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Recycling Center Ban Bill Pulled Before Vote

A councilman said he wants to try educating residents on the proper usage of recycling facilities before punishing them.

A bill that sought to punish people who don't separate their trash for recycling was pulled before a vote on Monday by the Anne Arundel County Council.

The bill's sponsor, Councilman John Grasso (R-2nd District) of Glen Burnie, said the function of the bill was to give waste management employees a method of action if they discover residents aren't obeying the rules.

Bill 79-12 would have banned individuals from recycling centers who were found to be mixing trash with recycling materials. 

"We have some individuals who come into our recycling [centers] and think they're too good to separate their trash," Grasso said.

But on Monday night, Grasso pulled the legislation, saying he wants to try a different approach first.

"We're going to attempt to educate and not legislate," Grasso said.

He said he plans to work with the county in erecting signs at recycling facilities, reminding residents that they are required to separate their trash from their recyclables. After that, Grasso said he would wait a few months, then interview employees to see if the signs had any effect.

If the signs aren't effective, Grasso said he would return with the bill and hopes his fellow Council members would support it.

Topazhoney7 October 18, 2012 at 01:01 PM
I live in a complex of town homes, we have no recycling bins. I do go out of my way to take my paper to a recycling bin at one of the schools. I don't have a garage and honestly don't have enough room within my home to accomodate further sorting.
W. L. October 18, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Grasso must have a lot of time on his hands. There are so many other issues that constituents want and need help with. You can be sure he will bring this bill up again. He must "punish" those he represents. We wish he would address the problem that once a week garbage pickup is causing. Remember he also is going to "punish" the Board of Education also, rather than support more funding for our schools and our children. Again, not for constituents.
tom December 03, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Our recycling center in South County also accepts trash, but it's supposed to be separated from the recycleables. I assume the other centers have the same policy. While our community is very conscientious about recycling, it is included in a large area and we consistently get a low score for recycling because the whole area is included, not our community. I understand the reason for this, but it's still rather disheartening when they flyers keep saying we need to do better.
tom December 03, 2012 at 10:40 PM
I wish the guidelines were a little less general about what is and what is not recycleable. My understanding is that foam packing material is not acceptable, however my neighbor works for the county and says it is acceptable. The plastic bag rule is rather vague too. When I inquired last year, the inner liner of cereal boxes was not acceptable. There are lots of things that come in plastic bags and it's hard to determine which ones qualify. The rule of thumb seems to be that if there's doubt, treat it as recycleable, but that means lots of things that should have been treated as trash end up in the recycling bin.
tom December 03, 2012 at 10:44 PM
The guys that collect the trash and recycleables often do a haphazard job. They often don't completely empty the bin or can and then throw it upside down on the lawn or in the street. Whatever doesn't make it into the truck is left on the lawns or the street and residents have to pick up after them. I have often been behind the trucks when they're on a main road (like Rt2) doing the speed limit or higher and they have the back door of the truck open, so trash is blowing out all over the highway. When I called the county about the problem, they were in denial. I'm all for recycling, but the county needs to be as diligent as they expect the citizens to be.

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