Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Can we recycle salted nut canisters?

Cardboard and foil can with lidFrom our mailbag:
Can we recycle salted nut canisters (cylindrical paper with metal bottom and metal top rim)?
Thanks for your question, D. Another resident asked us a very similar question a short while later. And, it's one we faced in my own household last month with a coffee can of similar construction -- we stood there in the kitchen, debating the pros and cons of the various disposal and recycling options... So, the topic is ripe for a blog entry!

Our recycling program cannot accept containers made of more than one type of material; so the nut (and coffee and similar) canisters would be a "no" since the metal rim and foil paper would be a contaminant of the mixed paper recycling process.

On the bright side, the plastic lid is accepted in our recycling program!

So, the bottom line is this:
if you don't have a reuse for it, please

Update, 1/15/2010:

This post generated several reader responses – thanks!

You asked whether we still accept milk and juice cartons - which may have plastic spouts and lids - or juice and drink boxes. Yes, we do! Please continue to add these to your paper recycling.

The beverage cartons and boxes are recycled using a process called hydropulping. This process is able to separate plastics, such as the plastic spout or lid, from the coated paper fibers. On the other hand, the paper-type canisters can have layers of wrapping and metal which is difficult for paper recyclers to remove. While these containers may look similar, the processes for handling them do vary. Therefore, the canisters are not recyclable in our program.

Some of you suggested creative ways to make the most of your canisters:
  • “I often have containers that have metal tops and bottoms and a cardboard body. I tend to take pliers to them and rip off the top and bottom and put them in our "metal" bin which we occasionally take to the Transfer Station metal area.” – submitted by M.
  • “We use these nut containers to pour grease into, then let it harden or refrigerate it and put it into the trash. Keep grease from going down your drain.” – submitted by B.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Snow update for January 8, 2010 - normal recycling + trash collection schedule

We are running our normal Friday recycling and trash collection schedule today, January 8, 2010.

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.