Sustainability Corner – What is E-Waste?

By Pat Garrett
Member, Residents Supporting Sustainability

If you stopped by the Recycling Corner at Riderwood’s Earth Day, you may have seen a lot of wires and bulky electronic things going into big bins, and a few of these things coming back out and being borne off by pleased-looking techie-types.

The incoming things are all considered e-waste: they’re power-driven and have wires and other metal parts that can be separated out and recycled.  Depending on markets, those metals can sometimes be sold, but the main goal is to keep them out of the landfills used for our waste in Maryland. The outgoing things met that goal by finding a new use!

The Riderwood Residents Recycling Committee (R3C) approached Noel Vasquez, Housekeeping Manager and our liaison to General Services, about making e-waste collections more frequent. We want to encourage recycling whenever possible, and annual collections mean that obsolete, broken or unwanted e-stuff stays in our apartments much too long. Noel readily agreed, and we’re working to begin quarterly collections.

The first one will be held on Thursday, July 26, from 10:00 a.m. to noon.  The July collection will be in the Crafts Room at Town Center, and the plan is to rotate the collections among our neighborhoods so that once each year the collection will be close to you. If you have something that is too large for you to handle, you can call to have a free pickup at your apartment that day. Watch bulletin boards, MyErickson and Riderwood TV for details.


Many folks think that setting a thermostat much lower in summer (or much higher in winter) will cause faster cooling or heating.  Not so!  Systems have only one speed.  So, they put out whatever they can for a longer time, but not any faster than if they’re set for whatever temperature we want. 

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