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County Executive Leopold Launches "Recycle.More.Often" Campaign
New Website and Television Commercial Highlights Public and Media Outreach
Annapolis, MD (March 7, 2008) - Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold, in an effort to improve the environment and save taxpayer money, officially launched a new initiative this week to increase the County’s residential recycling rate from 30 to 50 percent. The 50/50 Challenge calls for county residents to recycle at least 50 percent of all reusable material that is left at the curbside.
Mr. Leopold unveiled a new interactive recycling website (www.RecycleMoreOften.com) and previewed an upcoming television commercial during the kickoff event at the Millersville Landfill. Displaying new and improved methods of outreach, the County Executive’s campaign will also educate the public on the importance and ease of recycling.
"We’re at a critical time juncture for our environment as the cost to benefit of recycling is reaching a point where we have to decide which direction we are going to go," said County Executive Leopold. "Today we are sitting on very valuable and finite amount of land. Our County landfill is one of the best operations in Maryland, but it is very expensive to operate and maintain. We have a limited amount of space and we need to make sure we are using it wisely."
The County hopes to change recycling habits with improved education, increased awareness, and by simplifying the process. This new advertising and marketing initiative will reach consumers in their homes, through county schools and even when they are enjoying local parks and recreation venues.
"We are committed to meeting the County Executive’s challenge," said James Pittman, Deputy Director of the Department of Public Works Waste Management Services. "We asked residents in focus groups and telephone surveys what it would take to increase their recycling efforts and this is what they told us they needed."
At its current rate of operation, the County will exhaust landfill space by 2030. However, based on random sampling of curbside waste, much of what is getting into the landfill can and should be recycled. Waste Management Services estimates that nearly half of what residents are throwing away can be recycled. Items include phone books, laundry detergent and shampoo containers, paper towel rolls and cardboard.
In fiscal year 2007, Anne Arundel County earned $1.8 million from recycling. By reaching the 50 percent goal, the County can add an additional $1.4 million in revenue. Increasing the recycling rate will also extend the life of the landfill and improve the environment.