Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How may I replace my cracked or broken recycling bin?

The photo in my last blog post had a badly cracked recycling bin in the foreground. If you have one in similar condition, how do you get a replacement bin?

You may order a new bin at no charge through our "web store", or by calling our Customer Service staff at 240-777-6410.

If you'd like us to take your broken bin when we deliver your new bin, just let us know during the ordering process. We send the broken bins we pick up to a recycler.

The bin deliveries and pickups are made by our staff, not the recycling collection crews. Therefore, while your new bin may arrive on your recycling day, it is possible that it will happen on another day.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Why are trash can lids replaced upside down?

We invite residents to share their comments via a survey about our recycling and trash collection service to them.

One recent survey respondent wrote:

Do not like that the can tops are "stuffed" inside -- but I guess that takes less time that putting them back on. Perhaps the crews should just leave the tops flat on the ground rather than stuffing them inside.

After collection, crews are not supposed to jam lids down into your containers. They are, however, supposed to place the lids back upside down.

Why upside down?

When crews replace the lids upside down, this signals their supervisors that the containers have been emptied. This way, the supervisors don't need to stop at a container, lift the lid, and check inside, which would be very inefficient, given that daily routes cover several hundred addresses, and many more containers.

Similarly, emptied wheeled paper carts are replaced with their handles facing the street, and recycling bins are replaced upside down after being serviced.

And regarding that badly cracked recycling bin in the photo and what to do about it, that's the topic of my next post!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's National Poison Prevention Week

This week -- from March 15 to March 21, 2009 -- is National Poison Prevention Week.

Did you know these facts about poisons?

  • Most poisonings involve everyday household items such as medicines, cleaning supplies, cosmetics and personal care items.
  • 93 percent of all poison exposures occur in the home.
  • 51 percent of poison exposures occur in children under the age of six.
  • Over 70 percent of all poison fatalities occur in adults ages 20 to 59.

Where should you turn for help? The National Capital Poison Center serves our area. Have a poison emergency? Call 1-800-222-1222 immediately for help at no charge!

Some resources for poison prevention information:

If you find no-longer-needed or wanted poisons in your home, garage or garden, bring them to our Hazardous Waste program. Prevention is better than the cure!

Monday, March 16, 2009

May I put this plastic tub in my recycling bin?

A friend brought me this warehouse-store-sized plastic tub, made from plastic resin #1. She knew it wasn’t recyclable in our Montgomery County program, but hoped that maybe I’d have a (re)use for it.

I tried, but a few weeks later, it was still gracing the same spot in my office, untouched. Before I tossed it out, though, I had one more thing to do: photograph it for our plastics do’s and don’t gallery.

We do accept plastic containers, tubs and lids pails and buckets; we can’t take non-bottle items made from resins #1 (polyethylene terephthalate) -- like this tub and lid -- or #6 (polystyrene and Styrofoam™ products).

Are you unsure about whether to toss a plastic item into your recycling bin or trash can? Write to us with a description, and we'll share the answers here.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Transfer Station closed @ 5 p.m. today - March 2, 2009

Our Solid Waste Transfer Station closed at 5 p.m. today, due to icy conditions.

It's snowing! - Normal recycling / trash schedule today

Snow falling on trash can and recycling bin
What a start to the month of March, which is roaring in like a lion!  Snow is contining to fall as I write this.

If today is your recycling and trash collection day, please have your items out at the curb.  We are aiming for our normal recycling and trash collection schedule. 

Please have your items visible from the street and at the curb, so that they are not hidden by snow banks or parked cars.

Trucks may begin their rounds with a delay. If a hill or street is not passable, the crew will make another attempt later in the day or tomorrow.