Friday, May 31, 2013

County’s Trash and Recycling Crews Tour the Recycling Center

Take a walk on the other side of the tipping floor, on which recycling collection trucks dump—or “tip—their loads at the Montgomery County Recycling Center...

The Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services contracts with collection companies for recycling and trash pickups. Recently, employees from all three of our collections contractors got a chance to see what happens to the recyclable materials they deliver to our Recycling Center. Where do the paper and the "commingled", or blue bin, items go?

Here are employees of Potomac Disposal, Inc. Other crews came from Ecology Services, Inc., and Unity Disposal and Recycling, LLC.

Potomac Disposal employees in front of the Recycling Center

Come along with DSWS Collections managers Joe O’Donnell and G. A. Corrick as they take crews through the Recycling Center to show them the other side of the tipping floor:

Understanding the process helps everyone recycle better! You can help our recycling crews by keeping your paper and cardboard separated from your cans, bottles, jars, and containers. To recycle large metal items, call 311 to schedule a scrap metal pickup, or place your scrap metal request online.

Walk on the recycle side…,
Jessica Fusillo,
Collections Communications

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Memorial Day 2013 - modified trash and recycling collection schedule

Sign up for our Holiday Reminder email and text messages

Monday, May 27, 2013 - Memorial Day - is a recycling and trash collection holiday. After the holiday, all County-provided recycling and trash collections will slide, and be one day later than normal.

If your collection day is
Your collection day this week is
Monday Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Tuesday Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Wednesday Thursday, May 30, 2013
Thursday Friday, May 31, 2013
Friday Saturday, June 1, 2013

If you have questions or concerns about your County-provided collection, please call the Montgomery County Customer Service Center (MC311) at 311 (out-of-County: 240-777-0311, TTY: 301-251-4850).

If you (or your community) have a private contract for your trash collection, or if you live in a municipality, our schedule announcements may not apply to your trash service -- check with your hauler or community manager.

Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station

Transfer Station location, hours and other details
  • Saturday, May 25, 2013: Open with normal hours.
  • Sunday, May 26, 2013: Open with normal hours.
  • Monday, May 27, 2013: Entire facility closed.

Poolesville Beauty Spot

Beauty Spot location, hours and other details
  • Saturday, May 25, 2013: Open with normal hours.
  • Sunday, May 26, 2013: Open with normal hours.

Did you catch these recent posts to our blog?

This week is Recycling Awareness Week 2013

May 20 to 24 is Recycling Awareness Week 2013 in Montgomery County! We'll post the list of Award winners to our website on Wednesday.

--Susanne Wiggins

Monday, May 20, 2013

Stock up for your next project at our Paint Giveaway

Get ready to... paint! If you need paint or stain for your next project, come visit our Paint Giveaway at the Transfer Station. It is located in at Hazardous Waste Drop-off. See Paint Giveaway details

Our "inventory" changes daily, and the price is right: "shop" at no charge!

When people bring paint to the Hazardous Waste Drop-off, we check the full and nearly-full cans to see whether the product inside is still in usable condition. If it is, we sort the cans by type, and set them out for you to take.

Selecting paint from our Giveaway is a chance to try out colors, brands, and finishes. Be creative - we'd love to see photos of your projects!

If you have unneeded paint yourself, follow our easy instructions for handling latex paint. If you have oil-based paints and finishes, use them up, pass them on, or bring them to us for hazardous waste disposal.

--Susanne Wiggins

Friday, May 17, 2013

Our Collections Staff reaches out to diverse communities

From Touch-a-Truck Days in Silver Spring to the Housing Fair in Gaithersburg, our Collections Staff has been visiting with residents across the County to share information about our trash and recycling collections programs.

Staff member Mike Krumlauf attended Truck Day at Silver Spring Nursery School, accompanied by a recycling truck from Unity Disposal, LLC. Families lined up to recycle and to sit in the driver’s seat of a recycling truck!

Families lined up to visit recycling truck.

Staff member Gabe George got some high-tech feedback from future scientists and residents at the Rockville Science Fair.

Staff member Joyce Fountain spoke with first-time home buyers at the Housing Fair.

Coming up soon: We are also reaching out into areas of the county with low recycling participation – stay tuned for our reports!

-- Jessica Fusillo, Collections Communications

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Visit the Recycling Center and Transfer Station in County Report This Week (Episode #160)

Learn more about our recent waste sort, and about the County's increased recycling goal in Episode #160 of County Report This Week.

Scroll forward to the 17-minute mark to watch join Montgomery College students on a visit to the Recycling Center and Transfer Station.

Interviews with Ray Liou and Eileen Kao of the Division of Solid Waste Services are also featured.

--Susanne Wiggins

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What does it cost to recycle, or to dispose of, a ton of trash?

What does it cost to recycle, or to dispose of, a ton of trash?

The answer is that “it depends.”

We analyzed expenses for 12 of our activities, or “cost centers” to better understand the cost per ton of each.

The results are in our newly-updated report: “Annual Average Unit Cost Trends”.

--Susanne Wiggins

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Map: Where can I pick up a compost bin?

map of compost bin pickup locations

Today’s Monday Map features our compost bin pickup locations. Our bins are available to residents and businesses at no additional charge.

We had an existing webpage with a text version of the various locations. Next to each address was a map link for that particular site.

However, what if you weren't sure which site was most convenient? You had to click through to each map.  And, on our end, we had 18 map links to maintain.

Our GIS specialist, Angie, had a better solution! In honor of International Compost Awareness Week, she put all of the location information into one file. We uploaded that to our website. Then, we used Google Maps to display that information on one map, giving you a better overview.

The map markers on our first version were hard to see, so Angie changed those to more visible red dots.  She also refined the address and phone number display which pops up for each location.

How else can we improve our online maps for you?

Visit our compost bin pickup location page
View a larger version of the map

-- Susanne Wiggins

Monday, May 06, 2013

Monday Map: Recycling/Trash Collection Days

map of residential solid waste collection days

View larger version of map (PDF)

To determine your solid waste collection day, we analyze the routes the trucks must take, and the number of homes in an area.

If we provide your service, we collect all of your solid waste material -- recycling, yard trim, and in some areas, trash -- on the same day. (Please remember to set your items out at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on your collection day!)

Need to know the day of your Montgomery County collection? Use our Collection Day Lookup, or call Montgomery County's Customer Service Center at 311 . (From out-of-County, dial 240-777-0311; TTY: 301-251-4850)

If Montgomery County does not provide your trash service, verify your collection day(s) with your homeowners association, municipality, or private collector.

--Angie Braun

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Notes from the Field: Checking in on our waste streams

In January, we had several Talkin’ Trash blog posts about the Montgomery County’s waste stream. Inspector Boyle, from Collections, took us to the Recycling Center to talk about paper contamination in the waste stream. We also peeked into the January 2013 Quarterly "Tip and Sort" sampling to find out more about what is in our waste stream.

Our field sampling and sorting studies help us quantify and characterize the solid waste originating from residential (single-family and multi-family) and non- residential (commercial, institutional and industrial) sources received at the County’s Solid Waste Transfer Station.

Last week, we held our latest Tip and Sort. Workers carefully sifted samples of incoming loads into pre-defined categories. See more sorting photos.

Workers separate trash and recyclables into categories.

What do these quarterly studies mean for the average resident? We use the collected data and its analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of our outreach, and see how we might improve our programs and services.

After speaking with Ray Liou, a Division of Solid Waste Services engineer and the Tip and Sort program manager, I got a better understanding of what some of the statistics mean for residents. He explained that these numbers help the Division see what areas of our programs are successful and what types of recycling need more attention. They also provide an indication of which sectors of the county might benefit from more outreach.

So when the study is released, here’s my cheat sheet for analyzing the data for trends in our trash:

  1. What is the impact of the Carryout Bag Law on our waste stream? We expect to see a decreased amount of shopping bag plastics in our waste stream.
    Plastic shopping bag
    Paradoxically, as the amount of recyclables removed from the waste stream increases, the percent of other material types remaining in the trash may increase, too. One of these materials may be food waste.
  2. How can we reduce food waste from our waste stream?Simple composting of coffee grounds is a great start!

We’ll continue to update you on the progress of our Tip and Sort waste stream evaluations and find out where they will take us!

-- Jessica Fusillo, Collections Communications