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Funkstown council talks trash

April 13, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE

FUNKSTOWN -- At Monday night's town meeting, Funkstown officials discussed twice-a-week versus once-a-week trash collection.

The issue came up after town resident Bob Rodgers said he thought reducing collection to once a week was reasonable versus increasing the collection rate, and he was on the fence about continuing yard-waste collection.

The issue of cutting back trash collection and reducing or cutting yard-waste collection was discussed at a March 29 work session.

Tom Stang, a representative from Waste Management of Eastern Pa., based in Greencastle, Pa., also was in attendance at Monday night's regular meeting and had mentioned earlier in the night that the company was interested in getting bid information for the town's next trash contract.

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The current contract expires June 30.

Town officials asked Stang how Waste Management charges for collection and about the frequency of collection.

Stang said many communities in his region have reduced collection from twice a week to once a week during the past decade.

He quoted some possible cost savings to the mayor and Town Council, but after the meeting lowered those numbers to a possible savings of 30 percent to 35 percent if they went from twice a week to once a week.

The town's current trash and yard-waste contract with Apple Valley Waste Services of Maryland Inc. is a one-year contract for $76,203, according to Herald-Mail archives. Town Clerk/Treasurer Brenda Haynes said yard waste collection is April through November.

During the months when only trash is collected, the cost is $5,044, Haynes said Tuesday. With yard waste, it's $7,003 a month.

With many small towns struggling with their budgets, Stang said it would be wise for Funkstown to include a bid option for once-a-week collection.

Yard waste collection and recycling also were discussed.

The town does not have curbside recycling, but Washington County has a recycling drop-off site at the fire station.

Town resident Barry Warrenfeltz said if the town doesn't get curbside recycling, recycled materials at the drop-off site need to be picked up more often. The town site and one at South End Shopping Center in Hagerstown are often full, town residents said.

Haynes said she calls the county to have the recycling material picked up when she knows the town drop-off site is full. There isn't a regularly scheduled time for pickup.

During the March 29 work session, town officials mentioned the possibility of having yard waste composted at Funkstown Community Park.

Haynes said Tuesday the town used to have a compost pile at the wastewater treatment plant land, but wasn't sure there was room in that area for a compost pile now.

Asked Tuesday morning what town residents would do with yard waste if the town discontinued that part of the collection, Mayor Robert Kline said, "That's a good question." He said there wasn't a plan for that scenario other than that town residents could set it out with the trash.

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