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Memo: Recycling Changes Coming to County Offices, Facilities

Recycling is being made easier in county offices and facilities.

The county is starting a new program that no longer requires residents and county staff to separate different recyclable items.

Instead, the county is introducing new recycling containers for all recyclable materials, including paper, glass and plastic. The new blue bins will be placed in all county facilities and offices over the next couple of weeks.

Here is what Acting County Manager Mark Schwartz said about the new recycling changes, in a memo to employees:

Good News. We are implementing a new recycling program in all County offices and facilities. Now all your recyclable items — plastic, metal, empty food and beverage containers, paper, cardboard and glass — can be placed in one recycling container, eliminating the need to separate materials for collection.

This is good news for you and for sustaining the environment. As you may know, one of the core values listed in our vision statement is sustainability. At the end of last year, the County Board was presented with the Environmentally Preferable Practices and Purchasing Work Plan to encourage sustainable practices County-wide. This plan was put together by a team of staff from various departments and is a great example of the kind of ideas that help us do a better job.

You may have noticed blue desk-side recycling bins at various County-owned or occupied buildings. If you haven’t received a blue bin yet, you will in the coming weeks. There will also be new co-located trash and mixed recycling containers used as sorting stations in shared areas, such as hallways and break rooms.

Be on the lookout for these new containers and instructions on how to properly use them in your building. I challenge you to actively participate in the County’s recycling effort and increase the facilities’ recycling rate by the end of the year. With everyone’s participation, I am confident that County staff can continue to lead by example in the area of sustainability. For help with your conservation efforts, please contact the Solid Waste Bureau.

Thank you for your support,

Mark Schwartz

P.S.  Some facts on the recycling:

  • The County has a recycling rate goal of 47 percent; currently County facilities only recycle around 23 percent;
  • Recyclables cost less to process than trash; therefore, increasing recycling and reducing waste helps lower the County’s operating costs;
  • Nearly 70 percent of the materials disposed as trash in an office can actually be recycled; and
  • Recycling helps preserve natural resources and reduces greenhouse gases.

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