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Emmitsburg may go a little greener

Stephanie Long
Emmitsburg Dispatch

(8/21) Residents of Emmitsburg may soon be able go a little greener if a new recycling program presented at the most-recent city council meeting is implemented.

At the Aug. 18 meeting, Key Sanitation President Bob Clark and Mount Airy councilwoman Wendi Peters presented an overview of a recycling program Mount Airy has taken part in as an idea for Emmitsburg.

Mount Airy residents have been taking part in a streamlined recycling program. A 65-gallon blue, rolling recycle bin is provided to the residents and can be filled with many different types of recyclable materials, such as plastic, paper and cardboard, Clark said. In the past residents were provided with a small, 15-gallon bin and were required to separate the material, whereas with the new bins residents can put everything together.

One main reason for the switch to the streamlined program was to reduce tipping fees, which run $85 per ton in Mount Airy, Peters said. Since May of this year, when the program was implemented, the town has seen an instant decrease of trash being dumped into the landfill and 77.45 tons of recycled materials have been collected, Peters said, saving the town thousands of dollars.

“Fifty-eight tons or less was sent to the landfill in June,” Peters said, “that’s significant.”

As for the cost associated with the streamlined program, Frederick County paid for the bins for Mount Airy and would do the same for Emmitsburg, Peters said. The only drawback thus far has been a fuel surcharge for the twice a week pickup, Peters said, which in the long run will become a non-issue.

“The bins will pay for themselves at the end of the fiscal year,” Peters said. “It’s a rare, rare program that’s environmentally friendly and has a positive impact on the community.”

Currently Emmitsburg participates in a program similar to Mount Airy’s old program, but soon Frederick County will be transitioning all of its recycling to streamline, so a switch to the program now may be in the best interest of the town.

The board did not make a decision on the issue and has a few concerns regarding the program. Mainly how apartment buildings, which make up much of Emmitsburg dwelling units, would be involved in the program since they would be ineligible to participate. The council said they would consider the issue and make a decision in the future.

Read other news stories related to the Emmitsburg Town Government