(11/12) Thurmont is extending its recycling program and making it easier by switching from dual-stream collection to single-stream.
Instead of having to sort recyclables, residents will be able to mix them all together in a single 65-gallon collection container.
Mike Marschner, director of utilities and solid waste management for Frederick County, presented the new program to the mayor and board of commissioners at Monday's town meeting.
"We're rolling out a new, single-stream, curbside recycling program," Marschner said.
The 65-gallon bins will replace the standard model 18-gallon blue bins.
"We have 55,000 of these new carts to distribute," Marschner said. "We have about 10,000 as of today, so we still have a ways to go."
He said they will be delivered over the next month and a half to two months, probably finishing distribution by the end of January.
Marschner said it's important for residents to know that even though the containers are being delivered now, they can not be used until notice is received and the pickup schedule is released.
If residents set their 65-gallon bin out before they are notified, the collectors won't be able to tip it into their dual-stream truck.
Recycling will be picked up by regular trash trucks every other week, instead of the weekly schedule now in place. If 65 gallons and 225 pounds doesn't sound like enough, a 95-gallon bin is available.
Smaller 35-gallon containers for one- or two-person families or the elderly also can be requested. Residents are welcome to keep the 18-gallon bin if they choose to.
Technology is being implemented in the new containers, including a radio frequency identification chip, which will allow set-out rates to be tracked.
Marschner hopes the RFID chips will help target certain problem areas.
"If we see a residence or an area that's not getting good set-out rates, we'll probably want to find out why," Marschner said. "We'll do some outreach in that area, rather than trying to send everybody on the program a leaflet, saying, 'Hey, remember to recycle.'" The bins cost the county $55 each, including distribution fees. Marschner said
18,000 households will be added to the program.
The recycling program often encounters pickup problems, Commissioner Glenn Muth said. He hopes the new single-stream efforts will curb those issues.
"All we want is for them to pick up the recycling," he said. "With no excuses. Just pick it up."
Marschner said that in the past, pick-up excuses have included residents placing things in the bin that don't belong there. "That barrier is eliminated (with single-stream)," he said.
With their new 65-gallon bin, residents will receive a pamphlet that explains the new program's important points, and that offers a list of acceptable items for single-stream recycling collection.