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TMCNet:  Garrett County recycling plan focus of March 5 public hearing

[February 22, 2013]

Garrett County recycling plan focus of March 5 public hearing

OAKLAND, Feb 21, 2013 (Cumberland Times-News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The Garrett County commissioners will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to the county's 10-year Solid Waste Management Plan on March 5, according to a news release.

Amendments for recycling electronics, fluorescent light bulbs and recycling in public schools will be discussed. Although a program for recycling the items is already in place, it has never been adopted formally into the plan, according to Dave Baker, manager of the Garrett County Department of Solid Waste And Recycling. State law requires counties to have a plan that has been formally adopted, according to the news release.

The Maryland Department of the Environment requires that a recycling program be provided for schools and fluorescent light bulbs; the county is adding the recycling of electronics into the plan, said Baker.

In accordance with MDE regulations, counties are required to conduct a public hearing prior to amending their Solid Waste Management plans.

"There is a growing concern regarding the disposal of computers, electronics, covered electronic devices and video display devices in landfills," said the news release. "These devices can contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury and hexavalent chromium in circuit boards, batteries and cathode ray tubes." A program for the separate collection of electronics from residents, municipalities and businesses is needed to reduce the quantity of the electronics being sent to the landfill. A program may include computers and monitors, laptops, TVs, PDAs, peripherals, telephones, printers, fax machines, copiers, VCRs, camcorders, DVD players, CD players, calculators, typewriters and cell phones, according to the news release.

The county plans to use funding from grants or the solid waste and recycling enterprise fund budget to operate a permanent collection program for electronics.

"A permanent program should be initiated at one refuse and recycling collection site in Garrett County," states the news release.

If funding is not available for a permanent program, annual one-day events to collect electronics for recycling will be planned if its economically feasible.

The county has a fluorescent, compact fluorescent and non-PCB ballast recycling program and plan in place, which has been approved by MDE. The department plans to use enterprise funds also to operate a collection program for residents for those items. The recycling program is free to county residents, however this may or may not change based on market conditions, according to the news release.

Immediately upon collection, all fluorescent bulbs, tubes and non-PCB ballasts will be placed directly into prepaid mailing containers provided by an independent recycling contractor; this method of storage will eliminate breakage, according to the news release. When the containers are full, they will be sent to the recycling contractor for processing.

All county public schools and Garrett College have recycling plans in place and are participating in a recycling program.

The board of education is responsible for scheduling the pickup of all recycling materials from each school in the public school system.

Copies of the language contained in the amendment and the proposed resolution are available for public review at the Ruth Enlow Library, county commissioners office, and the landfill. The information is also available at www.co.garrett.md.us.

___ (c)2013 the Cumberland Times News (Cumberland, Md.) Visit the Cumberland Times News (Cumberland, Md.) at times-news.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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