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Letter to the Editor - June 13

June 13, 2013

County gives $36 incentive not to recycle


To the editor:

I recently received my vehicle permit application from the Washington County Solid Waste Department and it is official:  The county is again offering me $36 to not recycle and instead throw my recyclables in the landfill.  Well, sort of.

Because I live in an area with no garbage pickup I pay $130 for a permit to take my garbage to the landfill.   Beginning last year I was required to buy another permit for $36 to recycle plastic, glass, and paper.  The county’s fee structure offers a financial incentive to users who throw recyclables in the landfill!

Ironically, the county government’s homepage features a press release announcing cash prizes to winning schools in the Washington County Solid Waste Department’s 2013 Phone Book Recycling Challenge.  If the contest’s rules were consistent with county recycling policies the cash would go to schools that did not participate.

I recently expressed my concerns in an e-mail to each of the county commissioners and received responses from two.  I would like to thank Clifford Engle, the head of the Solid Waste Department, who went out of his way to provide details of his department, landfill operations, and recycling.  I am not an expert and I do understand that recycling is a complex issue. 

Still, unless our leadership believes the greater good is served by disposing of recyclables in the landfill, the current solid waste fee structure should be changed.


Evan Price
Smithsburg

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