A commenter identified as “SH” on a recent post raised a question about why Howard County had stopped free recycling to the county apartment complexes. SH went on to ask the following four questions:
“How does it work for folks in single-family homes or townhouses? Do you pay extra for recycling? Is it funded through property taxes? Am I wrong to be annoyed?”
Well SH, I contacted Josh Feldmark, the county environmental czar, and got some answers for you. As it turns out, owners of townhomes and single family homes in the county pay an annual recycling fee of $39.00. For “several years” this service was provided to county apartment dwellers at no charge “but that program fell victim to budget cuts.”
“With the cancellation of the program, if the complex wants to continue recycling, they can do one of three things. We will continue having our contractors pick up the recycling for a fee that we pass on to the residents. They can sign up for the Chamber of Commerce's new recycling co-op or they can arrange a private contract the same way they do for trash.”
I asked Josh to identify some of the apartment complexes that have taken some of these steps. He cited Bowling Book, Columbia Town Center, Autumn Crest, Elkridge Town Center and Orchard Park apartment complexes as participating in the Chamber co-op program and he further informed me that Poplar Glen, Village Towns and Gatherings at Lynwood have arrangements with private contractors.
And as to the final question as to whether it is wrong to be annoyed, I'd have to say no. The only question is who to be annoyed with. If it were me and my apartment complex did not have a recycling program I’d be annoyed with the management.