Harford County has seen a 40 percent increase in recycling since its first full year of running a single-stream program, starting in 2011.
But even with the increase, the county has dropped from No. 1 in Maryland to No. 2, officials said Tuesday. Harford's 59 percent participation rate is trailed only by Montgomery County, according to county recycling officials.
“We can out-do them. Let’s make that a goal,” Council President Billy Boniface said Tuesday after viewing a presentation on the program.
Boniface added: “You guys have probably one of the most important programs in the county.”
Check out the PDF version of a slideshow with this post, which includes many facts and figures about Harford County's program.
Four county staff members—Tom Hilton, Deputy Director of Environmental Services; Jeff Smithberger, Chief of Solid Waste; Bob Ernst, Recycling Program Manager; and Jessica Green, Recycling Program Coordinator—were on hand at Tuesday's council meeting to preset the results of the county-wide recycling program.
January is one of the busier months for yard waste recycling in the county.
"We take this material into the facility in street at no charge and process quite a bit of that material, especially at this time of the year, because we take in Christmas trees," Smithberger said.
In 2011, residents recycled 25,000 Christmas trees. See more figures in the slideshow.
Following the presentation, Councilwoman Mary Ann Lisanti said: "It does my heart good driving through the community and seeing the recycling bins so big and the trash bins so small."
The 59 percent rate is compiled by adding a 55 percent waste diversion rate with 4 percent waste reduction credits, according to the presentation.
Each municipality within the county—Aberdeen, Bel Air and Havre de Grace—manages its own recycling program.
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