County's Recycling Rate Increases 10 Percent

Practices that keep waste out of landfills and more recycling have boosted Prince George's County's green efforts.

Practices that keep waste out of landfills and more recycling have boosted the county's green efforts. File|Patch
Practices that keep waste out of landfills and more recycling have boosted the county's green efforts. File|Patch

From a Prince George’s County News Release:

Prince George’s County residents and businesses are doing their part to keep the County green and on the path to zero waste, increasing the amount of recycling by 10 percent over a year ago.

According to the latest figures released by the Maryland Department of the Environment, the county’s 2012 recycling rate rose to 54.44 percent with an overall waste diversion rate of 59.44 percent; that equates to a 10.33 percent increase over a one-year period and ranks the county third in the state, behind Harford and Montgomery Counties.

The new data surpasses the 50 percent mark for waste diversion that was set the previous year.

“The residents and businesses in Prince George’s County have worked hard to increase the waste diversion rate to an all-time high and deserve a pat on the back,” says Adam Ortiz, director of the Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources. “We are recycling more, but must also continue to reduce waste at the source by making green decisions every day.”

The county saw an increase in recyclable materials comprised of mixed glass (23 percent), mixed plastic (15 percent), corrugated cardboard (11 percent) and composting of mixed yard waste (14 percent). Some examples of source reduction practices include using a mulching lawn mower and leaving chopped up leaves on the lawn, using reusable shopping bags and water bottles and selecting products that contain the least amount of packaging.

“We have our sights on the top spot for Maryland recycling,” said Ortiz. “We have several initiatives that are among the very best practices nationwide for turning trash into treasure.”

Factors contributing to the increased recycling and waste diversion rates include the county’s introduction of a new food scrap composting program for residential, commercial and institutions, “mining” of materials on the landfill, its Single-Stream Materials Recycling Facility that supports commercial and residential programs, countywide use of the residential 65-gallon wheeled recycling carts and increased community engagement about waste reduction and recycling.

On Jan. 1, the county put into effect another eco-friendly measure by announcing it would no longer collect yard waste in plastic bags, but in paper yard waste bags only.

For more information on the County’s Recycling Program, source reduction and the yard waste collection plastic bag ban, contact County Click online or dial 3-1-1.


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