County reviewing proposal for recycling center
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 13:01

Public meeting to be held on Nov. 7 at library

by Ben Boehl

    The Baltimore County Department of Public Works, in accordance with Section 9-503(c) of the Environment Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, is proposing an amendment to Baltimore County’s Ten Year Solid Waste Management Plan to allow a new recycling facility at 4070 North Point Road in Dundalk.
    The Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) is reviewing a permit application filed by Bear Creek Recycling, LLC (BCR), which wants to operate a solid waste recycling facility that only processes construction and demolition material.
    A public meeting will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 7 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the North Point Library where representatives from Baltimore County government and BCR will answer questions. 
    The  new recycling  facility is expected to open in or around 2013 on a 4.65-acre site on North Point Road near New Battle Grove Road.
 Jerry Siewierski of Baltimore County Environmental Protection and Sustainability Overview said that the company sent the plan to the county and no decision has been made.
    “We are still reviewing their appilcation” Siewierski said. “The hearing will be a combination, as they applied for a state permit and approval to the amendment of the County’s Solid Waste Management Plan.”
    BCR estimates that the facility has the capacity to process approximately 300,000 tons of material each year, with about 60 percent coming from the greater Baltimore region.    

The primary goal of this facility is to process material for recycling, with an anticipated recovery rate of 75 percent or greater. Residual waste after processing will be sent to an off-site waste-to-energy facility.
    John Butz of BCR couldn’t be reached for comment.
    John Long, president and founder of Clean Bread and Cheese Creek and local environmentalist, said he will attend the meeting on Nov. 7 to find out more information before he informs an opinion on this project, but is in favor of more recycling centers.
    “In general, I feel additional recycling facilities are a good thing. The easier access the public has to recycling, hopefully the more they will participate,” Long said.  “Recycling saves money and natural resources as well as keeps material out of our landfills.”
    Baltimore County and BCR will probably face some community opposition at that meeting on Nov. 7. Local environmental activist Russell Donnelly is concerned about the safety of the new recycling center.
    “They want to open it up, but they don’t specify what they are going to do to the stack of
 construction material,” Donnelly said.    
    The biggest worry that Donnelly has is that this recycling center is the beginning of turning residential areas along the North Point Boulevard corridor into an area zoned “Manufacturing - Heavy” the most permissive industrial classification.
    He believes that this is a part of the Sparrows Point Partnership, which he does not approve. The partnership was created by Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
    Dan Gundersen,  Executive Director of Baltimore County Department of Economic Development, is chairing the partnership.
    Gundersen works with the 15 members of the Sparrows Point Partnership board.
    “For Mr. Gundersen’s Sparrows Point Partnership, there is not one individual (on the board)that represents our area,” Donnelly added. “They are going to bring businesses down there and I see this as a push to get rid of residential (homes).”