As Hagerstown enters the second week of a new recycling program, a city official Tuesday briefed the mayor and city council on what types of containers residents should use based on their housing.
During an afternoon Hagerstown County Council work session, City Engineer Rodney Tissue recommended that 95-gallon containers be distributed to apartment buildings. One container will serve five apartment units, Tissue said.
Thirty-five gallon containers would be distributed to people in townhouses and duplexes, and 65-gallon containers would be distributed to single-family homes, Tissue told Mayor Robert Bruchey II and the five-member council.
Next month, city officials plan to mail postcards to residents informing them of the types of containers the city is planning to distribute, Tissue said.
Unless a resident mails back the postcard requesting a different size, the resident will receive the type selected by the city, he said.
City officials plan to distribute the containers, also referred to as “totes,” from April 9-20. At that time, they will collect the old bins.
The city started a new trash disposal service on Jan. 1. Under the new program, residents will pay an estimated $127.70 a year. Most residents will have a single, weekly day of collection for all their refuse.
However, those in the city center, also being called “Zone F” by the city, will continue to receive twice-weekly trash collection. Residents can find out their zone by visiting the city's website.
As part of the new program, residents no longer need to separate their recyclables. The council chose to move to single-stream recycling, in which glass, plastic, metal and paper can all be tossed in one bin for collection.
Previously, city residents paid $133.22 a year per residential unit for twice-weekly trash pickup, weekly dual-stream or separated recycling and yard-waste collection.
Tissue said the city has received numerous phone calls from residents about the new service but “each day, it’s getting a little bit better.”
During their Jan. 31 meeting, council members will decide whether to use a company known as Rehrig Pacific to provide the containers. The council will also consider a loan of $600,000 with 4 percent interest to pay for the containers, Councilman William M. Breichner said.
Tissue said in a memorandum to council members that city officials liked Rehrig Pacific Co., because the company’s containers appear to be of the highest quality among three vendors. Also, Rehrig Pacific’s management software, and ability to track the location and distribution of the totes was the best, Tissue said.