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Smithsburg to begin curbside recycling in July

March 06, 2011|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG — Beginning July 1, Smithsburg residents will be able to roll recyclable materials to curbsides for pickup.

Smithsburg Town Council members voted unanimously on March 1 to adopt once-a-week trash pickup and once-a-week curbside recycling.

The town currently has yard-waste pickup twice a month and twice-a-week trash pickup, and although some town residents have raised concerns about changing the town’s trash service, Smithsburg Town Council member Jerome Martin Tuesday night pleaded with residents to embrace recycling.

Town officials have said they will consider giving town residents a rebate on a $40 annual sanitation fee the town charges, based on how much trash is recycled.

“So get out there and recycle,” said Martin, a longtime supporter of the practice.

Residents will be provided with 65-gallon containers in which to place recyclable materials, Mayor Mildred “Mickey” Myers said. If they want smaller containers, they can make that request by calling town hall at 301-824-7234, Myers said.

The containers will be provided free and town officials have said there will be no increase in garbage bills because of the change in service.

Martin said examples of the 65-gallon containers and a 32-gallon container will be available for residents to examine at town hall in about two weeks.

Myers said a schedule for the recycling service has not been determined.

Town council members said they plan to deliver to residents brochures that will show the containers and will include other information about the service.

The new recycling service will be “single-stream” service, meaning residents will combine recyclable materials in bins, Martin said.

Residents will be able to recycle items like paper, glass, plastic and aluminum, and will be given a list of items they can recycle.

Allied Waste was selected to provide the recycling and garbage pickup services after the company came in with the lowest bid — $120,840 a year for garbage pickup and $34,668 for recycling.

The town also decided to go from twice-a-month yard-waste pickup to once-a-month pickup. Council members chose Allied Waste to pick up yard waste, and will pay the company $150 an hour for that work.

Although the idea of curbside recycling generally received a favorable response during a Feb. 9 public meeting at town hall, some people have expressed concern about changing the service.

There were concerns about the possibility of yard waste “hanging on curbsides” since it will not be picked up as often and about how the town would handle the once-a-week garbage pickup day if it falls on a holiday.

Local resident Chris Leight told council members Tuesday night that he was concerned about trash accumulating with only once-a-week garbage service.

Martin said that refuse will essentially still be removed twice a week — some as garbage, some as recycling.

The council decided Tuesday night to do away with a recycling station next to the Smithsburg Community Volunteer Fire Co. on North Main Street.

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