Thursday, June 30, 2005

Paper recycling: staples?

Whether it's a reminder of an upcoming holiday, or an weather-related collection service alert, I always receive replies from our subscribers when I send a notice to our "Holiday Reminder List" (or any of our other lists, for that matter). The Division's email lists have created this additional line of communication, and I am delighted when subscribers use it to ask questions or share comments or concerns which have been on their mind. Keep 'em coming! From my Independence Day Reminder Notice "Mailbag":
What is the proper way to recycle magazines and catalogs with and without staples?
Staples are not a problem for our paper recycling program. So, you do not need to worry about removing them.

Please recycle your magazines and catalogs right along with your other paper -- newspaper, newspaper inserts, unwanted mail, cereal and other boxes, and the like.

If you live in a single-family home and recently received one of the County's new paper recycling carts, you may simply toss all of your paper and cardboard in there.

If you do not have a cart, just bundle your paper with twine. Or, place it into a paper bag or small cardboard box. Then, set the bundles on top of or next to your blue bin on your recycling day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

What's wrong with this picture? - Part III

About Quiz Entry #2:
We do not accept yard trimmings in plastic bags. In fact, plastic bags are the most significant "contaminant" at our Composting Facility, where leaves and grass are turned into a product marketed as Leafgro. As the leaves and grass are processed, plastic bags are chopped into ever-smaller pieces. These pieces blow around the facility, littering the grounds, getting stuck in fences, and finding their way back into Leafgro that has already been screened in final preparation for bagging or bulk sale. Those pieces must then be collected by hand, a tedious and costly undertaking.

Leaves and grass should be set at the curb in reusable containers (such as trash cans with a "Yard Trim" decal on them -- write to us or call 240-777-6410 to have decals sent to you), or in paper yard trim bags. The paper yard trim bags break down along with the material in them, becoming part of the finished compost!

Quiz Entry #3:

Monday, June 27, 2005

July 4, 2005: Independence Day Holiday

Monday, July 4, 2005 ~ Independence Day ~ is a recycling and trash holiday. All County-provided recycling and trash collections will be one day later than normal. If you have any questions or concerns about your County-provided collection, please contact our Customer Service staff at or call 240-777-6410.

Note: if you (or your community) have a private contract for your trash collection, these schedule announcements may not apply -- check with your hauler or community manager.

The Damascus and Poolesville Beauty Spots will be open on July 2 and 3, 2005. The Shady Grove Transfer Station will be closed on Monday, July 4, 2005.

Full holiday announcement

Friday, June 24, 2005

What's wrong with this picture? - Part II

In Part I, we had a paper recycling cart with a tag on it: the most common reason for this is that someone is so pleased with the cart's large capacity that he or she fills it with... trash. Because the carts are for paper only, this creates a problem. First, the wrong material is inside. Second, a full cart is heavy, and it is only the recycling trucks which are equipped with cart lifts. So, not only is the wrong material inside, but getting it out could be a challenge.

Today's "quiz entry":

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

What's wrong with this picture? - Part I

Most of the time, all goes well at the curb on collection day: you set your items out in the morning, and by day's end, the trucks have come by, leaving you with emptied containers ready for the next week's accumulation.

However, sometimes, to-be-collected items are left behind by the crew. You find these things sporting "day-glo" orange stickers. Our next series of entries will take a visual tour of "tagged" items.

Tags are supposed to be filled out with an explanation of what went wrong with preparation of the offending item. If you have questions about why something was tagged, let us know by email or by calling 240-777-6410

Friday, June 17, 2005

Hazardous Waste: new collection dates

The following two Household Hazardous Waste collection events have been announced. Both sites will operate from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 8, 2005, SILVER SPRING
Silver Spring International Middle School
313 Wayne Avenue (Dale Dr. & Wayne Ave.)

Saturday, November 12, 2005, BETHESDA
Westland Middle School
5511 Massachusetts Avenue, Bethesda MD 20816
(west of Little Falls Parkway)

Reminder: the Shady Grove Transfer Station now has a permanent HHW receiving area, open year-round: Thursday through Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Newsletter Helper: Dangerous Disposal

The June 2005 Newsletter Helper from the Division of Solid Waste Services is now available. This month's featured topic is "Disposal Dangers." Most of the trash received by the Division of Solid Waste Services is run-of-the-mill material. But sometimes, dangerous surprises lurk within.

Examples of dangerous materials to keep out of the trash include: mercury and mercury-containing products like thermometers and thermostats, swimming pool chemicals, car fluids, fuel, herbicides and pesticides, paint thinners and solvents, and syringe needles.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Business Recycling: newly updated Handbook

Our comprehensive Business Recycling Regulation Handbook has just been updated! Be one of the first to read or download this new edition.

The Handbook is also available in Chinese and Spanish.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Congratulations, Great Recyclers!

During our recent Recycling Awareness Week, we gave awards for "Excellence in Recycling" and Outstanding Achievement in Recycling". Receipients included businesses and organizations, apartment and condominium properties, and single-family residents. Congratulations to all!