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Recycling more than doubles in Hagerstown during first week of new program

May 03, 2012

The amount of recycled material has increased dramatically throughout Hagerstown after the city put a new program in place, officials said this week.

Nearly 43 tons of recyclables were collected during the first week that residents used their new recycling totes — more than twice the amount collected in a week under the previous program, city spokeswoman Erin Wolfe said Thursday in a news release.

“We’re thrilled that so many residents started to recycle under this program; these results are better than any of us could have hoped for,” city Engineer Rodney Tissue said in the release. “We’re proud of our community for embracing this program. We invite more city residents to join.”

Under the previous “two-bin” program that ended in 2011, residents who wished to recycle had to request bins and then separate paper from other recyclables, Wolfe said. On average, that program produced less than 20 tons per week, she said.

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Now using a “single-stream” recycling program, the city collects trash, recyclables and yard waste all at once, producing more participation through convenience, Wolfe said.

For the week of April 23-28, 42.7 tons of materials were recycled. The city’s hauler collected recyclables from 4,918 city-issued containers for a participation rate of 42 percent, Wolfe said.

If residents keep up the current pace throughout the year, it will equate to more than 2,200 tons of material being diverted from a landfill and reused, she said.

The new program is incentive-based through the Recyclebank program, which awards points to participants based on the amount of citywide recycling.

Already, 20 percent of residents have taken advantage of the program by registering online at www.recyclebank.com/wm, Wolfe said.

Recyclebank rewards participants by offering points that can be redeemed at local businesses as well as national chains, including discounts on tickets to the Maryland Theatre or Hagerstown Suns baseball games, Wolfe said.

An overview of the Recyclebank program can be seen on Antietam Cable’s channel 6 that airs at the top of each hour, Wolfe said.

Those with questions about the program can call the Hagerstown Recycles Hotline at 301-739-8577, ext. 106.

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