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New county-backed recycling program already has competition

April 09, 2012|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY — Allied Waste’s opt-out curbside recycling program for Washington County will cost $5 a month and begin the week of June 4, a company manager said Monday.

The program, which Washington County agreed to help promote, will pick up comingled recyclables every other week from all homes in several of the most populated unincorporated areas of the county, except those households that opt out of the program.

The first notices to included homes are expected to arrive in mailboxes around May 1, Allied Waste Chesapeake Area Municipal Manager Don Groseclose said.

Meanwhile, competition is picking up among curbside recycling providers, with several other haulers advertising competing curbside pick-up options in the county.

Apple Valley Waste of Kearneysville, W.Va., is offering weekly curbside recycling pick-up for $4 a month anywhere in Washington County east of Clear Spring, general manager J.P. Phillips said.

Apple Valley is also offering new customers a rate of $19.95 a month for the first year for garbage and recycling pick-up, he said.

“I know there’s other haulers out there that are offering those kinds of deals as well,” he said. “The biggest thing we want to make sure is that people know there’s other offers other than Allied Waste.”

Waste Management, which has a Greencastle, Pa., facility, and Hoppers of Waynesboro, Pa., are two other companies that have advertised curbside recycling programs in Washington County.

Waste Managment district manager Patrick Heraty declined to say what the company charges for curbside recycling, which it offers only to customers who also use Waste Management’s trash collection service.

A spokeswoman for Hoppers did not return a call seeking information about that company’s program.

The Arc of Washington County, which runs a recycling sorting facility as part of a vocational program for individuals with disabilities, also offers a curbside recycling program.

The Board of County Commissioners voted 4-0 Jan. 31 to sponsor Allied Waste’s program by helping run an educational campaign that Groseclose said might include presentations to students in schools and promotion of the service on the county website and in mailings from the county.

Meanwhile, county officials have been discussing plans to remove the county’s unstaffed recycling drop-off bins and begin charging a fee to drop off recyclables at the landfill and transfer centers.

In addition to the cards expected to arrive around May 1, Allied Waste will send out a second mailing around May 10 or 15, Groseclose said. The cards will include a number for residents to call if they do not want to participate, he said.

Recycling totes will be delivered to households that have not opted out between May 15 and June 1, he said. Households will be provided with 95-gallon totes unless they call to request a smaller size, he said.

The areas included in the opt-out program are north of Hagerstown, Jefferson Boulevard, Robinwood, the area around Keedysville, and Virginia Avenue.

The Funkstown Town Council voted last month not to participate in the Allied Waste program, but Funkstown residents may still sign up for the program by calling 301-223-7272, Groseclose said.

A list of private recycling programs in Washington County is available on the county’s website at http://www.washco-md.net/DEM/solid_waste/recycle_private.shtm.

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