Richard D. L. Fulton
(12/4) At their December 3 meeting, the Thurmont Board of Commissioners discussed their options at the regarding the countyís re-launch of local recycling stations.
The county closed the former Eyler Park recycling facility at least two years ago, and stopped maintaining local recycling centers.
Regarding the closure of the county facilities, Mayor John A. Kinnaird said, "One of the main reasons they gave up on the county-owned ones is because they found refrigerators and mattresses and freezers and television sets and gigantic foams material at almost every one of them."
"In fact," he stated, "the county had a crew that did nothing but go around and pick up trash that should not have been dropped off for recycling."
Now the county is looking to re-establish county-sanctioned, local recycling centers once again, making sure in the process that the local municipalities monitor and deal with illegal dumping.
"Basically the county is going back to having municipal recycling centers that mostly they are funding. They have asked us to provide a location for it," Kinnaird said.
The commissioners received a proposed County Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), but county plans called for the MOU to go into effect July 1. "Itís a little bit behind the times," Kinnaird said.
According to the proposed MOU, "Weíre obliged to provide operate and maintain a public recycling center consisting of one or more dumpsters, which we have, for single stream recycling," he said. The town, he noted, must also "reasonably monitor the publicís use of the facility."
The mayor said, according to the terms of the MOU, "The town provides the roll-off or roll-offs, the county pays for the tipping, and also proposes giving the town $10,000 per year to operate the center."
He said that the $10,000 can be used for staff costs and to help pay for the disposal of any illegal dumping. Any cost overrun would be the townís responsibility to pay.
Although a roll-off container has been housed behind the town office for municipal purposes, a number of local businesses have been permitted to use it, and some residents have been using it as well.
Kinnaird said that location has been discussed as a potential location for the new county-sanctioned site. "The last really in-depth discussion we had about it, it was staying out here at the town campus, back behind where the trucks arenít anymore."
Commissioner Martin A. Burns said, "The devil is in the details of the MOU. I want to make sure we just cover ourselves, and that we have a way out," adding that he might be willing to try a county recycling site at the proposed location "for six months, or a year" to see how well it goes.
The board took no formal action on the issue at their December 3 meeting in order to obtain additional information from the county before making a decision.
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