Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Take Out the Paper and the Trash

According to the Baltimore Sun, residents of Anne Arundel County are due for approximately a $110 per year increase in services (i.e., water, sewer, and trash (and recycling)). The increase is required because rates haven't been raised for some time (the trash fees were last raised 9 years ago), which seems reasonable enough. But, perhaps we could use this as an opportunity to reflect on the services that the County provides and how they might be improved.

Some jurisdictions, offer twice weekly recycling, with once a week garbage pick-up to further incentivize residents to recycle . Other areas have a "pay-as-you-throw" garbage system, where those who produce more waste are charged for the additional refuse, encouraging recycling, composting, and generally reducing the amount of material going into the waste stream.

Concerned about your water bill? One easy way to cut down on watering costs during the warmer months is to install rain barrels. Rain barrels help reduce stormwater runoff, and can store up to 55 gallons per barrel for use on your garden, houseplants, or even for washing your car.

Believe it or not, there's even a way to cut down on your sewer costs. Install a composting toilet, like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has. You'll not only stop flushing potable water down the drain, you'll be dramatically reducing the amount of nitrogen your home is putting into the Bay.

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