Baltidome Blog | Baltimore Green News


Is Baltimore City Looking To Give Tax Breaks Or Sell Recycle Bins?

Is Baltimore City Looking To Give Tax Breaks Or Sell Recycle Bins?

This week Baltidome learned from ABC News of a possible bill to grant Baltimore City residents a tax break if they recycle.  Excited by the proposition, Baltidome checked out the bill in question, HOUSE BILL 1001, to get the details. Unfortunately, the findings were disappointing.  According to the bill, the tax break would begin on July 1, 2010 for the “Use of City Recycling Bins” and not exclusively for the activity of recycling.

Currently you may put your recyclable materials in paper bags, cardboard boxes, City recycle bins or any container clearly marked “recycle”.  On recycling collection days the resourcefulness of Baltimorians is evident as many used and equally effective containers sit in tandem with official city bins on sidewalks.  Requiring citizens who already have effective containers to buy a NEW plastic bin in order to receive the tax break would be counterproductive and short sighted.

House Bill 1001 is sponsered by Maryland delegates FRANK M. CONAWAY, JR., frank.conaway@house.state.md.us, and CURTIS STOVALL ANDERSON, curt.anderson@house.state.md.us.



Call To Action Week

National Cities of Service – Call To Action Week (January 11th to 14th)

As an enlisted City of Service, Baltimore is participating in the Call To Action Week, where Baltimore City residents are being asked to do something a little extra to help our city and its citizens.  As part of the week’s events, residents are asked to make a donation of lightly used unwanted goods to a local homeless shelter.  Not only is this a great way to help somebody in need, it also gives you the opportunity to downsize and unclutter your life.

Local homeless shelters accepting donations, CLICK HERE.



Baltimore Plastic Bag Ban

Plastic Bag Ban

There’s no word yet on the outcome of Tuesday’s hearing with Baltimore City Council on legislation to reduce plastic bag waste in Baltimore, but the point may be moot.  Just days after the hearing the Washington Examiner reported the Maryland and Virginia are both looking to take action at the state level.

According to the Washington Examiner, Maryland and Virginia lawmakers say they will push for 5-cent fees on disposable paper and plastic bags at stores  and shoppers can skip the fee by bringing their own bags or not using any at all.

For the full article, CLICK HERE.

From the Worldwatch Institute:

Did You Know?

*Plastic bags start as crude oil, natural gas, or other petrochemical derivatives, which are transformed into chains of hydrogen and carbon molecules known as polymers or polymer resin. After being heated, shaped, and cooled, the plastic is ready to be flattened, sealed, punched, or printed on.

*The first plastic “baggies” for bread, sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables were introduced in the United States in 1957. Plastic trash bags started appearing in homes and along curbsides around the world by the late 1960s.

*North America and Western Europe account for nearly 80 percent of plastic bag use—though the bags are increasingly common in developing countries as well.

*A quarter of the plastic bags used in wealthy nations are now produced in Asia.

*Each year, Americans throw away some 100 billion polyethylene plastic bags. (Only 0.6 percent of plastic bags are recycled.)

*The Irish have been known to call the ever-present bags their “national flag”; South Africans have dubbed them the “national flower.”



Hearing On Plastic Bag Ban In Baltimore

Plastic Bag Ban Hearing In Baltimore

On Tuesday, January 5, 2010 the Baltimore City Council will hold another hearing on a plastic bag ban in Baltimore.  Since 2008, Councilman James B. Craft has been leading efforts to make Baltimore the second city in the nation to ban plastic bags in grocery and retail chain stores.  San Fransisco was the first.  In previous hearings, where legislation would require a charge 25 cents for each plastic bag, the bill failed.

PLASTIC NEVER BIODEGRADES
It only breaks down into smaller & smaller pieces that become part of the ecosystem.  In the middle of the Pacific Ocean lies a floating garbage patch twice the size of the Texas.  It is a place where the water is filled with six times as much plastic as plankton and is referred to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Really, is 25 cents to much to ask to remind us to bring our own bags to stores?  People from other parts of the world have been bringing their own bags to stores for years.  According to the BBC, a 2002 tax on plastic shopping bags in the Republic of Ireland has cut their use by more than 90% and raised millions of euros in revenue.

If you would like to support Councilman Craft’s efforts to ban plastic bags in Baltimore, contact your city councilman.

To identify your district, CLICK HERE.
To identify your city council member, CLICK HERE.

Sample letter:

Dear City Council Member _____,
I am aware of an upcoming city council hearing on plastic bag prohibition in Baltimore.  I am a Baltimore City resident from your district and I support the effort to ban plastic bags in our city.  Plastic waste is a detriment to our landscape and waterways, as it never biodegrades.  I understand, that in order to reduce plastic waste in Baltimore, residents will be required to bring their own bags to stores and/or pay a surcharge. I accept this proposal and hope that you will work to pass these measures.

Thank You,
Your Name
Address



Baltimore Free Store December Free Market This Saturday

Baltimore Free Store Market
At The 2640 Space, Sat. Dec. 12th

Image Courtesy of Red Emmas

The Baltimore Free Store’s December Free Market
Saturday Dec 12, 12PM @ 2640 (2640 St. Paul St.)

From the Baltimore Free Store:

What kind of stuff can I take?!
Whatever we have, you can take.  Clothes, toys, household items, kitchen wares, etc. etc. etc.  We only ask that you don’t get greedy, so that everyone has a chance to get something good.  If we have decorative baskets and you already have 46 decorative baskets at your house, you should probably leave them for someone else…

Do I really not have to pay for the stuff?!
NO!  Everything is 100%, for real. no joke, FREE.

So this is like…a handout?!
Absolutely not.  By taking our stuff, you are recycling and reusing.  This is not about hand outs: it’s about communities helping provide for each others need and learning to consume less and give more.  It’s free shopping!

About the Baltimore Free Store:
We collect unwanted goods and redistribute them to people who want them.  It’s pretty simple.  We are trying to change the way people view their relationship to their goods, their community and their earth.  Though we target low-income neighborhoods to distribute goods, there are no requirements for shoppers; all Free Markets are open to anyone who wishes to come.  Our motto: give what you can, take what you need.

This event is organized by Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse.





Eyecatching Receptacles Increase Recycling At Stadium

Fan Cans Double Recyling In Less Than One Year At Baltimore Stadium

Image Courtesy of Fan Can LLC

If the newly installed Fan Cans at M&T Bank Stadium are any indication, creativity can go a long way to encouraging a greener lifestyle.

*Fan Cans is a line of 45-gallon recycling and waste receptacles designed to grab fan attention with lids shaped like baseball batter and football player helmets. Since the placement of these cans at the Stadium, recycling has more than doubled.  All of the company’s 45-gallon receptacles utilize up to 50% post-consumer and industrial plastic, are highly-durable for expanded service life, and are 100% recyclable at the end of their life cycle.

Fan Cans LLC is a Maryland-based company

* Information provided by PRWEB