Friday, September 15, 2006

Safe & Secure Community Shred - Sept. 30, 2006

Consider the Safe & Secure Community Shred for those personal papers you've been concerned about putting into your weekly paper recycling collection.

Bring up to 5 boxes of personal papers -- staples and paper clips do not need to be removed! -- on Saturday, September 30, 2006, from 8 a.m. to Noon. Event details

The Montgomery County location is:
Mercantile Potomac Bank
260 East Jefferson St.
Rockville, MD 20850

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

We went to the polls with our literature, too

Most of the flyers and brochures available as you make your way into your polling place on Election Day urge to you support this or that candidate.

For Tuesday's primary elections, some of our staff hung out their shingle for voters as well. As folks came to cast their vote, many stopped to chat with us, learn about recycling, waste reduction, and what to do with their trash.

Based on Tuesday's success, look for us outside polling places in November!

Invite us to your next community event -- we're happy to join you.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Can I recycle Tyvek® envelopes into my blue bin?

From our electronic mailbag:
We frequently get mail packaged in so-called "Tyvek" envelopes. The U.S. Postal Services gives away Priority Mail envelopes made of Tyvek. These Tyvek envelopes are marked with the recycling triangle enclosing the number "2" and are marked HDPE (high density polyethylene). My question is: Can "Tyvek" envelopes be recycled in the blue bin for cans, bottles and No. 2 recyclable containers?
The answer is "yes"! While we don't accept Tyvek® envelopes in our blue bin program, you may send them in to be recycled. If you receive these envelopes, check out this Tyvek® envelope recycling option.

Thanks for your question, R.!

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Update - April 30, 2010

Comment received from L:
I did a google search for "is tyvek recyclable" and found your blog... took me straight to their website where I was able to find the information (link was outdated), but at least it let me know it was there! Thank you, thank you!
Thanks for your feedback, L! I have updated the link.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Why a bulk trash pickup didn't include the bedframe

From our electronic mailbag:
"I left an old mattress, boxspring, and bedframe (separated into 2 pieces) out on my regular collection day. The mattress and boxspring were taken but the frame was left. Aren't these items supposed to be picked up as well?"
Sorry, the bedframe was probably left behind intentionally when your bulk trash collection was made. Why?!

Here are two potential answers:
  1. Did you schedule a scrap metal recycling pickup for the bedframe? The mattress and boxspring are trash. But, the bedframe is metal, and will therefore not be taken by the trash crew. Scrap metal collections are made on your regular collection day. But, the truck only comes to you by request.
  2. Did you include the bedframe on your itemized list when you requested the pickup? We want to help make sure that crews pick up only what you want them to take. So, we ask that they carefully follow the list of items you provide when you schedule the collection. If it's not on the list, it won't be included.
Request a scrap metal recycling collection through our website:

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What types of plastic bags are recyclable at grocery stores?

Excepted from a post on CafeMontgomery (a local treasure trove of all sorts of community information!):
...what type of plastic is allowed in the recycling bins at the grocery stores?

I was just cutting the paper labels off some clean, dry bags, and realized that they feel very different from one another, and that some have numbers and a recycling symbol and others don't...( I found 1, 2, 4, and 5!) please, tell me what I should be doing!
Many of the collected grocery bags end up going to Trex, a company which turns grocery bags, stretch films (like the kind used to wrap loaded shipping pallets), and waste wood into recycled plastic decking, railings, fencing, and landscape edging.

Here are the Trex specifications for the grocery bags they accept:

In a nutshell, they want bags made from polyethylene, which is resin #4.

A quick tipsheet for interpreting those other resins mentioned in the specifications:
PVC: resin #3
polystyrene: resin #6
polyurethane foam: if labeled at all, should be resin #7
polypropylene: resin #5
PET: #1

Thanks, M. -- great question!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Bookcrossing - another way to reuse books!

From our mail bag...
I recently read the piece from the July newsletter about recycling books. You did say, it was good to re-use them and one resource you may or may not be aware of is the Bookcrossing program.

To see what it’s all about, go to and it will explain the program. Basically, it involves leaving books that you’ve read (and don’t intend to keep) in public places where they can be picked up by other book lovers. There’s more to it, like “joining” Bookcrossing and registering the book, but the outcome is that books get passed along and not discarded.

Just sharing another possible course of action re: keeping books out of the trash.

Thanks, B., for sharing this resource, and for adding to our list of book reuse opportunities!