Friday, April 15, 2011

Earth Month 2011: Recycling and trash collection by the numbers

Posted as part of our Earth Month 2011 "GoGreen News and Tips" series...

In preparation for Earth Month, we asked for your questions about our work. An email from resident G. inspired this "by the numbers" look at our recycling and trash collection operations:
"How many trash & recycle (separately) trucks are there and how many employees do this amazing work?"

Our contractors send out 107 trucks on each collection day:

  • 52 recycling trucks
  • 27 trash trucks
  • 24 yard trim trucks
  • 4 scrap metal recycling trucks

Each truck has 2 people on it, so there are 214 crew members: 107 drivers and 107 helpers. In addition, there are 15 contractor supervisors and 11 County Inspectors out "in the field" with the crews.

Together, they have the opportunity to make over half a million pickups each week. (Even though not every home puts out every type of eligible material on a given collection day, it still needs to be checked):

  • recycling pickups for 211,317 homes
  • yard trim pickups for 211,317 homes
  • trash pickups for 90,993 homes

In addition, we provide about 500 bulk trash and 500 scrap metal recycling pickups weekly.

And, each week, we deliver roughly 350 new blue bins and 50 new wheeled paper recycling carts.

Requests for bulk trash and scrap metal recycling pickups, and for new recycling bins are consistently in the top ten service categories for calls coming in to the County's MC311 Customer Service Center.

The error rate across all of our pickup types is remarkably low: about 10 missed collections are reported per week. Our two most important tips:

  1. Have your recyclables and/or trash out at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on your collection day.
  2. When you set out yard trim in trash cans, use our green yard trim decals, and have the decals facing the street for the crews to see.

G. also wrote:

"I'd love a tour and I know my kids would enjoy it as well."

Great! We'd love to see you, too, either virtually or in person:

Coming up next week: news from the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station!