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Recycling drop-off permits not available to those eligible for curbside service

Washington County administrator says county prefers that as many people as possible use private recycling pickup

May 02, 2012|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com
  • In this Herald-Mail file photo, Lisa Houser dumps paper goods into a bin at Washington County's 40 West landfill. On July 1, when the county begins requiring a $3-a-month permit sticker for use of the recycling drop-off bins at the landfill and transfer stations, residents in the pilot areas for the Allied Waste curbside recycling program will not be eligible to buy the permits, even if they opt out of curbside recycling pickup. People who live in municipalities with curbside recycling also will not be eligible
Herald-Mail file photo

Washington County residents attempting to sign up for the county’s new recycling drop-off permits are running into an unexpected obstacle: Those on targeted curbside recycling routes aren’t eligible to use the bins.

County Administrator Gregory B. Murray confirmed Wednesday that on July 1, when the county begins requiring a $3-a-month permit sticker for use of the recycling drop-off bins at the landfill and transfer stations, residents in the pilot areas for the Allied Waste curbside recycling program will not be eligible to buy the permits — even if they opt out of curbside recycling pickup.

People who live in municipalities with curbside recycling also will not be eligible, Murray said.

“The reason we’re providing (the bins) in the first place is for people who don’t have access to curbside recycling,” Murray said. “That’s the only reason we’re keeping those Dumpsters there.”

The pilot areas for the Allied Waste program are north of Hagerstown, Jefferson Boulevard, Robinwood, Virginia Avenue, and the area around Boonsboro and Keedysville.

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Allied Waste recently mailed cards to households in those areas informing residents that they would be included in a $5-a-month curbside recycling program beginning in June unless they call a number to opt out.

The Washington County Board of Commissioners agreed in January to help Allied Waste promote the program, but Murray said the county encourages residents to use any available curbside recycling.

The county prefers that as many people as possible use private recycling pickup instead of the county’s bins, Murray said.

It costs money to manage the bin areas, and have the materials collected and taken to processing centers, he said.

He acknowledged that the county expects the new $3-a-month recycling permit fee to cover those costs, but said he still would prefer to see affordable curbside recycling throughout the county and not to have the bins at all.

“If the option (for private recycling pickup) is available, we’re not going to take that at the landfill where you’re driving to the landfill, filling up the bins, causing more pulls for us, when you already have that service available at your front door,” he said.

A preliminary version of the map of the opt-out pilot areas is available at http://www.washco-md.net/washco_2/pdf_files/packets/2012/120131/Recycling%20PPt%201-31-2012.pdf on pages 15 through 18.
Boonsboro and Funkstown are shown as pilot areas on that map, but Funkstown opted out of the program, and Boonsboro signed up for a separate townwide contract.

For those who are eligible, the recycling permit stickers are not yet available but they should be by the end of May, Murray said.

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