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From the Desk of
County Commissioner Kai Hagen

(2/09) single stream Recycling Iím pleased and grateful for the opportunity to write something for the inaugural issue of a "new" newspaper that will be serving the people of northern Frederick County.

Local newspapers play an important role in communities, especially in rural communities, and weíre fortunate that good folks were willing and able to step up and fi ll the void left by the loss of the Dispatch. In that light, it seems appropriate to write about something else that is new to the county: Single stream recycling.

Thereís a good chance this new program has already come to your attention, and your home. Many of you have received information in the mail or a big, new, blue plastic tote on wheels, or both. "Single stream" means that you can put all recyclable items and materials together in one container cardboard, newspapers and offi ce paper, cans and bottles, plastic containers and plastic bags, and more.

All of that will be separated and processed at a material recovery facility. Local government town and county is responsible for providing a variety of basic services in any community. The average citizen may not give a lot of thought to the details. But, among other things, they want and expect to have water when they turn on the spigot, to have potholes fi lled or their roads cleared of snow, and to have their trash picked up and taken away. And they want their elected representatives to manage those services in an effi cient and cost effective manner.

Sometimes thatís more easily said than done, and we have to make hard choices about different priorities and limited resources. So, in this case, itís exciting to be able to expand and improve an essential service in a way that has no downside. The implementation of single stream recycling is a win, win, win situation. With this change, we will reduce costs, and do something good for the environment, while making recycling as convenient and easy as not recycling.

And, as people get used to the change, every additional ton we collect for recycling will save more money. Iíd like to encourage everyone to pitch in by pitching everything that is accepted for recycling into the new totes, instead of the trash. One of the benefi ts of this new program is that we can now recycle some materials and a lot of items we havenít been able to recycle before.

With the expanded list of items, households will be able to put two or three times more into their recycling tote than in their trash can. It wonít be possible, right away, but itís my hope that we will fi nd a good way to reduce the overall cost for individual households that reduce the countyís costs by recycling more. A few facts about the program:

  • The initial roll-out of the new totes will reach about two-thirds of the households in the county. The rest of us (and that includes me) will be receiving our totes at various times over the next few months.
  • If, for any reason at all, you need or would like a different size tote, there is one larger size and two smaller sizes available to you.
  • If you have more recyclable items than your tote can hold, they will still be collected if you place them next to the tote in other containers.
  • All sorts of items that were not accepted before can now be included in your recycling, such as empty aerosol cans or widemouth containers or tubs used for margarine, yogurt, sour cream and many other things.
  • Recyclable materials will be collected every two weeks.

There are many things we can still do to enhance and improve recycling in Frederick County, especially with commercial businesses, offi ce buildings, schools and other institutions. But this new program is a big step. As long as you know what goes where (and the new totes have that information embedded in the lid), placing the proper items in the new tote is just as easy as putting them in the trash.

Your curbside collection contractor is Allied Waste Services. Customer service matters should be directed to them at 301-694-6498 or by email to: frederickrecycles@ For more information or assistance, call the Frederick County Offi ce of Recycling at 301-600-2960 or visit their website: http://www.

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