to send suggestions and comments for the recycling and solid-waste plan to or until August 31, Stachoviak said.

The planning department hopes to have a draft of the updated 10-year plan by Feb. 1, which will be available for public review for 60 days and will be the subject of a public hearing before the Washington County Commissioners in May or June of next year, he said.

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