Friday, February 24, 2006

Spring 2006 BTS Course is full

Wow! We still have almost six weeks to go until the Spring 2006 Behind the Scenes course begins, but so many of you have already registered that the course is full. We'll spend seven meetings and a field trip talking about... trash and recycling. I'm looking forward to it -- even though I've coordinated this program for many years, I learn new things each time.

Didn't make it into the course? Fear not! You are welcome to join the group for the April 22 field trip to the County's solid waste facilities in Dickerson, MD. (Yes, that's Earth Day. No, that was not planned, but it's a fitting coincidence.) We'll visit the Resource Recovery Facility (our waste-to-energy plant) and the Yard Trim Composting Facility. Please preregister for the trip. That lets me know how many groups we'll need to split into for our RRF tour. It also lets me know how many lunch fixin's we'll need -- we don't want any growling tummies or sagging energy due to hunger in the afternoon!

Plastics recycling: are dirty curbside finds recyclable?

Received in the mail:
As I walk through my neighborhood I sometimes take along a bag and collect trash bottles from the curbside. Some of these are awfully dirty, some even still have the caps on and are so dirty I avoid removing them. Is it OK to recycle these, regardless of their condition?
Thank you for your commitment to recycling, and for taking a bag along with you on your outings! (So often, I first remember the bag when I spot the litter, at which point it is, of course, too late. And, you can only carry so much in your hands...)

I put your question to our Recycling Center manager. He says that clean bottles are always preferable. Nonetheless, he would accept your "curbside finds" as-is, without any washing.

Before tossing the bottles into your blue bin for collection, please remove the lids. Why? The lids are most often made from a different plastic resin and through different molding processes than the bottles themselves. As a result, the lids would be "contaminants" in a bale of bottle plastic. So, please put those lids into the trash.

If this post inspires you to do more, consider learning more about Montgomery County's beautification and clean-up programs, including Adopt-A-Road and the Keep Montgomery County Beautiful task force.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Newsletter Helper: Disposal of Large Tree Branches

Ay! What if those March winds and April showers bring you lots of downed branches instead of (or, in addition to) May flowers? Our February 2006 Newsletter Helper offers some solutions. We'll be happy to take bagged or bundled pieces up to 4 feet long and 4 inches in diameter right from your curb. (Please limit those bundles to 45 pounds.) Larger pieces are accepted at the Shady Grove Tranfer Station.

Why the size and weight limit and that bundling requirement for curbside collections? Collection crews toss those bundles into their trucks by hand. And, they serve several hundred homes on a given route. Bags and bundles are much more efficient to load than the loose branches would be. And, the weight limit helps to protect the crews' backs.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Presidents' Day - Feb. 20: normal schedule

Monday, February 20, 2006 ~ Presidents' Day ~ is a regular recycling and trash collection day. All County-provided recycling and trash collections will be made on their normal schedule. If you have any questions or concerns about your County-provided collection, please contact our Customer Service staff online 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 to your trash service -- check with your hauler or community manager.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Feb. 13, 2006: Normal collections

We are on our normal recycling and trash collection schedule for today, with no delays due to this weekend's snow.

Please remember to have your items out at the curb for collection by 7 a.m. And, where there are snow banks and parked cars, please place your bins and cans so that crews can see them easily from the street.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Feb. 12, 2006: Snow Closings

The Shady Grove Transfer Station is closed today.

The Damascus and Poolesville Beauty Spots are closed also, as our Highway Maintenance colleagues focus all of their attention on today's snow removal effort.