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Thurmont commissioners pass
 new trash ordinance

Ingrid Mezo

During a town meeting on Tuesday, Thurmont town officials voted unanimously in favor of adding a trash and recycling ordinance to the town’s municipal code.

The ordinance will take effect July 11.

Commissioner Ron Terpko, liaison to the town’s recycling committee, had worked with the committee for nearly a year to complete the ordinance, which makes the recycling of some materials mandatory.

‘‘This works everywhere else in the county, in the state," Terpko said during the June 6 town meeting.

In addition, Terpko said the county’s recycling capabilities differ from other areas in the state.

‘‘If in doubt, leave it out," Terpko said. ‘‘Just because something has a one or a two on the bottom does not mean it is acceptable in Frederick County to recycle. Frederick County does not have the equipment to recycle that."

For example, Terpko said, margarine tubs are not recyclable, because things with wide-mouthed openings are not recyclable in Frederick County.

However, the recycling of corrugated cardboard, newspaper and mixed paper, metal cans, glass bottles and jars, and plastic bottles, and grass clippings and leaves is mandatory.

In addition, the town’s trash ordinance states that residential bulk trash — large items including but not limited to appliances, furniture, mattresses, which cannot be handled by normal municipal waste processing, collection or disposal methods — will be collected once or twice a month. The first bulk trash item is free, additional items require stickers available through the town office, which cost $10 each. Mattresses and box springs cost $15 each.

Town officials said last week that they would try two pick-ups of bulk items and see how it works, then scale back if that was deemed feasible.

Non-Thurmont residents allowed on town committees

Also during the town meeting on Tuesday, Thurmont officials discussed how they should proceed with committee appointments. The issue came up after the town discovered that some of the positions on a town committee were expired.

Town officials agreed to review committee and commission positions at the first meeting of every month.

‘‘Let’s try that, it’s quick, it’s easy," Mayor Martin Burns said. ‘‘Let’s keep [the terms] all the same — two years, except planning and zoning, and the board of appeals, because that’s charter."

In addition, town officials agreed that out-of-town residents would be allowed to serve on some commissions, but that town residents would get ‘‘first dibs."

The town has had trouble filling some committees, especially the parks commission. An out-of-town resident expressed interest in joining that commission.

‘‘When you go dormant on the parks commission for years, why wouldn’t you allow [an out-of-town resident to fill the position]?" Burns asked.

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