Frederick County to continue, possibly expand municipal recycling program

Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers
09/07/2013
Bottles and cans might soon have to cover less distance to land in a recycling bin near Brunswick or Thurmont. The Board of County Commissioners decided Thursday to continue and possibly expand the county's municipal recycling program. Middletown, Walkersville and Emmitsburg each have the recycling drop-off sites, and under the pilot program, have received county dollars to reimburse them for running the centers. Commissioners on Thursday unanimously opted to make the recycling incentive program permanent and set aside $50,000 to fund the current sites and support Brunswick and Thurmont if they join the program. "This is a program we started. It's been very, very popular. So this is to take it to another level," Commissioners President Blaine Young said. The fiscal 2014 funding levels represent a reduction from last year, when the program was budgeted for up to $100,000. However, Phillip Harris, the county's superintendent of solid waste management, said the three participating municipalities together used only about $12,300 of the available funds.

Brunswick eyes sustainable efficiencies

City committee to find ways to encourage resource conservation
Frederick News Post
Patti S. Borda
08/03/2013
The asphalt parking lot at City Hall has sprouted islands of flower beds and trees. Not only does the flora beautify the utilitarian backside of buildings in the first block of West Potomac Street, it stands to earn the city some credit with the state. Brunswick has just started working toward certification in the Sustainable Maryland Certified program, and although the garden was not part of the new effort, it could count. The City Council approved setting up an ad hoc committee called the Green Team to get started. About 10 interested residents attended the first meeting, and others said they want to participate, Mayor Karin Tome said.

[Brunswick] Mayoral candidates share vision for future of city at debate

Frederick News Post
Nicholas C. Stern
07/20/2012
When Mayor Carroll Jones ran for office in 2008, he said it would be his last time. Yet, he also said he wanted to see a resolution to a dispute with Rosemont over providing a new waterline to the neighboring village, Jones said Thursday at a mayoral debate at Beans in the Belfry with Karin Tome, Brunswick councilwoman and fellow mayoral candidate. "We have made a lot of progress, but we are not there yet," he said. In June, Jones announced his plans to run for re-election to another four-year term as mayor. The election is set for Aug. 7. In August, he will have been in office as mayor for 12 years, with 10 prior years spent on the City Council.

Tome announces bid for Brunswick mayor

Frederick News Post
Nicholas C. Stern
03/29/2012
Karin Tome, a Brunswick City Council member, plans to run for mayor in August. A 20-year city resident, Tome, 53, was elected to the council in 2008 after about a year of active involvement and opposition to the city's annexation of the Brunswick Crossing development, which almost doubled the size of the city, she said. Brunswick Crossing, which opened in 2010, is expected to eventually include some 1,500 houses. Tome supported a failed 2001 referendum on the annexation, mostly because she believed it would create a divide in the city, she said. "I didn't want to see Brunswick go in that direction," Tome said. "Rather, I wanted to see Brunswick grow out slowly." As the development begins to grow, along with renewed interest in downtown investment, Tome said she wants to foster mutual respect and cooperation among newcomers with fresh ideas for the future and lifelong residents who built the railroad city and may find the transition difficult. "I see myself in the role of continuing that transition," she said.

Fact checking ‘WTE 101, continued’

Frederick News Post
Karin Tome
11272011
If Harvey Alter were graded on his Nov. 17 commentary ("WTE 101, continued"), he wouldn't receive a very high score. It's not what he said, but what he didn't say. The Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority will issue bonds to pay for the proposed trash incinerator, but the county is obligated (through a separate contract with NMWDA) to make regular payments to them, such as you would for your mortgage. The county's System Benefit Charge is not "so-called," but very real. As a member of the Solid Waste Advisory Committee, Alter knows very well that the primary revenue for this business operation is based both on tipping fees and the SBC fee (which is found on residential and commercial property tax bills and can be raised without limit.) If the revenue from tipping and SBC fees, and the electricity sales and ferrous metal recovery don't cover those expenses, county residents will have to make up the difference through higher SBCs. Alter states that "... anecdotal evidence from around the country is that communities with WTE recycle more" and "Recycling and WTE together conserve and recover more resources than either alone." That statement is true only where recycling is at a very low level and the tonnage of ash (if used for landfill daily cover) and ferrous metal found in the ash are counted as recycling. However, as recycling increases it will compete with incineration, especially for plastics and paper. We could spend, however, a fraction of the cost of the incinerator on alternative ways to divert waste from the landfill (such as a commercial compost facility or manned recycling centers throughout the county (in addition to Reich's Ford Road) and we'd be able to recover many more resources and conserve more energy than would be produced by burning them. For example: Manufacturing a ton of newspaper from trees takes 11,699 kilowatt hours; if that ton of paper is recycled, a new ton of paper can be made using only 6,442 kWh, but if it's burned it only produces 1,875 kWh of electricity.

Fact checking 'WTE 101, continued'

Frederick News Post
Karin Tome
11272011
If Harvey Alter were graded on his Nov. 17 commentary ("WTE 101, continued"), he wouldn't receive a very high score. It's not what he said, but what he didn't say. The Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority will issue bonds to pay for the proposed trash incinerator, but the county is obligated (through a separate contract with NMWDA) to make regular payments to them, such as you would for your mortgage. The county's System Benefit Charge is not "so-called," but very real. As a member of the Solid Waste Advisory Committee, Alter knows very well that the primary revenue for this business operation is based both on tipping fees and the SBC fee (which is found on residential and commercial property tax bills and can be raised without limit.) If the revenue from tipping and SBC fees, and the electricity sales and ferrous metal recovery don't cover those expenses, county residents will have to make up the difference through higher SBCs. Alter states that "... anecdotal evidence from around the country is that communities with WTE recycle more" and "Recycling and WTE together conserve and recover more resources than either alone." That statement is true only where recycling is at a very low level and the tonnage of ash (if used for landfill daily cover) and ferrous metal found in the ash are counted as recycling. However, as recycling increases it will compete with incineration, especially for plastics and paper. We could spend, however, a fraction of the cost of the incinerator on alternative ways to divert waste from the landfill (such as a commercial compost facility or manned recycling centers throughout the county (in addition to Reich's Ford Road) and we'd be able to recover many more resources and conserve more energy than would be produced by burning them. For example: Manufacturing a ton of newspaper from trees takes 11,699 kilowatt hours; if that ton of paper is recycled, a new ton of paper can be made using only 6,442 kWh, but if it's burned it only produces 1,875 kWh of electricity.

County shares details from Boulder trip

Frederick News Post
Karen Gardner
07/18/2012
Frederick County Commissioners David Gray and Kai Hagen recounted their information-gathering trip to Boulder, Colo., last month in a PowerPoint presentation before the other three commissioners and the public Thursday. The commissioners were in Colorado to learn about Boulder's aggressive recycling programs. Recycling is a way of life in Boulder, where recycling containers outnumber trash containers in most public places and where the residential recycling rate approaches 50 percent. The commissioners hope to achieve a recycling goal of 60 percent within the next 15 years, but recognize the current system needs to change in order to do so. In 2006, the last year for which data is available, the county's recycling rate was 36 percent with a waste diversion rate of 39 percent.

Residents strive to change attitudes

Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
06/26/2008
Karin Tome of Brunswick practices what she preaches when it comes to creating as little waste as possible. In the Tome kitchen, separate bins are used for empty soda cans, paper and cardboard. Coffee grounds are kept in a white jar to be dumped in a black composting machine outside. Inside, tiny red wiggler worms feast on raw fruit and vegetable scraps in a plastic tub. The worms turn the food waste into a rich, dark soil that will be used for flower bedding. Tome, her husband, and their two sons use only one can for trash that cannot be recycled or composted.