Thursday, October 09, 2014

Columbus Day 2014 - normal recycling and trash collection schedule

Sign up for our Holiday Reminder email and text messages

Columbus Day: Monday, October 13, 2014 is a regular recycling and trash collection day. All County-provided recycling and trash collections this week will be made on their normal schedule.

If your collection day is
Your collection day this week is
Monday Monday, October 13, 2014 (no change)
Tuesday Tuesday, October 14, 2014 (no change)
Wednesday Wednesday, October 15, 2014 (no change)
Thursday Thursday, October 16, 2014 (no change)
Friday Friday, October 17, 2014 (no change)

If you have questions or concerns about your County-provided collection, please contact the Montgomery County Customer Service Center (MC311) at 311 (out-of-County: 240-777-0311, TTY: 301-251-4850) or @311MC311.

If you (or your community) have a private contract for your trash collection, or if you live in a municipality, our schedule announcements may not apply to your trash service -- check with your hauler or community manager.

To add our recycling/trash collection schedule changes directly to your electronic calendar, subscribe to this link.

Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station

Transfer Station location, hours and other details
  • Saturday, October 11, 2014: Open with normal hours.
  • Sunday, October 12, 2014: Open with normal hours.
  • Monday, October 13, 2014: Open with normal hours.

Poolesville Beauty Spot

Beauty Spot location, hours and other details
  • Saturday, October 11, 2014: Open with normal hours.
  • Sunday, October 12, 2014: Open with normal hours.

Community Paper Shredding and Recycling - November 15, 2014
Our next paper shredding and recycling event is Saturday, November 15, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Northwest High School in Germantown. We will also be accepting donations of reusable clothing and household goods.

See full event information, including details about the usable clothing and household item donations accepted.

Compost bins for autumn leaves
We've got compost bins available at 19 locations across Montgomery County! Pick one up, pop in those autumn leaves, and enjoy the resulting "black gold" for your garden.

See our bin pickup location map and list.

Follow us on Instagram
Join us out "in the field" through images we're now sharing on Instagram. For example, see the vintage remedy we received at our Hazardous Waste Drop-off recently.

Follow the Department of Environmental Protection on Instagram.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Thanks for a Great County Fair!

Crossposted on My Green Montgomery

Did you know that the County Fair is the most important outreach event for the Department of Environmental Protection each year?  It is the time where DEP staff get to talk to County residents, share our latest programs and events and get the pulse on what is important to County residents.

Image of a County employee teaching a resident about rain barrels.
This year was a huge success for DEP at the fair! We had 2 booths – one for our Division of Solid Waste Services with information on trash, recycling and composting and one booth for our Division of Watershed Management and the Office of Sustainability.

What Happened at the Fair?

  • The Division of Solid Waste Services (SWS) spoke to 8,464 people.
  • The Watershed Management Division (WMD) and the Office of Sustainability talked to 5,823 people including a Division record 1,186 people on Sunday alone!
  • Visitors got to spin the wheel on our watershed and recycling trivia games as well as try their luck at the new sustainability trivia board.
  • SWS distributed 309 compost bins.  That’s a lot of yard trim diverted from our trash!
  • WMD and the Office of Sustainability hosted stream critters for kids including 4 species of frogs and toads, a crayfish, a snake and numerous fish.  After three days at the fair, they were released back into the wild.
  • Both tables had numerous volunteers including students, families, individuals and current DEP staff.
  • We were visited by a princess, and the County Executive.

Image of Solid Waste Services County Fair Ribbon
The Grand Champion Educational Award blue ribbon

We’re Award Winners!

The Division of Solid Waste Services was awarded the 2014 Montgomery County Agricultural Fair Grand Champion Educational Award.  The award is based on a number of criteria, including overall appearance and interaction with patrons. A panel of judges evaluates all of the vendors/exhibitors and awards nine ribbons in the commercial exhibitor category. This year, SWS promoted the county’s goal to reduce waste and recycle 70% by 2020. SWS staff and recycling volunteers provided the public with information about waste reduction, recycling, reuse opportunities, buying recycled-content products, grasscycling, backyard and on-site composting, and more.  Congratulations to the entire SWS team!

Image of the Watershed Management and Office of Sustainability Tent
The Watershed Management and Office of Sustainability Tent


Image of the Solid Waste Services tent

The Solid Waste Services tent

Image of the Office of Sustainability table and the trivia board.
Did you try out the sustainability trivia?


Image of the County Fair princess
We were visited by a Princess!
-- Jessica Jones, Program Manager, Outreach and Education

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Labor Day 2014 - modified recycling and trash collection schedule

Sign up for our Holiday Reminder email and text messages

Labor Day: Monday, September 1, 2014: No County-provided collection services will occur on this day. After the holiday, all County-provided recycling and trash collections will slide, and be one day later than normal.

If your collection day is
Your collection day this week is
Monday Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Tuesday Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Wednesday Thursday, September 4, 2014
Thursday Friday, September 5, 2014
Friday Saturday, September 6, 2014

If you have questions or concerns about your County-provided collection, please call the Montgomery County Customer Service Center (MC311) at 311 (out-of-County: 240-777-0311, TTY: 301-251-4850).

If you (or your community) have a private contract for your trash collection, or if you live in a municipality, our schedule announcements may not apply to your trash service -- check with your hauler or community manager.

To add our recycling/trash collection schedule changes directly to your electronic calendar, subscribe to this link.

Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station

Transfer Station location, hours and other details
  • Saturday, August 30, 2014: Open with normal hours.
  • Sunday, August 31, 2014: Open with normal hours.
  • Monday, September 1, 2014: Entire facility closed.

    Poolesville Beauty Spot

    Beauty Spot location, hours and other details
    • Saturday, August 30, 2014: Open with normal hours.
    • Sunday, August 31, 2014: Open with normal hours.

    Two easy tips for best collection

    Our field staff finds that two easily-solved problems cause many of the missed collections to which they respond. To help prevent misses:
    • Set your items out at the curb by 7 a.m.
      On your collection day, place all of your recyclables, yard trim, and trash (if we provide your trash service) at the curb by 7:00 a.m. All items for collection must be placed directly at the curb, or unobstructed on your property, within 10 feet of the curb.
    • Label reusable yard trim containers with our green stickers.
      When using reusable containers for your yard trim, label the containers with our green yard trim stickers, and arrange the containers with the labels facing the street. Order yard trim stickers at no charge.
    To report a missed collection, call the Montgomery County Customer Service Center at 311 (out-of-County: 240-777-0311, TTY: 301-251-4850).

    Proper propane cylinder and tank disposal

    Oops! Propane cylinders and tanks are not curbside blue bin items. If you cannot return tanks to a supplier for reuse, bring them to us at the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station. See propane tank drop-off details.

    So far this year, we have collected more than 3,000 propane cylinders and tanks at the Recycling Center that were improperly discarded as recyclable curbside materials. These create explosion risks, and cause problems during recyclable sorting. Learn more about propane cylinders and tanks at the Recycling Center.

      How to dispose of propane cylinders


      Propane cylinders pulled aside at the Recycling Center

      Oops! Propane cylinders and tanks are not curbside blue bin recyclables.

      If you cannot return these items to a supplier for reuse, bring them to us at the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station. See propane cylinder and tank drop-off details.

      We are seeing increased numbers of propane tanks coming to our Recycling Center through the curbside recycling program. So far this year, we have collected more than 3,000 propane tanks that were improperly discarded as recyclable curbside materials.

      Propane cylinders and tanks are a problem because our recycling equipment is not designed to handle such materials. Also, they can create jams in the sorting process which can cause severe damage to the equipment.

      Additionally, many times these small containers are still under pressure and even contain leftover propane and other substances. Those leftovers can cause explosions if the containers are damaged, potentially injuring someone if the contents begin to leak.

      Friday, July 11, 2014

      July 2014 Sign Sweep cleans up County right-of-way areas

      On Wednesday, Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services staff participated in the July 2014 "Sign Sweep".

      The Sweep team -- about 60 colleagues from the Departments of Environmental Protection, Housing and Community Affairs, Permitting Services, and Transportation -- gathered in the morning for instructions.

      The Sign Sweep team in the parking lot for instructions and assignments.

      Teams then split up according to their assignments, and set to work.

      Sign Sweep team member removes a sign.

      The group collected roughly 2,000 signs from County right-of-way areas, and delivered them to the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station. They sorted the signs by material, and recycled what they could.
      Signs in roll-off container

      Look at that pile of metal signs and sign holders, a fitting background for this media interview with Sign Sweep Coordinator Ehsan Motazedi, Division Chief, Zoning and Site Plan Enforcement!
      interview in front of pile of metal sign holders

      What should you do if you see a sign on a County right-of-way? Let us know its location by calling the Montgomery County Customer Service Center at 311 (or 240-777-0311; TTY: 301-251-4850). 

      Please do not remove signs yourself (unless you are picking up your own sign)! Let us take away the signs you spot to:
      • Avoid danger. (We only send out trained staff in removal teams.)
      • Avoid any confrontation with sign owners.
      We are planning to repeat the Sign Sweep effort twice a year, but please call any time you see a sign out of place on a right-of-way.

      For more information about signs:
      • Political signs (PDF) - Fact sheet on size, placement and required permits
      • Sign permits, including the application process, fees, and more

      Monday, June 30, 2014

      Yard trim observations - Intern report

      Hey All,

      This is Thomas the intern. In case you didn’t see my previous post, I’ll remind you that I am the person who's been looking through your recycling for the past few weeks. While for the most part, everyone seems to get the general idea of recycling, I have noticed some confusion about yard trim.

       "Yard trim" includes leaves, grass, and brush. Yard trim is recycled on your collection day. Just put yard trim out next to your other recycling, by 7:00 am on your day of collection. You may prepare yard trim in three different ways:
      1. in a reusable container marked by a green yard trim sticker
      2. in yard trim paper bags, or 
      3. bundled by twine.
      Now, I know I said put them in a container. But, that does not include your blue bin:

      Oops! Logs in blue recycling bin.
      Your blue bin is only for cans, bottles, jars and plastic containers and lids.

      "Container" does not include blue wheeled carts either:

      Another oops! Branches in blue wheeled paper recycling cart.
      Your blue wheeled cart is only for paper and cardboard.

      Reusable containers should be marked by a green sticker, so that the yard trim truck crew can spot them easily:
      reusable can with green "yard trim" sticker
      Yard trim can identified by sticker

      Yard trim is picked up by a separate truck. If the truck's crew cannot tell what is inside of a container or bag, they may drive by and miss your items because they don't know that the items are for them.

      Oops! Yard trim set out in a small paper shopping bag.
      This yard trim set-out is a step in the right direction! But, the yard trim crew may very well miss it. They are looking for bigger paper bags, like these:

      branches in paper yard trim bags at curb for collection
      Branches prepared for yard trim pickup in large, paper lawn and garden bags.
      If you have a container that you want to use for yard trim, identify it with one of our yard trim stickers. You may request stickers online or by calling the Montgomery County Customer Service Center at 311 (or 240-777-0311; TTY: 301-251-4850). It really helps the yard trim trucks know what to take!

      Until next time,
      -Thomas, Intern

      Friday, June 27, 2014

      Independence Day 2014 - modified recycling and trash collection schedule

      Sign up for our Holiday Reminder email and text messages

      Independence Day: Friday, July 4, 2014: No County-provided collection services will occur on this day. Friday recycling and trash collections will slide, and be one day later than normal.

      If your collection day is
      Your collection day this week is
      MondayMonday, June 30, 2014 (no change)
      TuesdayTuesday, July 1, 2014 (no change)
      WednesdayWednesday, July 2, 2014 (no change)
      ThursdayThursday, July 3, 2014 (no change)
      FridaySaturday, July 5, 2014

      If you have questions or concerns about your County-provided collection, please call the Montgomery County Customer Service Center (MC311) at 311 (out-of-County: 240-777-0311, TTY: 301-251-4850).

      If you (or your community) have a private contract for your trash collection, or if you live in a municipality, our schedule announcements may not apply to your trash service -- check with your hauler or community manager.

      To add our recycling/trash collection schedule changes directly to your electronic calendar, subscribe to this link.

      Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station

      The yard trim disposal fee at the Transfer Station is changing, effective July 1, 2014. See yard trim fee details.

      Transfer Station location, hours and other details
      • Friday, July 4, 2014: Entire facility closed.
      • Saturday, July 5, 2014: Open with normal hours.
      • Sunday, July 6, 2014: Open with normal hours.

      Poolesville Beauty Spot

      Beauty Spot location, hours and other details
      • Saturday, July 5, 2014: Open with normal hours.
      • Sunday, July 6, 2014: Open with normal hours.

      Thursday, June 26, 2014

      Recycling refrigerators: refrigerant removal not required

      Refrigerators in a line at the scrap metal drop-off
      Refrigerators in Transfer Station's scrap metal drop-off area

      Has your refrigerator stopped chilling? Your dehumidifier stopped removing humidity? Your air conditioner stopped keeping you cool?

      We accept these large appliances -- and more -- as scrap metal for recycling.

      If you receive recycling service from Montgomery County, you may request a curbside scrap metal collection for your no-longer-needed or no-longer-working appliances.

      We also accept scrap metal directly at our Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station.

      If your large appliances contain refrigerants, you do not need to remove the them before you set the appliances out for curbside collection or deliver them to us.We have a contractor who comes by to remove refrigerants.

      When you bring refrigerant-containing items to us, here are two important tips from the Transfer Station staff:
      1. Please take care in unloading them so that you avoid breaking open the cooling system. 
      2. Drop them off in the first scrap metal bay (where you see refrigerators organized in an orderly line), and not in the bays where all of the metal is just in a pile