Hello again to all of our readers. It’s time for us to lay out another recycling program for you in the state of Maryland and this time we will be focusing on Prince George’s County. Last week we discussed Howard County and how they are doing a terrific job with their comprehensive recycling program, Prince George’s County is also operating a top-notch recycling program; their goal is to achieve a 70% recycling rate by 2020. In order to do so, they are utilizing a wide-ranging single-stream recycling program and curbside collections, they have a year-round Household Hazardous Waste drive-through drop-off facility, an e-waste disposal site, yard waste collections, and they have initiated a Food Scrap Composting Pilot Project.
Curbside Residential Recycling Program
Once a week, by no later than 6:30 AM, residents can place their recycling bin or cart on the curb for collection. All of your recyclable materials can be mixed together in a single container and they will accept any container that is clearly marked with an “X” or with the world “Recycling”. Cardboard boxes placed on the curb will also be collected with their contents. All materials collected will be transported to the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) where they will be sorted and thus begin their journey to a new life as a recycled product. If curbside is not an option, the county’s drop-off facility is the Brown Station Road Sanitary Landfill located at 11611 White House Road in Upper Marlboro.
This new one-year pilot program was just launched last week and will operate differently than some of the other food scrap composting programs you may have seen. Compost collection is the same in that participants collect their food scraps in a special bin that gets picked up once a week. What’s different is how Prince George’s County plans to turn those food scraps into a high quality compost to add to your garden. Most composting facilities use the windrow method which typically takes about 8 months to reach the final product. According to their Press Release, Prince George’s will be the first county to pilot Gore cover technology, which reduces odors, decreases processing time and produces ‘a high quality product that can be used as fertilizer’. Additionally, utilizing Gore technology allows the process to reach its end product in just 8 weeks as opposed to the 8 months it usually takes. Also, making Prince George’s County’s program unique is it’s scale, it will be able to handle 4,500 pounds of capacity at the County’s Yard Waste Composting Facility (Western Branch) in Upper Marlboro, making it the largest in the state; whereas in Howard County for example, their facility can only hold 1,500 pounds.
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)
In addition to special community collection events Prince George’s County residents are able to drop-off Hazardous waste at the Brown Station Road Landfill on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8AM-3:30PM. What’s even better… you don’t even have to get out of your car! According to their website, the county has contracted a licensed hazardous waste disposal company whose professionals remove all acceptable items from your vehicle and dispose of them in an environmentally safe manner. The following materials are all accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Acceptance Site:
The Brown Station Road Landfill also has an Acceptance Site for Electronics Recycling where residents can take their e-waste on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8AM-3:30PM. Here is a list of what they will accept:
Prince George’s County picks up yard waste at the curb on a weekly basis. All you have to do is set it outside with your recycling and they’ll take it too! Yard waste consists of:
- Grass clippings
- Small Branches
- Christmas Trees
You must place it in securely tied, heavy-duty paper or plastic bags, or heavy-duty trashcans with handles and a secure lid. There are some limitations:
- Limbs cannot exceed more than 4 feet in length and 3 inches in diameter and must be tightly secured in bundles
- Bundles of limbs and bags of dry grass and leaves must weigh less than 60 pounds
- Wet leaves and grass must weigh less than 25 pounds
After yard waste has been collected it is transported to the Prince George’s County Yard Waste Composting Facility which processes more than 50,000 tons of material each year!
Every year in conjunction with Earth Day the County holds an event sponsored by the County’s Waste Management Division providing free mulch to residents. After all, what else are they supposed to do with all of those Christmas trees they collected in the winter? For a specific date the website recommends checking the local paper, their website, the local cable station or simply calling 3-1-1.
Tours and Visitor’s Center
Ever wondered how composting works? Been looking for composting help? Or maybe you have just been itching to see it in action? The public is welcome to tour the Yard Waste Composting Facility, at no cost, to learn the science of composting and see firsthand how compost is produced from yard waste. They have informational displays to teach visitors about the composting process at the facility, the many recycling programs offered by the County and backyard composting. To schedule a tour you can call (888) 214-8687, Monday through Friday between 7:30AM and 3:30 PM.
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