Garrett County Department of Solid Waste & Recycling is expecting some answers to that question in the coming months. The Maryland Department of the Environment is working with the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority (NMWDA) to sample a cross section of waste brought to Maryland landfills by commercial haulers. One goal of the survey is to maintain geographical diversity across the state in the sampling making Garrett County an excellent candidate for participation. The Board of Garrett County Commissioners support this effort that will gather data that can be used to look for ways to minimize the impacts of refuse on the environment.
Katherine Mcllroy of NMWDA arrived this past Friday to document the status of sampling at the Garrett County Landfill. Katherine spent the better part of the day observing the sampling being conducted by Mid Atlantic Solid Waste Consultants. (MSW). Joe Vetrano and Natalee Henry of MSW lead an efficient and enthusiastic group of sorters manning the sort table. Each sample is selected by Joe Vetrano with an eye to capturing a sample that represents the entire load. The sample is carefully weighed to be sure that it contains 200 pounds of waste. The sort staff surrounding a 32 square foot table then place the sample contents into fifty five separate bins by composition. Examples include batteries ,cardboard , glass, plastic and food waste. Once the table is cleared each bin is weighed, data recorded, and then the waste goes into the landfill. The group went through more than a ton of Garrettt County trash on Friday and lucky for them a nice breeze kept the air fresh most of the day.
MSW has worked around the country and their experience includes surveys in Yellowstone, Denali, and Grand Tetons as part of a joint effort by Subaru and the National Park Service to make our National Parks zero waste facilities. Garrett County will be on their agenda again in October when the crew will return for the second round of sampling.
This is an excellent opportunity for all Garrett Countians to think about what they throw away and to be reminded of the importance of recycling. Be smart – do your part!