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QUESTION: Are You Recycling in Havre de Grace?

Havre de Grace Patch asks the Question of the Week.

During last week's City Council meeting, green-conscious Councilwoman Barbara Wagner revealed some figures on recycling in Havre de Grace.

Wagner said Havre de Grace is well behind the national average when it comes to recycling percentage against overall waste production. The city's recycling rate varied greatly over the past year, she said.

"We are as low as 12 percent last August and as high as 22 percent, which was last December," Wagner said. "At best, we're way below the national recycling rate. At our worst, we're embarrassingly low."

The national rate is 34.1 percent.

"Our fee at the dump is continuing to rise. As time goes on, it's going to cost us more and more," Wagner said. "We're paying for history, really. There's so much trash generated, it's become so costly."

Wagner said more than 37 percent of waste produced nationwide is paper-based and oftentimes recyclable. 

Havre de Grace offers city-wide recycling on Thursday and yard waste pick-up service on Fridays.

Read more about city trash and recycling service here.

Wagner is an advocate for composting waste, as well.

"We can't do anything about yesterday but we can start today," Wagner said.

Sounds like a challenge, no?

We want to hear from you.

TELL US: Do you recycle? Could you recycle more? What would help you to recycle more? Leave a comment.

Andrew October 08, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Wait, people DON'T recycle? Its the simplest thing in the world now that there is weekly pickup and no sorting required. My family of six puts out one can a week for trash pickup and one can or more of recyclables. How lazy do you have to be to not put forth the tiniest bit of effort needed to help out the cause?
James P. Miller October 08, 2012 at 07:42 PM
I recycle, I bought a blue rolling container that hold a lot and makes it easier to collect the recyclable material. While on the city council I proposed the city supplying containers to everyone. The administrations answer was to charge everyone a monthly fee. I didn’t support anymore fee’s and the city didn’t provide any containers. If the city is interested in recycling they would provide suitable containers for little or no cost to the residents.
Katie October 08, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Andrew, pretty lazy. I live with people who don't...
Barbara Wagner October 09, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Thank you PATCH for asking this important question! Many of us who do recycle can do better by being more conscious of the items we purchase. We can purchase food with minimal packaging or reusasable packaging (and reuse it- of course). In order to recycle, we all need to simply change our routines. If your neighbor is not recycling, maybe they would like to learn from you how you set up your home to make it routine to recycle. On the subject of compost: if it could easily rot and turn to dirt (vegetable and fruit scrap)... put it in the corner of your yard! Your garden will benefit from the compost next year. Don't send it to the landfill!
Liz Amoss October 09, 2012 at 08:11 PM
I am surprised to hear that statistic of 12-22 percent as most folks that I know do recycle and the State numbers that I found said 41% recycling rate in 2010. What is the source of that statistic?
Jessica October 10, 2012 at 02:45 PM
maybe the state numbers are better than our town numbers . . . sad. i recycle every week at least a trash can full. idk why people would choose to not recycle. it's not difficult and means alot for the future generations, unless you dont mind your children and grandchildren living in trash piles. just because they come pick up your trash does not mean it disappears! lol we all need to try and teach our family and friends about the difference we can make. it starts with you :D
Shelley Sampson DeFries October 10, 2012 at 04:21 PM
I work in the Seneca Ave area and I see many residents pulling wagons, riding bikes or walking to the recycling place on Revolution Street to get cash for their cans.
Barbara Wagner October 10, 2012 at 10:25 PM
The HdG statistics (12-22%) came directly from the numbers supplied to the City from our hauler. The total trash tonnage numbers and recycling weights are directly measured. The 34% statistic is last years National statistic. Its nice to see that Maryland's numbers are better than that, but HdG numbers are way lower than the state or national trend. One thing to note: these numbers do not reflect recycling in Bulle Rock, since Bulle Rock residents have their own trash and recycling hauler. I don't have access to Bulle Rock's numbers.
JANET D October 11, 2012 at 01:00 AM
the trash company hold alot of the blame here. On multiple occasions I have reported to the city that they are collecting regular trash and recycling at the same time. The company ofcourse denies this happening. But I have seen it happen more that once.
Barbara Wagner October 11, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Janet- Trash and recycling are collected on different days now. This eliminates any confusion regarding haulers mistaking recycling as trash. I have heard that this was a problem in the past but should no longer happen (unless you mistakenly put out recycling on trash day :)
JANET D October 11, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Barb, It has been two seperate days in my area for awhile.. regardless the take both.. someone from the city should randomly follow the trucks a few days. I bet you would be surprised what they see.
Fred Cullum October 11, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Janet, The garbage pick up and the recycle pick up are on different days. If one is at the curb the other shouldn't be, so that eliminated the problem of recycles going in the trash stream. Since the County and then the City went to single stream recycling it is easy to do now, but for some reason people continue to find excuses not to recycle.
Blake McCloud October 11, 2012 at 09:45 PM
I am trying to do a better job myself with this. Not perfect but getting better!
Andrew October 11, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Aaahh Katie - but do THEY live with someone who does? : )
JANET D October 11, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Fred, thanks for the clarification.. if only it was that easy. I am well aware of the different pick up days, and I have recycled for years. But I also know what I have seen, they REACH into my fence and take all the cans... if I have set them out or not. trash on recycling days and recycling on trash days.. they have done this at my house and neighbors.. just stating the facts here.
Jessica October 12, 2012 at 09:15 PM
if someone were reaching into my fenced yard . . . thats tresspassing right ? put up some barb wire or taze them ;)

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