ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ)—Howard County is paving the way with recycling with a new food waste-program.

Monique Griego has more on how it will mean less trash and possibly more money for residents.

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Recycling isn’t annoying chore for Carl Hopf. It’s a job she takes very seriously.

“I’m like the recycling police,” Hopf said. “Anytime we go anywhere I’m like ‘Are we recycling today?’”

Hopf’s mission to recycle as much as possible just got a little easier thanks to a new Howard County pilot program that allows residents to recycle food scraps usually meant for the trash.

“Just being able to recycle and reuse as much material as possible,” said Alicia Moore, Howard County recycling coordinator.

Moore says residents will be given a new bin with a map of what’s allowed inside.

The new program means things like egg shells, breads, fruits, vegetables and even pizza boxes can be thrown into a bin to be hauled away and made into compost—a rich nutrient soil.

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“It’s definitely a lifestyle change or habit change, but it’s easy to do,” Moore said.

Hopf’s neighborhood is part of the program’s testing area, which consists of around 5,000 houses in Ellicott and Elkridge.

If you’re not part of the pilot program, you can always do your own composting at home using one of the bins provided by the county.

Moore says composting could cut down on the county’s trash by 20 percent, which means less money spent on disposal and more money for residents who won’t pay higher trash fees.

“Better for me, better for the county, better for the Earth,” Hopf said.

If this pilot program is successful, Moore says they plan to expand it county-wide.

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For more information on home composting or how to enroll in the pilot program, click here.