Monday, October 15, 2007
One of the first things about which I caution our Behind the Scenes course participants each year is that they may complete the course with more questions than when they began. No, that’s not a typo – not only might the number of questions increase, but the answers may vary depending on the angle of approach.
Revisiting the paper versus plastic question, for example… Going sans bag, or bringing your own reusable one, comes out on top. But, what if you accept a paper bag at the checkout, and then use that bag to bundle your paper recyclables for collection? Or, what if you need plastic bags to line your trash can, or to clean up after your pet? Could it actually be advisable to take a plastic bag at the store, knowing that you’ll reuse it?
What about single-serving containers? What if the multi-serving size of a product uses less packaging overall? Is that a better option? But, what if you were considering the single-serving package because you’d use it all while it was fresh, versus possibly having some of the product in the larger package spoil before you used it?
If you have a choice of plastic tubs or metal cans, which is better? The metal can would be accepted in our program, while the plastic tub would not. But, what if the product in the metal can is more expensive? Would you still purchase it?
Recyclability aside, does one type of packaging weigh more than the other? How does that affect the transportation costs of the product?
What factors make up your personal criteria for making product and packaging decision - raw material sourcing? energy usage? water usage? transportation costs? disposal and/or recyclability? potential for reuse? others?
Just some food for thought…
(Posted as our contribution to Blog Action Day)
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
From our mailbag:
your emails concerning pickup times etc have been very helpful!
Thanks for this feedback on our email subscription lists!
May I suggest that one of the blogs address new recycling bins and whom to contact when a new one is needed? I know I am in need of one and would appreciate that information. Thanks very much!
You may request a new recycling bin through our "web store", which is open for your orders 24 hours a day. Our "store" also offers yard trim decals and many other items, including downloadable versions of our brochures, handbooks, and other publications.
If you prefer to place your order by phone, call our Customer Service staff at 240-777-6410.
Thanks for writing in, A. Enjoy your new recycling bin!
Monday, October 08, 2007
Here's something I enjoyed doing on our website:
Montgomery County does not recycle televisions.
That's right - our recycling program has just expanded! Montgomery County has a brand-new television recycling program at our Solid Waste Transfer Station.
The television recycling containers are located next to the fenced computer recycling area:
After just a few days of operation, many boxes have already been filled with televisions! The attendants at the Transfer Station are doing a great job of notifying residents of our new program when they spot televisions in the material those folks are unloading.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Next Monday, October 15, 2007 is Blog Action Day.
Action for what? The environment! Watch for our blog entry next week.
POSTED: 9:30:00 AM
Thursday, October 04, 2007
When you are at the store checkout, and the clerk asks whether you want a paper or a plastic bag for your purchase, what's the best answer?
The "More Than Meets the Eye" feature in today's Washington Post looks at this question in detail. For each material, it examines and compares consumption, production, pollution, recycling, and biodegradability.
As solutions, it suggests
- going without a bag when feasible,
- buying reusable bags and crates, and
- creative ways to reuse paper and plastic bags.
To take waste prevention yet another step further, don't buy any new cloth bags until you have first checked at home. Chances are good that you -- or a friend or relative -- already have a bag (or two or three) that would be a great shopping bag.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
We are looking for applicants for the four vacant positions in our Dickerson Area Facilities Implementation Group.
Applicants must be residents of the Dickerson area, or the towns of Poolesville or Barnesville.
The purpose of this group is to address community and environmental issues and concerns pertaining to the County's solid waste facilities located in the Dickerson area.
These facilities include
- the Resource Recovery Facility
- the Yard Trim Composting Facility
- properties originally purchased for the Site 2 landfill
- and property associated with the Linden Farm (formerly called the Matthews Farm).
View the vacancy announcement with application instructions
POSTED: 9:00:00 AM
Monday, October 01, 2007
What's better than recycling books? Reusing them!
We accept books in our curbside recycling program, and in our mixed paper recycling container at our Solid Waste Transfer Station. The books we receive are recycled.
Now, we have two blue cans next to the Transfer Station's mixed paper recycling container. They are labeled "Books to Donate". When you put your paperback and hardback books into these cans, they are reused as books, rather than as paper fiber in our recycling program. The books are picked up by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation. This is a pilot program for us.
For other local book reuse opportunities, check our Use It Again database.