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Baltimore County Now - News You Can Use

Baltimore County Now

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
Date: Mar 2014

photo of facility ribbon cuttingCharlie Reighart, Recycling and Waste Prevention Manager

In a county where cost-effectiveness for the taxpayer is king, and a Triple A bond rating is highly prized, the new single stream recycling facility in Cockeysville is another crown jewel. In just the first full four months of operation (November 2013-February 2014), the new facility has generated nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in net operating revenue. At this pace, the new facility will benefit taxpayers to the tune of $1 million by April 2014!

Baltimore County has revenue-producing markets for all of the recyclables sorted at the single stream facility. Many people realize that aluminum is a highly valuable commodity (as high as $1,300 per ton during the facility’s first full four months). However, most people are not aware that the sorted recyclables’ per ton market values have reached as high as the following levels in several other categories during that same period:

  •  $802 for #2 HDPE plastics;
  •  $364 for #1 PET plastics;
  •  $266 for steel cans;
  •  $140 for cardboard; and
  •  $86 for mixed paper.

Baltimore County’s new single stream facility is obviously off to a very good start financially. Combined with residents’ growing enthusiasm with the recycling program, as reflected in ever-increasing amounts of recycling (a 49% tonnage increase from 2009 to 2013), future fiscal prospects are bright. Baltimore County residents have enjoyed 21 straight years without an income tax rate hike and 25 straight years without a property tax rate increase. And now that you’ve read this blog, you know that you can help keep Baltimore County’s tax rates low by recycling!

If you’re already recycling, thanks very much for doing the right (and frugal) thing. If you aren’t recycling, the County’s single stream recycling program (weekly collection of the full range of acceptable recyclables, all mixed together) makes it easier than ever to start recycling and stop wasting valuable resources. In either case, please consult your 4-year collection schedule/program guide to make sure you know how to recycle all that you can. If you can’t locate the schedule/guide, just go to www.baltimorecountymd.gov/solidwaste to download one or call 410-887-2000 and you’ll promptly receive one in the mail.

Every County resident can take pride in our new single stream recycling facility. If you’d like a tour, or access to a DVD showing what happens there, simply contact Public Information Specialist Clyde Trombetti at ctrombetti@baltimorecountymd.gov or 410-887-2791.

If you really want to multiply your positive impact, contact Clyde Trombetti about how you can become a part of the County’s newly forming “Recycling Volunteer Network.” Encourage your neighbors, friends, and relatives to join you as active recyclers, with guidance and support from the County’s expert recycling staff.

Keywords: recycling, solid waste

image of book's front coverDebbie Orlove, Community Business Liaison, Baltimore County Department of Aging

Starting to think about assisted living arrangements for yourself or an older resident?  Wondering who offers rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities? Where the closest recreational facility is to your neighborhood?  Look no more, the Baltimore County Department of Aging’s premier resource directory, Community Resources 2014, is now available to answer those questions and more.

Community Resources 2014 has been expanded to once again include a plethora of new resources and information.  For the second year, Baltimore County and Baltimore City Governments have partnered to provide a resource directory for Baltimore area residents.  We are pleased to offer, free copies of Community Resources which will be distributed throughout Baltimore County and City at senior centers, libraries, the Social Security Administration, hospitals, doctors’ offices, senior housing, community associations, faith communities and health centers.   You may also phone either number above to request your copy of the directory by mail. County residents may request a copy by mail by calling 410-887-2594 and  Baltimore City residents may call 410-396-2273.   

How can the resource directory benefit you?

Community Resources 2014 contains the most vital and current information to support older adults, baby boomers, caregivers, families, adults with disabilities and professionals.  The information in this expanded resource helps to empower consumer awareness along with informed decision making.  The directory’s diverse content now includes categories such as advocacy, Baltimore County and City Government services, financial resources, fitness centers, home health services, housing, legal services, memory care, nutrition sites, senior centers, pharmacies, physicians, travel and much more. 

This year’s Community Resources book also contains more information for adults with disabilities. The Baltimore County Department of Aging and Baltimore City Health Department’s Office on Aging and CARE Services represents Adult and Disability Resource Centers known as Maryland Access Point (MAP) sites.  For additional information or resources, you can always phone MAP in Baltimore County at 410-887-2594 or MAP in Baltimore City at 410-396-2273.  People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability can use Relay or 711. 

Another valued feature of Community Resources 2014 is an extensive cross referencing which helps readers identify other potential categories where additional information may be found.  For information on advocacy groups, organizations, caregiving, consumer information and resources, government agencies and more, please view the publication’s Hotlines and Website section.

Online access especially helpful for out-of-town caregivers

For those Internet savvy consumers, the Department of Aging is proud to announce that Community Resources 2014 will also be available online.  To view Community Resources on the Internet, visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/communityresources.  For those smartphone owners, please take advantage of the QR code on the cover of the publication for quick and easy access.

BCDA invites you to take this opportunity to pick up several complimentary copies of Community Resources 2014. We recommend that you keep one directory for yourself and distribute the additional copies to friends, caregivers, family members and professionals.  Help educate and empower your loved ones and those in your community by guiding their path to resources in the region with Community Resources 2014 – your directory for living life.

For further information about Community Resources or to advertise in the 2015 directory, please call 410-887-2012 or e-mail dorlove@baltimorecountymd.gov. 


photo of male cardinal on evergreen branchWinny Tan, Oregon Ridge Nature Center Director

I’m never short of visitors in my backyard. Winter, spring, summer and fall, I’ve got lots of colorful characters dropping by.  

Once you put out a feeder, it doesn’t take long for the birds to zoom in. Feeding birds is not a recent phenomenon; it’s been an American tradition since the times of Emily Dickinson and Henry Thoreau. People do it mostly for the enjoyment of observing different birds and their behaviors, without going too far outside their homes. Birds, too, benefit from this arrangement. A birdfeeder filled in the midst of spring and fall migration, and during harsh winters, will help these avian critters through tough times.

To ensure birds’ health and safety, feeding stations should be maintained properly to prevent disease organisms from taking hold. Wet and moldy seeds should be discarded immediately. Feeders should be washed thoroughly with warm, soapy water every two weeks and occasionally disinfected with a light bleach solution. The ground should be cleaned of hull build-up and uneaten seeds that can get spoiled and moldy.  Feeders should be repaired or discarded if sharp edges occur to prevent injuries. Ideally, place it near bushes and trees to allow for easy resting spots between feeds and an easy refuge to escape a predator, like the hawk. 

While we like to view birds up close and sometimes from the comforts of home, millions of birds are killed by window collisions. Place your feeders somewhere in the yard away from glass, or less than 3 feet away. When placed 6 feet or more from a window, the bird can take off and fly at optimum speed, which can cause more injuries or death if it hits the window.

Picking the type of birdfeeder and the food is a simpler task, and there are websites and stores that can advise a beginner. Pick the right food, since inappropriate food can be unhealthy and possibly lethal to wild birds. I put out only black-oil sunflower seeds and see cardinals, blue jays, chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches, and titmice year-round. My winter regulars, the northern juncos, join them each year. Occasionally, a bluebird will sit on the shepherd’s hook that holds the feeder, a great lookout point for juicy bugs in the grass. Woodpeckers, like the Red-bellied and Hairy, often drop in from the woodlands. One fall the birdfeeder enticed migrating rose-breasted grosbeaks, and Mom and I watched them until they moved on a few days later. Things can get exciting at times. One morning a Cooper’s hawk, going for a titmouse dining at the feeder, crashed landed into our deck.  Unfortunately, instead of feasting, the titmouse was feasted upon by this avivorous (bird-eating) hawk.

One caution —your birdfeeder is subsidizing food to exotic, invasive birds such as the English Sparrows and European Starlings that can wreak havoc on native bird population. If you see more of these exotic or opportunistic birds, take down your feeder for a short period and then put it up again, hopefully discouraging these visitors from staying.

Birdfeeders not only bring enjoyment, but also help science. Project FeederWatch, set up by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, collects data across the United States with the help of kids, families, nature centers, and schools, who record the birds visiting their feeders from November to early April. Scientists can then track broad-scale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance. For more information, check out www.feederwatch.org. or start helping by signing up for one of Oregon Ridge’s FeederWatch programs, which can be found on www.oregonridgenaturecenter.org.


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