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[GreenYes] Local Report: Carroll should invest in its landfill

Report: Carroll should invest in its landfill

Carroll's waste-disposal system falls below par, but it could create an economic boon if the county invests in it, a new report says.

Richard Anthony, who runs a San Diego-based waste-consulting company, agreed with the county's Environmental Advisory Council, saying Carroll should take the money it would put into a waste-to-energy incinerator and instead sink it into its landfill.

"If the government recognizes that it's a weak landfill system, it would create about 400 [composting and recycling] jobs," said Anthony, who has spent the past four months studying Carroll's waste programs.

Anthony, who is also studying waste programs in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, said the county could bring in $12 million every year if it decided to compost and recycle material that is otherwise tossed into landfills.

"It would be regional, but a lot could happen in Carroll County if they wanted to invest in composting and those kinds of things," he said.

Another $23 million would be saved each year in the amount of natural resources that would be salvaged through recycling and composting, Anthony said.

"They have a basic infrastructure set up to do a zero-waste program," Anthony said. "But they really hadn't taken the next step."

Anthony recommended that the county require its trash haulers to offer recycling services, contract companies to do mass composting and educate the public to recycle more.

Carroll most recently tried to make recycling simpler for residents, offering single-stream recycling that allows residents to mix paper, plastic and glass recyclable materials. The county's Public Works Department supports partnering with Frederick County to build the state's fourth waste-to-energy incinerator, which would cost more than $320 million.

Commissioners from both counties are to meet next week. The county contracted Anthony for $15,000 at the environmental panel's request.

"This burning plant, that's absolutely nuts," Anthony said. "It's all their resources that are being squandered when they do this."


San Diego, California

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