Friday, December 28, 2007

Beauty Spots closed December 29 + 30, 2007

The Damascus and Poolesville Beauty Spots will be closed this weekend, December 29 + 30, 2007. (This is a change from the previously announced schedule.)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Can I recycle most wrapping paper?

December 3, 2010: updated paper recycling information

From our mailbag:

Hello! Can I recycle most wrapping paper?

Thank you, D., for this question! The answer is yes.

Please add wrapping paper to your other paper recyclables. There are a few exceptions: if the paper is foil- or plastic-coated, please put it into the trash (or, reuse it, if it's still in good condition). Some wrapping "paper" is actually a thin plastic film; we cannot accept this for recycling either.

Most types of wrapping paper can be recycled along with your other types of recyclable mixed paper. There is an exception: foil wrapping paper, please put it into the trash (or, reuse it, if it's still in good condition). Some wrapping is actually not paper but a thin plastic film; we cannot accept this for recycling either.

What about ribbons and tape? Please remove the ribbons and other decorations from your wrapping paper before adding it to your paper collection. Bits of tape on the paper are fine -- you do not need to remove them.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Our Winter 2007 Recycletter is available

I have just posted the Winter 2007 Recycletter to our website. The Recycletter is published quarterly by our Recycling Volunteer Program.

Interested in joining the Recycling Volunteer Program? Mark your calendars now to save the date for one of these upcoming training sessions:
  • Thursday, January 17, 2008, 6 pm to 9 pm
  • Thursday, March 27, 2008, 6 pm to 9 pm
  • Saturday, March 29, 2008 10 am to 1 pm
We invite all volunteer - new and current - to an advanced training session on Thursday, April 3, 2008, 6 pm to 8 pm.
For registration details, I'll purposely refer you to the Recycletter itself!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

No plastics bags, please!

Plastic bag taped to wall, labeled with NOWhile a picture tells a thousand words, showing the actual item is even more effective!

Using plastic bags and putting them into recycling containers labeled for commingled materials (aluminum cans and foil products, bi-metal steel/tin cans, glass bottles and jars, and plastic narrow-neck bottles) and mixed paper and cardboard is a common error. (While plastic grocery bags are recyclable, they typically are not acceptable in multi-family or single-family residential recycling programs. However, most local grocery stores in Montgomery County accept plastic shopping bags for recycling, so take them with you the next time you go grocery shopping.)

The program specialists in our multi-family recycling program visit apartments and condominiums daily, checking their recycling programs and efforts, and providing assistance to residents and property managers.

On a recent visit to a property in Bethesda, a program specialist found a plastic bag, emphatically labeled with "No!", to remind residents that these bags should not go into their recycling containers. Kudos to the property managers for displaying our recycling do's and don'ts poster (seen on the left; available in English and Spanish versions), and for supplementing the poster's information with an actual example!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Man dragging Christmas tree to curb for recycling How may you recycle your Christmas tree?

Simply set it out at the curb for collection on your recycling day, starting next Wednesday. Our Christmas tree recycling program will run from Wednesday, December 26, 2007 through Friday, February 1, 2008 for this holiday season. Gone are the days when you need to pack your dry, needle-shedding tree into your car for transport to your closest collection point!

Please give us only your tree -- no lights, no decorations, no wires, no tree stand, and no plastic tree bag. Why? We grind up the trees to create mulch. Larger metal items like tree stands are problems because they can damage the grinding equipment and also become safety hazards. The decorations, plastics, and the like become contaminants in the finished mulch.

Keep reading our blog -- a future post will show you our Christmas tree operations. Unfortunately, what we can't offer you online is the wonderful pine fragrance which accompanies the Christmas tree mulch-making! For that, you'll have to come to the Solid Waste Transfer Station yourself!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Our Veggie Oil Exchange makes it to Grist's "Ask Umbra" column

From our mailbag:

I don't know if you are familiar with this on-line advice column, but it is a feature of Grist. Recently your MoCo website got a mention!

I appreciate your note, M. Sure enough! In her December 3, 2007, Ask Umbra column about uses for old cooking oil, Grist's Umbra Fisk wrote:

"I also had a little luck on Craigslist and a surprising result when I put "donate used vegetable oil" into my search engine: the solid waste department for Montgomery County, Md., has an entire veggie oil exchange listing on their website. Zounds."

Thanks for finding us, Umbra, and for sharing the word about our Vegetable Oil Exchange with your readers!

Monday, December 17, 2007

How do I recycle toy boxes?

From our mailbag:

[The holiday reminder emails are] a great service. I just would like to suggest that next December you advise your subscribers on how to dispose of the cardboard/plastic boxes that many toys come wrapped in. This year, for example, I separated the paper and the plastic parts and put them out separately for recycling. Was this correct?
Thank you, TS, for your compliment about our holiday reminder email service, and for your question. Since it's December again, it's time to pull it out of the file in which I've been safely storing it.

Thank you also for correctly preparing the toy packaging in your household for recycling. To you Gentle Readers in similar situations this holiday season (or at any time), please:
  • Pull out plastic bags, plastic ties, foam packing, desiccant packets, and other non-paper items from the box. Dispose of these plastic items (except for the bags) in your regular household trash; you can add the bags to the plastic bag collection at your local grocery store. What about plastic "windows" in toy boxes? You may leave these on the box when you give it to us for recycling.
  • Put the empty cardboard boxes together with your other paper recyclables, for pickup on your recycling day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Day and New Year's Day Holidays - modified schedules

Montgomery County-provided recycling and trash collections

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 - Christmas Day - is a recycling and trash collection holiday. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday collections will shift by one day.

Tuesday, January 1 - New Year's Day - is a also recycling and trash collection holiday. Again, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday collections will shift by one day.

Detailed holiday schedule and information

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.

Shady Grove Transfer Station

Transfer Station hours and other details

Christmas Day Holiday:
  • Monday, December 24, 2007: will close at 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 25, 2007: closed
  • Wednesday, December 26, 2007: will reopen with normal hours

New Year's Day Holiday:
  • Monday, December 31, 2007: will close at 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 1, 2008: closed
  • Wednesday, January 2, 2008: will reopen with normal hours

Thursday, December 06, 2007

When will my leaves be picked up?

From our mailbag:
I live at [address removed] and still have not seen a [leaf] collection.
We in the Division of Solid Waste Services provide the weekly curbside yard trim collection; the leaf vacuuming is done by our sister agency, the Highway Operations Section.

Our colleagues in Highway Operations are posting leaf collection updates to their website to keep residents up-to-date about crews' progress.

In neighborhoods receiving leaf vacuuming, crews post signs a few days in advance of each leaf collection. Crews do their best to meet their planned schedules. However, Mother Nature can and does pose challenges to them. For example, yesterday's snow meant that some of the leafing equipment was put on "snow duty." And, when that snow melts, the wet leaves will be more difficult to vacuum than dry leaves.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

How do I dispose of an old console television?

From our mailbag:

How do I dispose of an old console television?

We checked with our Transfer Station colleagues to see whether it would be accepted there for recycling. And, the answer is... yes, console televisions are accepted for recycling in our new television recycling program.

If you cannot transport the console television to the Transfer Station, and if you receive Montgomery County-provided trash service, then you may request a curbside bulk trash collection for this item. The tradeoff is that while the television would be collected at your curb, it would not be recycled.

Thanks for asking! Confirming the answer gave our Call Center staff and me the opportunity to expand our own knowledge. And, as a result of your question, I have updated our television page to include console televisions. So, dear readers, keep your questions coming!

Monday, December 03, 2007

What's all this litter around the trash I set out so neatly?!

The night before your collection day, you set your trash neatly at the curb to await collection. The next morning, or when you return home at the end of the next day... Ay! There are bits and pieces of your trash strewn all around! What happened?!

Many times, the culprits are... crows! One of my field colleagues reported to me that "the crows are back and making a lot of 'litter before collection'."

What's the solution?

"Containerizing" -- our term for using a rigid container with a tight-fitting lid -- your trash makes it a much greater challenge for crows to reach. And, this also helps keep out raccoons and other critters fond of "dumpster diving" in residential trash. Here are our requirements for trash containers.

Above all, please resist the temptation to simply set out your trash bags without a rigid plastic or metal container around them. It's awfully easy for an inquisitive beak or paw to tear holes into them, and then to start exploring the bags' contents...

One resource for learning more about living with crows is this Urban Crow Fact Sheet, published by the Humane Society of the United States.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Washingtonian Magazine rates us tops in recycling

The December 2007 issue of Washingtonian Magazine features its "Best of Washington" ratings. Here's an excerpt of what was written about us:
On most counts, it's easier to be green in Montgomery County than in any of the
area's other 13 jurisdictions. It has one of the country's top recycling rates
(amount of recyclables collected divided by trash generated), 43 percent, and
has strict rules on what must be recycled.
Thanks for the kind words!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Why shouldn't I locate my compost pile near my fence?

Compost Happens flyer cover
We recently mailed a flyer titled "Compost Happens" to single-family home residents. This mailing has generated lots of phone calls and emails from you to us. Thank you!

Having raked up lots and lots of leaves in and around my own yard over the past two days -- yes, they are finally falling! -- I want to address some of the questions I have fielded from you by phone and email as a result of our mailing.

Your flyer says that compost piles should be located "at least one foot away
from any fence". Why?
Following this recommendation can be a challenge, especially in a small yard. But, it's an important recommendation to heed. See, the industrious decomposers in your compost pile are not terribly picky. To them, a piece of dead wood is a piece of dead wood. Whether the wood is question is a twig you've raked up into the compost pile, or a fence post is of little consequence to them. Keeping a little distance between (wooden) fences and compost piles is therefore good practice. For this reason, it is also wise to avoid siting your compost pile right next to your house, garage, or shed.

Now, if your fence or structure is made from a non-decomposing material (recycled plastic, for example!), then there is no problem in putting your compost pile close to it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How to dispose of oil from deep-frying your Thanksgiving turkey

Are you deep-frying a Thanksgiving turkey?

When you recycle the cans, bottles, and jars from your meal preparations, remember to add your fryer oil to that list! Please don't put the oil into your blue bin. :-) Instead, post an oil offer to our new Vegetable Oil Exchange.

Frying vegetables instead of turkey? Of course, your waste oil is heartily welcomed on the Exchange as well.

Monday, November 19, 2007

We celebrated America Recycles Day... with lots of enthusiasm from you!

We invited you... and you came to help us celebrate America Recycles Day last Saturday! Thank you to all who participated. In addition to the staff who worked on this event, we are grateful to our many volunteers, who collectively contributed hours of time in preparing for and then supporting the event's activities

Rocco, the Recycling Retriever, greeted visitors enthusiastically, with open arms.

We had bags of Leafgro available to folks who stopped at our display in the Town Square.

A staff member put the finishing touches on a display about recycling at apartments and condominiums.

Children industriously created works of art from a variety of "recycled" items.

Do you know what to recycle in Montgomery County? These two volunteers were ready to quiz event visitors!

Thursday, November 22, 2007 - Thanksgiving Day - modified schedule

Montgomery County-provided recycling and trash collections

Thursday, November 22, 2007 - Thanksgiving Day - is a recycling and trash collection holiday. Thursday and Friday collections will shift by one day.

Detailed holiday schedule and information

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.

Shady Grove Transfer Station

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Our recycling rate is 43.2% !

From the questions we receive, I know that folks wonder whether it really matters whether they save that can, bottle, or jar for recycling, whether they separate their large metal items for special collection, or whether they make the effort to reduce the amount of waste they generate

Our numbers are in for Fiscal Year 2007, and yes, those seemingly small actions really do matter. In fact, collectively they add up to our having recycled 43.2% of what we in Montgomery County discarded last year. Seen another way, we recycled just over 43 out of every 100 pounds we pitched. Thank you very much for your part in this success! (What's a Fiscal Year? In our case, it is the 12-month time period from July 1 through June 30.)

What goes into a recycling rate? In short, a lot! We've posted a summary of our Fiscal Year 2007 recycling rate calculations to our website. And, if you are curious about how that compares to previous years' rates, we have those posted as well.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

More information on pillow recycling

Earlier this month, I wrote about pillow disposal. Today, I received this note from C., one of our readers:
I suspect that the person's local veterinarian or animal shelter might be glad
to get the pillows to use as bedding for needy or sick animals. Go ahead and
ask--they might be delighted.
Thanks, C., for this tip! In the solid waste management hierarchy, reuse ranks higher than recycling. And, of course, the possibility of giving old pillows a new lease on life is preferable to throwing them into the trash.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Celebrate America Recycles Day with us!

Today is America Recycles Day! It's a day for recognizing the importance of recycling and buying products made with recycled materials.

Save the Planet logoWe're celebrating America Recycles Day on Saturday, as an event in Montgomery County's Save the Planet series. Please join our staff and volunteers for a day of exhibits, demonstrations, and crafts!

Date and time:
Saturday, November 17, 2007
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Rockville Library (Get directions to the Rockville Library)
21 Maryland Ave.
Rockville, MD 20850

Our America Recycles Day event details

Friday, November 09, 2007

What's this about mercury in compact fluorescent bulbs?

It's true: those energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs harbor a small amount of mercury within them. Because of the mercury, it's best to dispose of burned-out compact fluorescent bulbs as hazardous waste, and to clean up carefully if one breaks.

Rick Dimont, our Hazardous Waste and Waste Reduction Program Manager, was interviewed in last night's WUSA9 TV news segment, titled "CFLs: Handle with Care."

Monday, November 05, 2007

Montgomery County leaf vacuuming begins today

Leaf vacuuming in Montgomery County kicks off today.

While we - the Division of Solid Waste Services - provide weekly curbside yard trim collection, the leaf vacuuming is provided by a sister agency, the County's Highway Maintenance.

Whether or not you have leaf vacuuming service in your neighborhood...
Autumn is a great time to start composting, with fallen leaves as a key ingredient. And, we offer compost bins at no charge to help get you started!

Montgomery County leaf vacuuming begins today

Leaf vacuuming in Montgomery County kicks off today.

While we - the Division of Solid Waste Services - provide weekly curbside yard trim collection, the leaf vacuuming is provided by a sister agency, the County's Highway Maintenance Section.

Whether or not you have leaf vacuuming service in your neighborhood...

Autumn is a great time to start composting, with fallen leaves as a key ingredient. And, we offer compost bins at no charge to help get you started!

Oops! No yard trim in plastic orange pumpkin bags, please!

Those large plastic orange bags which look like pumpkins do add a festive touch to Halloween and fall decorations in your yard.

However, our field staff reports that they are seeing "pumpkin bags" set out at the curb, filled with leaves for yard trim collection.

Oops! We'll gladly pick up your bagged leaves... as long as the bag is paper.

plastic shreds in finished compostWhat's wrong with plastic bags? The leaves we collect go to our Montgomery County Compost Facility. As machinery turns the compost piles, it grinds up material, including the plastic bags. The resulting plastic snippets are a tremendous problem. Not only do they blow around the facility, but they also need to be fished out of the finished compost.

So, if you use "pumpkin bags" to contain items for collection, please use them for your trash rather than for your leaves.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Transfer Station Construction Update

Pardon our dust as we stir up a little more than usual!

Our Solid Waste Transfer Station expansion project is humming along. We are adding a new wing to our tipping floor (that's where the trucks, well, tip out their contents). The addition is on the side of the building facing Frederick Road.

Here are some photos of the project's progress:

The east side of the new wing

Solid Waste Transfer Station expansion project: east side

The inside...

Solid Waste Transfer Station expansion project: inside

The west side of the new wing

Solid Waste Transfer Station expansion project: west side

Friday, November 02, 2007

Our Fall TRRAC and Civic Loop newsletters are available

Our staff has been busy publishing its Fall newsletters! Here are two more, "hot off the presses"!

first page of TRRAC newsletterTRRAC is our program for recycling and waste reduction at apartment and condominium properties.
The November 2007 issue covers:

* the upcoming recycling seminar on November 6
* tips on reducing the amount of cardboard in the trash
* a summary of recent enforcement activity
* a success story from The Waterford Condominium in Kensington

Interested in reading back issues? Visit our TRRAC Newsletter Archive.

first page of TRRAC newsletterThis new issue of the Civic Loop features:

* America Recycles Day
* The holiday recycling collection calendars for the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day holidays
* Mixed paper recycling tips
* Buying recycled

Yes, we have a Civic Loop archive, too!

Happy reading!

And, if you have questions about our programs or events after looking through our newsletters, let us know.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Can I recycle pillows?

From our mailbag:

I have a bunch of bed pillows that have seen better days. I don't want to Freecycle, but was wondering where to recycle them. They are not terrible but, not hygienic enough to pass along
Thanks for your question, P.!

I put the question to the manager of our clothing and textile recycling program. We are able to accept only pillows which are new, and in a bag. So, please dispose of your used pillows in your household trash.

Do you know of other options for used pillows? Please let me know about them!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Our Fall 2007 SORRT Newsletter is available

The Fall 2007 issue of our SORRT Network Newsletter is available on our website.

Our Non-Residential Recycling Program publishes this quarterly newsletter.

Interested in reading back issues? Visit our SORRT Network Newsletter Archive.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Food for thought on products and packaging

One of the first things about which I caution our Behind the Scenes course participants each year is that they may complete the course with more questions than when they began. No, that’s not a typo – not only might the number of questions increase, but the answers may vary depending on the angle of approach.

Revisiting the paper versus plastic question, for example… Going sans bag, or bringing your own reusable one, comes out on top. But, what if you accept a paper bag at the checkout, and then use that bag to bundle your paper recyclables for collection? Or, what if you need plastic bags to line your trash can, or to clean up after your pet? Could it actually be advisable to take a plastic bag at the store, knowing that you’ll reuse it?

What about single-serving containers? What if the multi-serving size of a product uses less packaging overall? Is that a better option? But, what if you were considering the single-serving package because you’d use it all while it was fresh, versus possibly having some of the product in the larger package spoil before you used it?

If you have a choice of plastic tubs or metal cans, which is better? The metal can would be accepted in our program, while the plastic tub would not. But, what if the product in the metal can is more expensive? Would you still purchase it?

Does one type of packaging weigh more than the other? How does that affect the transportation costs of the product?

What factors make up your personal criteria for making product and packaging decision - raw material sourcing? energy usage? water usage? transportation costs? disposal and/or recyclability? potential for reuse? others?

Just some food for thought…

(Posted as our contribution to Blog Action Day)

Monday, October 08, 2007

We're participating in Blog Action Day

Next Monday, October 15, 2007 is Blog Action Day.

Action for what? The environment! Watch for our blog entry next week.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

We now recycle televisions at the Transfer Station

Here's something I enjoyed doing on our website:
Montgomery County does not recycle televisions.

That's right - our recycling program has just expanded! Montgomery County has a brand-new television recycling program at our Solid Waste Transfer Station.

The television recycling containers are located next to the fenced computer recycling area:

photo: television recycling collection boxes at the Solid Waste Transfer Station

After just a few days of operation, many boxes have already been filled with televisions! The attendants at the Transfer Station are doing a great job of notifying residents of our new program when they spot televisions in the material those folks are unloading.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

What do you choose when the clerk asks "Paper or plastic?"

When you are at the store checkout, and the clerk asks whether you want a paper or a plastic bag for your purchase, what's the best answer?

The "More Than Meets the Eye" feature in today's Washington Post looks at this question in detail. For each material, it examines and compares consumption, production, pollution, recycling, and biodegradability.

As solutions, it suggests
  • going without a bag when feasible,
  • buying reusable bags and crates, and
  • creative ways to reuse paper and plastic bags.

To take waste prevention yet another step further, don't buy any new cloth bags until you have first checked at home. Chances are good that you -- or a friend or relative -- already have a bag (or two or three) that would be a great shopping bag.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Book reuse drop-off at our Solid Waste Transfer Station

photo: book reuse drop-off containers at the Transfer StationWhat's better than recycling books? Reusing them!

We accept books in our curbside recycling program, and in our mixed paper recycling container at our Solid Waste Transfer Station. The books we receive are recycled.

Now, we have two blue cans next to the Transfer Station's mixed paper recycling container. They are labeled "Books to Donate". When you put your paperback and hardback books into these cans, they are reused as books, rather than as paper fiber in our recycling program. The books are picked up by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation. This is a pilot program for us.

For other local book reuse opportunities, check our Use It Again database.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Temporary traffic flow changes at our Solid Waste Transfer Station

If you've been to the Solid Waste Transfer Station lately, you noticed our big construction project!

Because of this construction, we temporarily moved our scrap metal section. If you enter from the Frederick Road (Route 355) entrance, drive through the recycling drop-off area towards the bulk wood (yard trim) section. At the 3-way intersection, turn left towards the Transfer Station building. The new scrap metal section is in the lower parking lot, next to the Department of Transportation "shed."

Here's a photo of the bulk wood section...

Bulk wood (yard trim) drop-off area

and this is your new (and temporary) scrap metal destination. The Department of Transportation "shed" is the structure on the right side.

photo: temporary scrap metal recycling section at the Transfer Station

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Monday, September 3, 2007 - Labor Day - modified schedule

Montgomery County-provided recycling and trash collections

Monday, September 3, 2007 - Labor Day - is a recycling and trash collection holiday. After the 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 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.

Shady Grove Transfer Station
Damascus and Poolesville Beauty Spots

Friday, August 10, 2007

Household Hazardous Waste collection dates announced for Fall 2007

What are your options when the Household Hazardous Waste dropoff at the Shady Grove Transfer Station is too far away? See whether one of our community collection events is more conveniently located for you!

Our community collection schedule for Fall 2007 has just been announced. The dates and locations are:
  • Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Silver Spring International Middle School
    313 Wayne Ave, Silver Spring
    (Dale Dr. & Wayne Ave.)

  • Saturday, November 17, 2007
    Westland Middle School
    5511 Massachusetts Avenue, Bethesda
    (west of Little Falls Parkway)
Want reminders about these dates as they get closer, as well as updates about future collection events? I'm glad you asked! Subscribe to our Household Hazardous Waste newsletter.

Details about our Household Hazardous Waste program

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

How you do turn your compost pile?

Photo: Compost turner straddles a row of yard trim material. How do you turn your compost pile? A pitchfork works splendidly for backyard composting. But, when you have 77,000 tons of leaves and grass to process, you need a tool that is a bit more robust.

The folks at our Yard Trim Composting Facility in Dickerson, MD, are delighted with their new tool, this bright blue Backhus compost turner. Compared to the turner it replaced, the Backhus is easier to maintain, because it has fewer moving parts. It is also more energy-efficient. And, it cost less money.

Not only does the new machine use less fuel, but it runs on biodiesel.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Newest version of our "Trash Collection Regulations" available

Trash Recycling Regulations brochure cover
Our newest hot-off-the-press publication is our "Trash Collection Regulations" brochure. Or, if you prefer, our "Regulaciones para la Coleccion de Basura".

This bilingual brochure may not be the next bestseller, but we think it's a pretty handy read. Topics covered include:
  • weekly curbside trash collection
  • bulk trash collection
  • scrap metal recycling collection
  • unacceptable materials
  • Shady Grove Transfer Station hours of operation
  • claims for loss or damages
  • a new section on latex paint disposal
Want print copies of this brochure for your neighborhood, homeowners' association, or other group? Just ask, and we'll be happy to supply them.

The fine print: these trash regulations apply to Montgomery County-provided trash service. If you have privately-provided service, please check with your hauler or community manager for your service details. Not sure about who provides your service? Use our Collection Day Lookup to find out, or call our Customer Service staff at 240-777-6410.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

How to get yard trim decals

From our mailbag:
My neighbor has a label that he pasted on a big waste bin where he puts his garden waste. I use the disposable paper bags which rot out on the bottom if rained on. Where can I get a label such as the ones my neighbor has?
Your new yard trim decals are only a few clicks away; we offer them to you at no charge through our website. Then, watch for the envelope in your mail.

You may also order decals by phone from our Customer Service staff: 240-777-6410.

Monday, July 23, 2007

How may you recycle a riding mower?

From our mailbag:
Would you please inform me of the options for disposing of a riding mower.
Sure! We accept riding mowers at the Shady Grove Transfer Station. However, you must transport the mower there yourself.

Drain any remaining oil and fuel from the mower. Then, bring it to the scrap metal recycling area at the Transfer Station.

More details about our Scrap Metal program

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mark your recycling and trash containers with your house number

Our field staff receives many reports of missing recycling bins, and carts, and trash cans. The missing containers are often found next door or across the street.

The container might have been blown by wind, mistakenly put at a neighbor's curb by the collection crew, or taken in by a neighbor in error.

Recycling bin labeled with a permanent marker. Credit: C. WeddleOne simple action can help keep your containers at home: clearly marking them with your house number. Using a black permanent marker is an easy way to do this; stickers or paint are other options. Program Specialist Neil Einhorn suggests writing numbers at least three inches high.

Having your house number on your containers makes it easy to tell where they belong. It also identifies your recycling containers out of the group if you have a common neighborhood collection point.

Make it easy for your containers to find their way home keeps them available for your use. That also allows our field staff to work on resolving other issues for you.

Want higher-resolution copies of these photographs for use in your publication? Just let us know!

Recycling bin labeled stickers. Credit: K. Boyle

Recycling bin labeled with white paint. Credit: K. Boyle
Recycling cart for paper, labeled with spray paint. Credit: C. Weddle
Trash can labeled with white paint. Credit: K. Boyle

Monday, July 16, 2007

Share your enthusiasm for recycling in our Recycling Volunteer Program

Residents in the metropolitian Washington, DC, area volunteer in greater numbers and contribute more hours than the national average. That's according to a new report on volunteer habits, published by the Corporation for National and Community Service last week.

If you are interested in exploring -- or expanding -- your own volunteer activities, consider our Recycling Volunteer Program! We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout the year, many on weekends. These include positions for students and adults.

To learn more about our Recycling Volunteer Program, contact Ana Arriaza through our website or at 240-777-6445. Our next volunteer training is Saturday, July 21, 2007, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Rockville.

We'll feature more information about our volunteers and their contributions to us and our community in future blog entries!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Wednesday, July 4, 2007 - Independence Day - modified schedules

Montgomery County-provided recycling and trash collections

Wednesday, July 4, 2007 - Independence Day - is a recycling and trash collection holiday. After the 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 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.

Shady Grove Transfer Station

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Please watch your weight... with your Transfer Station loads

Montgomery County residents are welcome to take trash from their homes to the Shady Grove Transfer Station. When you do this, please remember to watch your (load) weight. Residential trash loads must be under 500 pounds.

What if your trash load weighs more?

If your load exceeds this amount, we can accept it Monday through Saturday via the Truck Entrance on Shady Grove Road (it is closed on Sundays). This entrance has vehicle scales to measure your load weight. The fee schedule applies to loads 500 pounds and more, and is prorated for the actual weight of your trash.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Household Hazardous Waste collection in Bethesda - June 30, 2007

Our next Household Hazardous Waste community collection event is on Saturday, June 30, 2007, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Westland Middle School
5511 Massachusetts Avenue (west of Little Falls Parkway)
Bethesda MD 20816

We have a Household Hazardous Waste drop-off facility at the Shady Grove Transfer Station. It is open daily, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Depending on where you live within the County, however, traveling out to the Transfer Station for drop-offs may not be convenient. We offer our community collection events to make proper disposal of your household hazardous products easier.

Want to receive email notices about our Household Hazardous Waste community collection event schedule? Subscribe to our email list for this topic.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Free paper shredding - Germantown - June 23, 2007

Have personal documents to shred? Bring them to the Upcounty Regional Services Center this coming Saturday!
  • Bring up to two medium-sized boxes
  • This event is for personal and paper items only


Upcounty Regional Services Center
12900 Middlebrook Rd
Germantown MD 20874


Saturday, June 23, 2007, 10:00 a.m. to Noon


Friday, June 15, 2007

How to dispose of leftover latex paint

In my last post, I hinted that latex paint from your home projects could be easily disposed of at home.

Ideally, you'll use up all of the paint from your project (with the possible exception of a small amount for touch-ups), or you'll be able to give the remainder away. When neither is an option...

Simply dry up the remaining latex paint, and then put the solidified paint into your regular household trash. Allow small amounts to dry in a well-ventilated area. For larger amounts, use paint hardener, or alternatives like mulch, kitty litter, or shredded paper. (Detailed latex paint disposal instructions)

If the paint can is metal, we'll recycle it for you! After trash is burned in our waste-to-energy facility, a magnet pulls ferrous metals out of the remaining ash. That collected metal is then recycled.

Remember, please do not bring latex paint to our Household Hazardous Waste Collections, because it is not a hazardous material. However, leftover oil-based paint should always be disposed of as hazardous waste.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Paint giveaway mentioned on Craigslist

This morning, someone posted an "offer" for the free paint we have at the Shady Grove Transfer Station to the "free items" section of Craigslist. Thanks for the publicity!

The paint comes from residents who bring it to our Household Hazardous Waste drop-off program. Instead of disposing of it, we are pleased to offer the full cans we receive back to you for reuse.

Latex/water-based paint is not a hazardous waste. In fact, it is very expensive for us to handle it as such. We found that paint disposal was taking a significant amount of money from our hazardous waste budget. The free paint program is one way for us to more cost-effectively handle the paint brought to us. That leaves more money available for processing the materials which truly do need special disposal.

It's easy to dispose of the leftovers from your latex painting projects at home. Details to follow in my next post...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

May flower pots and trays be recycled?

You've put the plants into your garden. It's time to clean up... can you recycle the plastic flower pots and trays? It's tempting... they've got the recycling arrows on them. But... please don't add them to your recycling bin.

We are able to accept all plastic bottles with necks. What about those pots and trays, then? Gardeners are often happy to take these for use with their own seedlings. Otherwise, please put these items into your household trash.

However, if a plastic bottle has held hazardous contents -- that purple bottle in the photo is labeled "Wasp & Hornet Killer" -- then please put the empty bottle into your household trash as well.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

How to dispose of compact fluorescent light bulbs

Updated information posted November 20, 2008

From our mailbag:
Do electric light bulbs and fluorescent tubes go into the
recycling bin?
Thanks for asking! No, the only glass we accept in our curbside blue bin recycling program is that used for bottles and jars.

To dispose of incandescent ("regular") light bulbs, please wrap them in paper, and place them into your regular household trash. (Why put otherwise recyclable paper into the trash? Recycling as much as possible is important, but your safety and the collection crew's safety is even more important. Wrapping the bulb in paper helps prevent injury by containing the glass shards if the bulb breaks.)

To dispose of your compact fluorescent light bulbs, please take them to our Household Hazardous Waste drop-off sites, if this is practical for you. (They contain a small amount of mercury.) If it is not practical, please wrap and put the compact fluorescent bulb into your regular household trash, as you would an incandescent bulb.

What if a bulb breaks? The US EPA website has clean-up instructions for broken compact fluorescent light bulbs.

To help your household be prepared, I've updated our "How to Recycle/Dispose of: Fluorescent light bulbs and tubes" page with this information.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Will your collection day be affected by a holiday?

How do you know whether or not a holiday will affect your recycling and trash collection service?
Subscribe to our email announcement list or news feed to get the inside scoop on holiday service changes.

We generally send out our holiday reminder emails and update our news feed about one week prior to a holiday. We use the same channels to update subscribers about service changes due to snow, ice, and storms.

Confused by holiday collection information you've seen or read in the media? Sometimes it's incorrect. When you have questions, please ask! (Our website may have the answer to your question, too.)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Outstanding recyclers honored during Recycling Awareness Week

Today, our Recycling Awareness Week activity was a celebration!

We recognized 50 businesses, organizations and individuals, and 20 multi-family properties, property managers and individuals in the following categories:

* excellence in recycling for businesses and multi-family properties recycling more than 50 percent of their waste in 2006

* outstanding achievement for those businesses, employees, property owners/managers, and multi-family properties and individuals for their contributions to successful recycling, waste reduction, buying recycled and educational efforts.

Congratulations to all!

Recycling Section Chief Eileen Kao presents remarks at the ceremony.

Awardees enjoy lunch together.
Awardees enjoy lunch together at the Awards Ceremony.

An awardee chats with Division staff.
Recycling tips were shared at information displays.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Poster content winners honored during Recycling Awareness Week

Award ceremony attendees admire posters submitted for the contest.This evening, we presented awards to winners of Montgomery County Public School’s annual recycling poster contest “Our Earth is a Gift, Give it a Lift, Recycle!”

Up to five winners from each of six grade levels and up to five winners from each of two special categories were recognized at the awards reception.

The ceremony was hosted by the Division of Solid Waste Services.

Monday, May 21, 2007

We're celebrating Recycling Awareness Week from May 21 to 25, 2007

This week is National Public Works Week, relevant to us because we are in the Montgomery County Department of Public Works and Transportation.

We in the Division of Solid Waste Service have additional cause for celebration this week, as we honor Recycling Awareness Week from May 21 to 25, 2007. Hats off to the outstanding recyclers and contest winners we're naming over the coming days!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Free mulch available in Silver Spring

UPDATE, April 3, 2013:
The Silver Spring Mulch Preserve is closed.  We continue to offer mulch in Derwood and Poolesville.  Visit our Neighborhood Mulch Preserve page for details.

Our "Neighborhood Mulch Preserve" in Silver Spring [link removed] is (re)opened for business! We had closed it for a few weeks while figuring out some restocking issues. Consider taking some of this mulch for your next project. And, did I mention that it's available at no charge? Come early and often; bring your own containers and shovels/pitchforks!

I heard the mulch is green... What you're offering looks pretty brown to me...

You're right: it is brown in color. It's called "green" because it's freshly-ground mulch. That's fine for applications like covering pathways. However, don't use it around your prized petunias until it's aged for at least a few months. Why not? Fresh mulch uses nitrogen as it decomposes. If spread around tender plants, the mulch would compete with them for that nitrogen, and chances are that the plants wouldn't fare so well.

What is the mulch made of?

The ingredients are simple: the brush Montgomery County residents set out for curbside pickup, and the brush delivered directly to the Shady Grove Transfer Station.

Where do I get your mulch?

Here are the details for the Silver Spring location. 


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Visit Cloverly Day for yet another paper shredding opportunity

You "Talkin' Trash" readers are training me well! Because of your keen interest in paper shredding opportunities in our area, my eyes now perk up when I spy news of such events.

When I saw the announcement for Cloverly Day, and read that free paper shredding was one of the featured activities, I knew I had to find out more.

Here's the scoop on the details:
Cloverly Day
Saturday, April 28, 2007
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cloverly Towne Center (corner of Briggs Chaney Rd and New Hampshire Ave), Silver Spring

The paper shredding will be done by Shred-It, and is sponsored by BB&T Bank.

Related posts:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

National Public Works Week photo contest

A neighborhood street on which each driveway has blue bins and paper carts standing sentry at the driveway... a container brimming with colorful recyclables... a collection crew working in smooth rhythm, emptying bins as it goes along... These are some of the daily images on which we Division of Solid Waste Services folks feast our eyes!

What recycling and trash scenes and images capture your interest? Snap a photo, and enter it in the National Public Works Week photo contest, sponsored by the Montgomery County Department of Public Works! The prizes are: first place - $100 U.S. Savings bond, second place - $75 bond, and third place - $50 bond.

From the press release:
"The theme for this year's content is “Public Works: Moving Life Forward,” and includes any public works operation such as road work, Ride On bus service, trash or recycling collections, or pedestrian safety improvements."

This contest is actually a two-fer: Entries in the National Public Works Week competition will automatically be entered in the Keep Montgomery County Beautiful Task Force photography contest, too.

Fire up your cameras! I look forward to seeing your entries!

Download National Public Works Week photo contest nomination form

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Don't your paper shreds fly out of your compost pile?

So, if you add shredded paper to your compost pile, don't the shreds fly around?

Great question! Yes, they could. If the bin isn't full to the top, I've found that the shreds tend to stay inside. Sprinkling a little water on top of the shreds [using water from your rain barrel, of course :-) ] helps to keep fly-away shreds in place as well.

Composting = another way to recycle shredded paper

We've covered taking your personal papers to a Community Shred event and how to prepare documents you shred at home for curbside recycling collection. Now, let's take that even closer to home: your backyard!

What is paper but another carbon source for the bacteria and other decomposer-critters in your compost pile? Let paper shreds be another part of their well-rounded diet!

Once the shreds decompose, your personal information -- be it your Social Security number, your bank or brokerage account numbers, your name, address, and phone number and more -- will all be indistinguishable from the rich, dark compost.

The shreds are a nice balance to the "greens" (nitrogen-rich material) you put into your compost pile, like the winter weeds you may be pulling on these warm Spring days. And, there's a certain satisfaction in knowing that bills, financial statements, and the like will find additional use in nurturing the soil in your garden.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Celebrate Earth Day with us on April 21, 2007

Celebrate Earth Day with us in Rockville, Maryland!

The fine print:
April 21, 2007
11:00 am to 3:00 pm, rain or shine!
850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, Maryland
(on the parking lot at the intersection of Route 355 and Mannakee Street)

Planned activities for the day include opportunities to:
  • Take a tour of the Recycling Center
    • Tour buses will arrive/depart 850 Hungerford Drive every 15 minutes
  • See energy-efficient vehicles
  • Great family entertainment
  • Make earth-friendly crafts
  • Refreshments available
  • Learn more about:
    • Recycling
    • Waste reduction
    • Buying recycled products
    • Environmentally-friendly homes & landscaping
Typically, the Recycling Center is open only on weekdays. So, grab this rare weekend opportunity to see how your blue bin items are separated by material before being sent out to processors.

Download Earth Day flier (PDF, 164 kb)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

May I recycle cardboard soda can cases?

From our mailbag:
Should plastic coated cardboard (ex.: cases for soda cans) be placed in the blue bins?
Thanks for asking, R.M.! What looks like a plastic coating on those soda can cases is probably a thin clay coating. (Clay?! Yes, it is helpful in creating higher-quality printing.)

Yes, please do recycle your soda can cases in Montgomery County's paper recycling collection. If you use a wheeled cart for your paper, just toss in the cases with your other recyclable paper items -- no bundling or tying required! If you don't use a cart, add the cases to your bundled paper, and then set the bundle(s) on top of or next to your blue bins or blue can.

The cardboard cases -- and all other paper -- must be bundled or tied before you place them into a blue bin or blue can. Why? Our collection and sorting processes handle paper separately from the cans, bottles, and jars you recycle in your blue bins and cans. When your paper is bundled or tied, the collection crew is able to grab it easily, and to toss it into the paper compartment of the truck.

Monday, March 12, 2007

How to recycle shredded paper at home

Community Shred events and the services offered by document destruction companies are but one tool for handling your sensitive documents.

Many of us now have shredders at home. (We also know that some households have, ahem, manual shredding services -- often accidental -- in the form of the youngest family members... ) Those shreds are accepted in Montgomery County's curbside paper recycling program.

sandwich shredded paper between unshredded paper in your wheeled paper cartThe challenge for you -- and for us -- is to keep the shreds from becoming confetti in your neighborhood as your paper awaits pickup at the curb, and as it's loaded into the truck.

One easy way to contain shredded paper is to put it into a paper bag or cardboard box.

If you use one of our wheeled paper recycling carts, simply "sandwich" your shreds between non-shredded paper so that these are neither at the very bottom nor at the very top of your cart.

There's one more entry to come in this mini-series on shredded paper... Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Safe & Secure Community Shred in Gaithersburg on March 31, 2007

I know many of you blog visitors are interested in finding paper shredding, or document destruction, opportunities...

The next NBC4 Safe & Secure Community Shred event will be held on Saturday, March 31, 2007, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in two locations: Gaithersburg, MD and Chantilly, VA.

This free event will accept up to 5 boxes of your personal papers -- no business or commercial items, please. Details about accepted material and the Community Shred program

Here's the Gaithersburg information:

Gaithersburg Mercantile Potomac Bank
702 Russell Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
map for this location

Next in this series:

Friday, March 02, 2007

King County, WA, has new EcoConsumer blog

Tom Watson, in King County, Washington, lead a program called EcoConsumer. What's an EcoConsumer?
"EcoConsumer = A natural balance of consuming and conserving..."
And now, Tom's writing the EcoConsumer Blog! Among his recent entries, a review of EcoHangers, "Do Not Mail" bills (one's under consideration here in Maryland), and an EcoConsumer's Bill of Rights.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

New Federal Guidelines for Disposal of Prescription Drugs

On Tuesday, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a press release announcing new guidelines for proper disposal of prescription drugs.

The webpage with the guideline details includes a video clip demonstrating one way to prepare no-longer-needed drugs for disposal.

The guidelines recommend checking for local community take-back programs for prescription drugs -- the Division of Solid Waste Services does not offer this, and I am not aware of any other take-back opportunities in the greater Washington, DC, area. (If you do, please let me know!)

Our instructions for prescription drug disposal -- which mirror the Federal ones -- are on our website. We also have a few medicine recycling organizations included in our Use It Again guide.

Please remember to avoid "sea burial" in your toilet or sink for most medications. Why? Because it's best to keep those drugs out of our waste water stream, and ultimately our environment.

Friday, February 16, 2007

How to dispose of Car Seats / Child Safety Seats

Not long ago, we received two emails in one week about how to dispose of car seats. I took that as a sign... indicating that this information needed to be posted to our website.

And, after wonderful collaboration with the Montgomery County Child Passenger Safety Program, we now have just that, "hot off the press": our instructions for how to dispose of a car seat / child safety seat in Montgomery County.

Coincidentally, in checking the links on our new page, I discovered that February 11-17, 2007, is Child Passenger Safety Week, so our information addition is timely!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

New "Furniture Exchange" Program offers at-home pickup

When you've got furniture you would like to donate, getting a vehicle large enough to transport it can be a limiting factor...

That's why our new partnership with Community Ministry of Montgomery County should be helpful to you. Through the Furniture Exchange, you can bring your no-longer-needed items directly to the program warehouse, or... request a pickup from your home!

From a Community Ministry newsletter (italics mine):
CMMC’s Furniture Exchange is now operating out of its new warehouse at 12221 Parklawn Drive in Rockville. Clients can shop for their own furniture, from among the stock we have on hand, and schedule their own deliveries with our Client Services Manager. Shopping hours are Fridays from 9:00A to 12:00N. Call 301-468-4830 to learn more about our new program guidelines or visit us on the web at As always, we are in need of gently used beds of all sizes, dressers, sofas, loveseats, kitchen tables and chairs, dining room tables and chairs, cribs, and desks. Your beautiful, unwanted furniture can make a great difference to someone in need. Offer your donations at
Additional tips: We list additional furniture reuse programs in our Use It Again guide. And, our very active local Freecycle Network groups remain another great way to give new life to used furniture.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Household Hazardous Waste Collection: Silver Spring, May 19, 2007

We've announced our first community Household Hazardous Waste collection event for 2007!

This collection will operate from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m:
  • Saturday, May 19, 2007: Silver Spring
    Silver Spring International Middle School
    313 Wayne Ave, Silver Spring
    (Dale Dr. & Wayne Ave.)
Updated 2/16/07: we've now got a collection on Saturday, June 30, 2007, too! It will be held at Westland Middle School, 5511 Massachusetts Avenue (west of Little Falls Parkway) ,

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

Friday, January 26, 2007

Prepare for your trip to our Transfer Station

Because we want you to know about our regulations for using our Shady Grove Solid Waste Transfer Station before you've carefully loaded your materials into your vehicle and made the drive over...

Check out the Public Unloading Facility Regulations (for trash drop-off) we just posted to our website. Find out which trucks are allowed when, trailer use, and more.

Did we leave your question about using the Transfer Station unanswered? Let me know -- I'll work on getting the answer included on this page.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Praise for a collection crew

I spotted this compliment for a Kensington recycling crew in the Washington Post's Metro section today:
Not only are they about the hardest-working people I've seen in a long time, but they also are conscientious about doing a good job at one of the least-glamorous tasks there is.
Thanks, Mr. Schaper, for your kind words to your neighborhood crew. We agree!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Molded plastic fruit packaging: trash or treasure?

molded plastic fruit packageOur field staff are out and about on each collection day. As they walk and drive through neighborhoods, they see the contents of many, many recycling bins.

I received this photo from a field colleague who's seeing a lot of this molded plastic packaging set out in blue bins right now. This packaging style is often used in warehouse stores, and generally holds fruit like apples and oranges.

Thank you for your enthusiasm in adding this item to your blue bins! Unfortunately, we cannot accept these molded plastics in our recycling program.

So, what should you do with this tray packaging? At this time of year, it might be ideal for storing the holiday decorations you're putting away for the next season. Your household is likely to have some other creative reuses, too.

And, if you don't have a reuse for the packaging, please put it into your household trash.

Monday, January 08, 2007

How might I recycle old Christmas lights?

Updated holiday light recycling information posted November 10, 2010

From our mailbag:
Just wondering how i might recycle old christmas lights? (C9 size)

Thanks for your question! A few moments on Google showed that these are the familiar strings of holiday lights.

Sorry, none of our Montgomery County, MD, recycling programs accept these light strings. If the strings are broken, please dispose of them in your regular household trash.

If they still work, consider offering them on your local Freecycle Network group for reuse. Lots of Christmas lights have already exchanged hands, and yours are likely to find a new home in short order as well. That's even better than reycling them!

January 15, 2007: Martin Luther King, Jr., Day - normal collection schedule

Monday, January 15, 2007 - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 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.

(Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. The texts of his Acceptance Speech and Nobel Lecture are online.)

Friday, January 05, 2007

From the Transfer Station to the Waste-to-Energy Facility

I previously left you hanging with the question: Where does the trash go after it leaves the Transfer Station?

photo: aerial view of Resource Recovery FacilityAfter waste leaves our Shady Grove Solid Waste Transfer Station, it travels by rail to our Resource Recovery Facility in Dickerson, Maryland.

Waste-to-energy is a process which combusts waste at extremely high temperatures, and converts the stored internal energy of waste into usable energy, such as steam or electricity.

Montgomery County's facility typically operates at temperatures above 2000°F, thereby destroying pathogens, bacteria and toxins. It reduces the volume of waste approximately 90 percent. Electricity generated is sold to offset the costs of operation.

Tour the Resource Recovery Facility