Montgomery County’s nationally recognized recycling program became the broadest in the metropolitan region today with the announcement by County Executive Isiah Leggett that, effective immediately, residents will be able to recycle a wider range of plastic materials.
Under the expanded program, County residents of single-family homes can recycle all empty plastic bottles, containers and lids, jars, pails/buckets and food grade plastic tubs.
Among the specific plastic items that can be recycled are: yogurt containers; peanut butter and mayonnaise jars; butter margarine and ice cream tubs; beverage containers and plastic beverage cups; laundry detergent and kitty litter containers with plastic or metal handles; deli containers/trays; flower pots; and plastic lids.
The plastic materials should be rinsed and then placed in the blue recycling bin with the commingled materials, such as aluminum cans and foil products, steel/tin cans and glass bottles and jars.
Plastic containers that have held hazardous materials such as motor oils, antifreeze and pesticides cannot be recycled. In addition, plastic wrap, plastic bags, Styrofoam and polystyrene are not recyclable under the County’s curbside program.
Making the announcement at the County’s Recycling Center, Leggett said that adding more plastics to the list of recyclables is “good news for both the environment and our residents.
“Today’s announcement is an example of what I spoke about in my inaugural address when I said that we will not stand still and rest on our past successes. While our recycling program has been among the tops in the country, we’ve found a way to make it even better.
Leggett acknowledged the role that the County’s Division of Solid Waste Services and their contractor/partner, Maryland Environmental Service, played in bringing about the expansion. “Thanks to their continual monitoring of the recycling markets, we’re able to significantly expand the services we offer our residents.”
This allows the County to receive the highest possible revenue for the sale of its recyclables and provide recycling opportunities for as many materials as possible.
County Council President Mike Knapp said, “Montgomery County residents have proven that they take recycling seriously, and that, given the opportunity, they will continue to recycle more and more materials,” said Council President Mike Knapp. “The expansion of our recycling programs responds to the desires of our residents, the goals of county government and the needs of our environment – quite the ecological hat trick.”
The Executive was joined at the event by County Council member Nancy Floreen who chairs the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee. “This is a great step toward meeting the Council’s goal to have at least 50 percent of all waste in the County recycled,” said Floreen. “It is an important piece of the greening of Montgomery since everyone can do it.”
The expanded program will cover all 210,000 single-family homes in Montgomery County. Single-family households in municipalities are not included in the expanded program, as their recycling programs are established by their jurisdictions.
Multi-family properties in the County that direct their recyclable materials to the County’s Recycling Center will also be able to expand their recycling programs to include the additional plastics.
The Division of Solid Waste Services (Department of Environmental Protection), assisted by its contractor, Maryland Environmental Services, continually monitors markets for recyclable materials.
For more information about the County’s expanded plastics recycling program, or for additional blue recycling bins in either the 22- or 30-gallon size, call 240-777-6400 or visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/recycling.
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