Monday, July 13, 2009

Recycling makes cents (and dollars!)

Baltimore City recycling news: 1+1 pickup started this week on July 13th, read all about it here.

Meanwhile in the county... In 2008, Baltimore County made $5 million from selling recyclables. That's million with an M. That's money that they didn't have to extract from us in the form of taxes. Doesn't that sound like another compelling reason to participate in curbside recycling, in addition to keeping useful materials out of landfills and reducing the need to mine or manufacture new? In San Francisco, residents are being compelled to recycle more forcefully by way of a new law that fines people for not recycling. More cities are expected to follow suit... so get into the habit of recycling now!

Some small town residents of New York and New Jersey are required to purchase trash tags for each bag they toss. Outside town limits, residents must hire private waste haulers to pick up trash in addition to purchasing trash tags. Recycling and composting a great way to cut down your household expenses in these areas, and the locals are catching on.

Know any towns that sponsor municipal compost pickup? In typical backyard composting, it's easiest to keep your green-to-brown mix simple by using only uncooked foods free of fats and oils. However, in large scale composting operations like Waste Neutral Group based here in Baltimore, it's possible to tweak the mix such that even cooked food scraps break down properly. Baltimore County already turns our curbside yard waste pickup into mulch and compost (which is free to residents)... maybe someday they will add weekly food scrap pickup too?

In the meantime, I know what you're thinking. Composting can be a dirty business. "But I can't compost, I live in an apartment." --actually, yes you can. NatureMill makes a composter small enough to fit into a corner of your kitchen.


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