Baltimore suburbs instituting pilot compost recycling program

The Baltimore area has embraced the city's single-stream recycling program, which helps residents place all of their paper, plastic, cardboard and other products into a single blue bin, but until now the city lumped food waste in with standard garbage disposal. The citizens of Howard County will soon be one of the first East Coast communities that will be able to recycle old banana peels, egg shells and even old pizza boxes in the area's new large-scale composting program, according to the Baltimore Sun.

The county will enlist the help of nearly 5,000 residents in the Elkridge and Ellicott City areas to give the compost recycling program a try, and to see if it can help to ease the burden on local trash collectors. Howard County will supply individuals with a 35-gallon container that can hold all of their food waste and will be collected once a week with the other household waste. It will then be transported to a local recycling center where it will be converted into soil nutrients.

"We will make a product versus waste," Evelyn Tomlin, chief of the county bureau of environmental services, told the news source. "It will save in waste and in costs."

Since the county pays for the waste pickup by the ton, removing this reusable material will help the area cut down on costs and be able to sell this spent material to local recycling centers. But area residents seem to be ready to make a few everyday changes to help create a greener community.

"It's really just a small lifestyle change. You're going to throw it out anyway. If you just get people in that mindset, it's really easy," Robin Page, a Howard County resident, told the news source.