Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Blue Bin Survey, Week 2 - Notes from the Field

Monday, February 4, 2013
Area 1, Route 5
Collections Staff: Jessica Fusillo

Our Recycling Bin Survey continues…

For those of you who missed us last week, our field staff is checking blue bins to see how well our recycling message is making it to the curb.

At 6:57 am this morning, in a small townhome community off of Tuckerman Lane, it was just the crows and me…

crows in tree

It’s week two of our survey, and my hands are so cold they hurt—I think they are turning blue. No, maybe it’s just my pen…

gloved hand with pen

Each bin and can has its own story to tell…

Ah, perfection! This is an A+ example of a set-out for a townhouse. There's a small blue cart for paper; a blue bin with glass, plastic, and metal; and a trash can.

trash can, recycling bin, and paper cart at the curb

Oops!  Here is a mixed-up bin!  It looks so neat, but alas, has so many issues. What’s wrong with this bin? (Hints: Foam packaging is trash. The box is made of wood. The paper needs to be bundled.)

blue bin with trash items (foam packaging, wooden box, wire)

Now, about that wire—perhaps a coated metal is a stretch but… let’s move on to the next address.  Paper in a plastic bag is in desperate need of a cart, a second blue bin or being bundled into that department store shopping bag that's peeking out.

recyclable paper set out in a plastic bag

Dirty containers and unbundled paper make it difficult to keep our "dual recycling stream" (cans, bottles, jars, lids and containers; and paper) clean.

dirty containers and loose paper in blue recycling bin

Hmm, this bin has too many plastic bags! Again, a second bin or a townhouse paper cart would resolve this situation.

overflowing blue bin, with excess items in plastic bags

Please avoid plastic bags for recyclables which don't fit into your blue bin. Call Montgomery County's Customer Service Center at 311 or go online to request a new blue bin or a paper recycling cart!

close-up of recyclables in plastic bag

Technically this is a good use of containers; however, as you can see, that overflowing paper in the bin causes "litter before collection". Loose paper also makes it difficult for our collection crews to dump the paper into the hopper of the truck without spilling more paper.

Solution: Use one of the boxes in the blue cart and stuff it with the paper overflow!

recycling bin overflowing with paper

What are your suggestions for helping us recycle more efficiently with our dual stream collection system?

In Montgomery County, we process and collect paper separately from bottles and cans. All of the collected material is transported to our Materials Recovery Facility, or "Recycling Center", where it is sorted and readied for market. This facility is located at the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station on Shady Grove Road and is open for tours!

worker sorting plastic on conveyer belt

-- posted by Jessica Fusillo, Collections Field Staff

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:13 PM

    I'm so glad you are doing this. I have often wanted to give my neighbors a ticket for being so careless with what they put in their various containers. You are pointing it out so much better
    and I hope you publicize the photos.


Have a comment? Let us know what you think about this post. All comments are subject to Montgomery County's social media policy.