by Reggie Denis
Assistant Director of General Services
Riderwood Village in Silver Spring received a Highest Recycling Achievement Award during the 18th Annual Recycling Awareness Week Recognition Achievement Ceremony held on May 24. In 2016 Riderwood Village recycled more than 18 million pounds of recyclable materials, to recycle an impressive 93 percent of the waste they generated. In addition, Riderwood implemented a comprehensive food donation effort, as well as a food scrap recycling program, both of which diverted almost 713,000 pounds of food scraps from their waste stream. Of course, we couldn’t have achieved this without the active participation of residents and if we are to meet or exceed our recycling goals for 2018 I’d ask that we remember to:
- Continue to educate new and existing residents and staff about our Recycling program.
- Use the recycling closets: Trash should not be disposed inside of the recycling closets. Once the recycling containers are contaminated, the materials are disposed of as trash.
- Understand the recycling process: The collection of all recycling materials follows a process called “Single Stream.” Although residents are encouraged to separate Mixed Paper items (newspapers, magazines, soft cardboards) from Commingled items (metal cans, plastic water bottles, milk and juice containers etc.), the collection of those materials in front of your apartment is combined into a single container at pickup. This container is then emptied into a compactor and hauled to an off-site drop off center for processing. Single Stream reduces sorting efforts and has been shown to increase the recycling percentage by as much as 30%. It also reduces collection costs and worker fatigue. Riderwood trash and refuse expenses have benefited tremendously from such savings, over the past five years we have consistently spent less than budgeted every single year!
I’d like to encourage all Riderwood residents, new and old, to join in our recycling efforts. Considering that in 2005 our recycling percentage was only 21 percent – as compared to 93 percent in 2016 – our campus has come a long way. To put it in perspective, the average reported recycling rate for multi-family properties in Montgomery County was 34.5 % in 2016. I encourage all Riderwood residents to continue supporting this movement – the benefits are too immeasurable to ignore! The Recycling Committee, in partnership with General Services, is always available for assistance, training, and education if you are interested.