Thursday, November 26, 2009

DC Recycler is thankful for the DC government's recycling program

While the DC government could do so much more, it is doing a great job collecting and composting leaves this year. This project alone keeps thousands of pounds of material out of landfills and reuses this usual "waste" for gardening, etc. According to the DPW website, DC residents may pick up mulch March through November at New Jersey Avenue and K Street, SE, from 7am to 3pm, Monday through Saturday. Residents are allowed to take up to three 30-gallon bags (large trash bags). The mulch is free, but residents must bag it themselves. Interestingly, through its Helping Hand Program, the DPW will even provide mulch and tools for large-scale neighborhood beautification projects, who knew? Of course, the DC government is getting us to do its dirty work, but, if you want to get something done, sometimes you have to do it yourself. In any case, thanks to the DC recycling program for composting and recycling. Let's work towards expanding recycling in the District.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My personal recycling center

Some might think that collecting recycling at holiday parties veers too close to collecting garbage. However, with this very attractive "personal recycling center" on my shoulder, I will discretely collect wine corks, Brita water filters, and batteries that my friends and neighbors bring to holiday parties. It's easy and oh so "chic."

Holiday Recycling

Holiday gatherings are a great opportunity to collect items for recycling. For example, our block is having a progressive cocktail party, where we move as a group from house to house. I'll be collecting Brita water filters, non-plastic wine corks, and batteries for our group. As part of the DC Recycler recycling circle, Kim collects the filters, Cathy collects the batteries, and I collect the wine corks. See the July 25th posting below about starting your own recycling circle. It's easy and interesting.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Great Fair Trade Chocolates as Gifts

Well, this isn't about recycling, but it is about a great chocolate company that is located in DC. Divine Chocolates is a company owned by farmers in Ghana. Their farmers' cooperative, Kuapa Kokoo, is truly amazing. The chocolates are fair trade, are delicious, and would make very nice gifts, in my opinion. Kuapa Kokoo has invested its Fair Trade income in building schools, sinking wells for clean drinking water to villages, providing mobile medical clinics for farmers in remote growing regions, and fostering women’s income generation projects to help women earn additional income for their families when the cocoa season is over. Most chocolate companies have horrible labor records, but Divine Chocolates seeks to provide an alternative to this. AND Divine Chocolates is located in DC!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Washington City Paper exposes commercial recycler failure

Washington City Paper did an amazing job reporting on the failure of many commercial recyclers, condos, apartment buildings, and businesses to recycle. Some commercial haulers mix recycling with garbage and delivered it all to the dump and other non-recycling locations. Since business waste represents 75% of all DC waste (residences make up 25%), this is really serious. If you see recycling being mixed with trash, please call DC's Department of Public Works (202-673-6833), or email them: Only by complaining will we force the city to enforce its own laws. As I mentioned before, when I worked for NY state government, we wanted the public complain, so that we could get the resources to do our jobs and deal with public demands. At the same time, as far as I know, DC does recycle residential recycling, so don't stop recycling!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Recycled Printer Cartridges!

You can now buy recycled printer cartridges that are 100% guaranteed from Castle Ink. They have ink refill kits, inkjet cartridges, laser toner cartridges for a huge variety of printers (Dell, HP, Epson, Lexmark, Brother, and so on). AND they are cheaper than new cartridges. Even more impressive is that they PAY up to $4 for your old cartridges. So, why are we buying new cartridges and toner??

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sign up for wind power

While this isn't about recycling, you can switch to 100% wind power and stop encouraging new coal plants. Clean Currents provides this option for DC and Maryland residents. It's easy to sign up.