Posts Tagged ‘recycling’

Keen on living green-courtesy of The Baltimore Sun

April 24, 2008
| Special to The Sun

Baltimore Green Week has branched out over five years to include an array of issues under its environmental umbrella.

According to program director Carol Silldorff, the organization began with a group of people interested in environmentally friendly building methods in the city. “Over the years,” she said, “it has grown immensely. … No longer is it at all connected to one issue.”

That much is clear from the schedule of events, which kicks off with a reception tomorrow at the Walters Art Museum and gets rolling Saturday with the fifth annual EcoFestival, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Druid Hill Park.

Among the 14 free events running through May 1 are:

• A discussion of pollution’s impact on the Inner Harbor and its watersheds, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday onboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Taney in the Inner Harbor.

Mayor Sheila Dixon talking about her plan for a greener Baltimore, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront.

• A City Council hearing at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum, which will allow people to comment on environmental legislation from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday.

• A green building tour and reception at the Catholic Relief Services’ Stewart’s Building, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday.

• A state legislative overview from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., followed by a conversation about the role of religion in environmental stewardship from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Grace Fellowship Church on Wednesday.

• A talk by Green For All founder and president Van Jones about helping create environmental jobs for low-income and city communities, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 1 at Morgan State University.

A broad scope of environmental issues will be on display at the EcoFestival, which is scheduled to include more than 100 exhibitors and vendors, tours of houses that use green technology, tours of some of the worst pollution in Baltimore, guided hikes and bicycle tours.

Read the rest of the article at the Sun


Loading 600 Tons- Article about Single-stream Recycling in Baltimore City

April 24, 2008

Article Courtesy of City Paper

Loading 600 Tons
CP Takes a Field Trip to Watch Single-Stream Recycling in Action

After more than a decade of shifting pickup dates and sometimes confusing sorting edicts, Baltimore City has begun collecting all recycling–glass, metal, paper, and plastic–on the same day from one container. This single-stream recycling initiative puts Baltimore in the same league with Philadelphia and dozens of other American cities and counties, and in line with Europe, which has been recycling the vast percentage of its waste streams for decades.

“People say, `It’s not convenient, I don’t want to.’ . . . You have no excuse not to now,” says Valentina Ukwuoma, who heads the city’s Bureau of Solid Waste. “You’ll see that you have more in recyclables than trash.”

The city sells yellow recycling bins for $5, but you can put your recyclables out in any container as long as it’s clearly marked, city officials say. And there’s no problem with staples in your paper, or window envelopes. All kinds of plastic are good, too. They only ask that you not include plastic grocery bags, anything caked with grease or food, wire coat hangers, and a few other things. Check this document on the Department of Public Works Web site. (or your DPW calendar) for neighborhood pickup schedules and the full list of recycling no-nos.

Ukwuoma says about 30 percent of Baltimore’s 210,000 households currently recycle. That puts the city above the state mandate of 20 percent, but more needs to be done; the city’s landfill has only about 11 years of capacity left at current fill rates.

To see how the city’s recycling regime works–and to put to rest rumors that recycling is some kind of hoax–City Paper followed the waste stream on Tuesday, Jan. 22, from curbside to sorting and processing for sale. Turns out stuff really does get recycled, and much is done by scary machinery. But most of the work–the lifting, dumping, driving, hauling, sorting and collecting–is done by human hands. Here, then, are some of the people cleaning up this town.

Correction: This article erroneously stated that “all kinds of plastic” can now be recycled. Actually, only bottles and jars marked with numbers 1-7 are currently accepted by the processor. Not accepted are plastic plates, flatware, yogurt and margarine tubs, etc.

Student Project Proposes Bottled Water Problem Mitigation

April 23, 2008

A pair of undergraduate industrial design students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), based in Troy, NY, entered the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA)’s expo with an interesting idea: recycle bottles from bottled water as affordable housing.

The most evident impact of bottled water on the environment is the sheer volume of plastic bottles discarded needlessly after the water is consumed. Even if every single bottle of water were recycled, the recycling process itself uses energy and their incineration can release harmful toxins. If the process were never to start, these bottles would not need to be recycled. In fact, the majority of bottles resulting from bottled water are not recycled. Estimates ranging from 86 to 90 percent of bottles are not recycled, and fill landfills in the United States. At a rate of around 1,000 years for biodegradation, the disposal of these bottles poses an imposing problem.

So, these two students have proposed filling up the bottles again, and not with more expensive water. Instead, the two say that filling the bottles with sand or other insulation material would weigh them down like bricks, and allow the bottles to be interlocked as foundations for construction projects. Said their report,

“Build a house from them, and the sand or other filler would serve as an insulator to keep rooms warm or cool. Meanwhile, the plastic would make the house waterproof and thus more permanent than the plain mud huts often found in the poor countries.”

While some have questioned the practicality of recycling plastic, using bottles as building materials would certainly be valuable.

Schools Create Earth Day projects; spreading the word about recycling

April 22, 2008

With today being Earth Day, it is encouraging to remember that we have a day to appreciate doing work for the environment and to remember to treat the land we live on with respect. It’s also good to know that many different schools in Maryland’s education system are working to help promote recycling, and teaching future generations the benefits that can come from it. In Hagerstown, Maryland, at Williamsport Elementary, children today learned about the new programs for recycling, with the school recycling one ton of paper since the beginning of the school year. Also, in celebration of Earth Day 2008, the school and students planted pine trees around the school, which can teach the students the value of nature and the benefits the Earth can gain from it.

Other middle schools in the area have also set up programs for recycling paper and bottles/cans from students’ lunches, which not only makes an impact on the environment now, but also teaches student about recycling and the benefits that come from it. So far, all of the programs set up in the area for schools have been successful, and more importantly are teaching children the value of recycling. Hopefully, with time, we can make recycling successes like the programs installed in each of these schools more wide-spread, and start having the impact of recycling felt statewide.

The original story can be found here

Proposal For New Recycling Program is Killed in the General Assembly

April 19, 2008

A recent movement by Frederick County lawmakers to push a new bill that would allow curbside recycling countywide failed to be passed by Maryland law makers, and will have to be voted on next year before any sort of recycling program can go into effect for Fredrick county residents. Although the bill passed through the House of Delegates, law makers were split on the issue because it would limit Frederick County residents in their options for waste pickup and many of the trash companies involved in the issue lobbied against the act. Many legislators still hope to see the bill come back next year, and hope to be able to look at the bill more closely and potentially add amendments to satisfy others’ concerns about the new plan for trash collection. The full story can be found by following this link.

Photo courtesy of

The passage of a bill that would regulate recycling for an entire county, where currently there is only curbside pickup for recycling in limited areas, would be a great improvement for Maryland and would be seen as a great improvement by the members of greenMD, especially since in the article, Commissioners President Jan Gardner says that landfill space is becoming more and more limited for the county, and that “the bill would have helped [Fredrick county residents] expand recycling, helped the small haulers and potentially save the customers money.” It is really a wonder why legislators would have such an issue with passing a bill which would add so much to the efforts for recycling in Maryland. In current times, when recycling is seen as an innovative and extraordinary effort in saving residents money and in saving resources that are limited on our planet, it is hard to believe that law makers would not want to pass a law to make recycling so easily accessible for the people. As an environmentally concerned resident of Maryland myself, I feel as though we should do all that we can in order to make recycling easier, more accessible, and more encouraged in our state. It is my hope that this bill will return to the House of Delegates next year, and that we can hopefully begin a stronger movement to encourage recycling in Maryland and in efforts for a cleaner planet overall.