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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Recycle your election lawn signs after voting is over

Today is Election Day!  Visit the Montgomery County, Maryland, Board of Elections for voting details, and to view election returns.

Recycling your sample ballot, newsprint voting guides, and brochures and postcards you might have received from candidates and organizations is simple: just add them to your other paper recyclables.

However, what about any lawn signs you might have?  Here is a little guide to disposing of those:

Wire sign frames and holders
Bring sign frames and holders to the scrap metal drop-off area at the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station.  Sorry, we do not accept wire items in our curbside blue bin recycling program.

Corrugated plastic signs
We do not accept corrugated plastic signs in our recycling programs.  Perhaps you might be able to reuse them.  For example, I recently used a scrap piece of corrugated plastic to make a rigid bottom for a cloth shopping bag.  If you do not have other uses for this sign material, please put it into your regular trash.

Film plastic signs
Film plastic signs look a lot like plastic bags.  However, please do not add them to plastic bag recycling bins, as they may be made of different resins than bags!  As with rigid corrugated plastic signs, please reuse film plastic signs, or place them into your regular household trash.

Cardboard signs
Please add cardboard signs without a plastic coating to your other paper recyclables. However, if the signs are coated with plastic film, please place them into your regular trash.

What other election support materials would you like to dispose?  Let us know, and we'll share the answers back here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Worn recycling bins are easy to replace - Intern report


My name is Thomas, and if you have noticed someone looking through your recycling this month, that would be me. Well, I hope so at least.

The Division of Solid Waste Services is doing a recycling survey for the month of June 2014. I go out 5 days a week with a Field Staffer from the Division and look at what you have set out for recycling. It is nothing to be concerned about—we are just gathering data to help us improve our programs.

As an intern from outside Montgomery County, and outside of Maryland, the Division’s recycling program is entirely new to me. So, I spent some time studying the "Recycling Basics" flyer to get myself acquainted with the dual stream method. I have been impressed by how many households recycle.

Although, some of you have some pretty beaten up bins:

Cracked and taped recycling bin
Cracked and taped recycling bin (oops! no plastic bags, please!)
Like really bad:

cracked recycling bin with gaping corners
An even more cracked recycling bin
The fix to this is easy! You may request a new bin online, or by calling the Montgomery County Customer Service Center at 311 (or 240-777-0311; TTY: 301-251-4850).

Some of you like to fill your bins up. Like all the way up:

overflowing recycling bins
Overflowing recycling bins
That’s great! But if you ever want another bin, all you need to do is place an online order, or call 311!

Until my next report,

-Thomas, Intern

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Changed yard waste disposal fee at Transfer Station, effective July 1, 2014

Starting July 1, 2014, our fees for yard waste loads delivered to the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station will be the following. All other fees remain the same.

If you deliver this amount of RESIDENTIAL
or COMMERCIAL yard waste
Your fee will be
Less than 500 pounds No charge
500 pounds or more $46.00/ton

As of July 1, 2014:
  • All yard waste loads likely to weigh 500 pounds or more must enter through the Shady Grove Road entrance, and go over the truck scales. This entrance is open Monday through Saturday, 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Yard waste loads weighing 500 pounds or more cannot be delivered weekday evenings (5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.) or any time on Sundays.
See full fee schedule for the Shady Grove Transfer Station and Processing Facility.