Thursday, October 28, 2010

The DC Recycler soon to visit DC's Recycling Depot!

Yes, on Nov. 4th, the DC Recycler will visit DC's recycling depot. I'll try to get some more detailed answers about recycling. Let me know if you have any recycling questions that you would like answered.

Monday, October 25, 2010

When does DC collect and compost leaves?

*Correction*: If you do bag your leaves, please use paper bags. The leaves will still be composted. Plastic bags damage their equipment.

The DC government has set up their leaf collection schedule. For SE Capitol Hill, for example, leaves will be collected starting November 22nd. For NE Capitol Hill, leaves will be collecting starting November 8th. All you do is rake your leaves into the treebox near your place the Sunday before the first pick up. You can also bag your leaves and put them in the treebox or next to your trash; HOWEVER, the DC government website says that bagged leaves will be disposed in the trash. Therefore, I suggest that you just rake your leaves into the treebox, so that they can be composted. Alternatively, you could bag the leaves and then the Sunday before you could put unbag them, placing them in your treebox. It's great to keep leaves out of the landfills and to make them into useful compost.

Our Recycling Pal Cathy's Report on Recycling by Mail

Hey folks,

I spent a great couple of hours at the DC GreenFest today. For the record, I'm still mad at Ralph Nader, so I did not stop by to say hi. Now that I got that off my chest, one of the great things I learned is that of all things, the US Postal Service is going green! They are currently piloting a program that allows you to send old cell phones, PDAs, Smartphones, MP3s, digital cameras, and ink jet cartridges off to a techno trash center in MI for free. While it's always better to reuse these items, sometimes you can't. There are special plastic pouches that the post office is using to mail these items...and there is no postage necessary. The pouches are currently available at some 11,000 POs nationwide...and they hope to have them in all soon. At the destination, these items are sorted then disposed of properly (buried, I believe) here in the US (vs being shipped off to some developing country).

They have a whole "green" portion of their website now. They're also offering "cradle to cradle certified" packaging. Yours truly will be contacting my forest folk to see how that compares to FSC and will report back. Sadly, they did not have any real tips on reducing junk mail or those annoying flyers that come with no address in our mail every week. You can go to Catalog Choice and sign up to receive only those catalogs you really want to get.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Where can I recycle mattresses, basic housewares, etc.?

A Wider Circle provides basic need items to families transitioning out of shelters or simply living without life’s necessities. They furnish the homes of more than 1,000 children and adults every single month, all free of charge. They also go into low-income schools and shelters to lead educational workshops on topics ranging from healthy self-esteem and stress management to resume writing and financial planning.

The following items are on their wish list. The wish list also lists further items and items that they don't need.
*Beds (mattresses without rips or stains, box springs, frames)
*Cribs, changing tables, strollers, high chairs, and other baby items
*Kitchen tables and sets of chairs
*Sofas and living room chairs (in very good conditions without rips or stains)
*End tables, coffee tables, and lamps (with shades)
*TVs (with remote if available)
*Kitchen items (sets of dishes, silverware, pots & pans, toasters, microwaves)
*Fans/AC units (clean and in good working order)
*Sheets and towels
*Healthy non-perishable food & new personal care and cleaning supplies
*Grocery gift cards

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Message from our Recycling Pal Cathy

Hey Folks,

I'm going solar. Between DC and Fed rebates, I should make up the cost of the system in the first year. AND, the installation company gets all the permits I need (even for the Historic District); agrees to remove and reinstall my panels should I need to redo my roof in the next 10 years...and will even move my panels to a new home in the District should I move to a qualifying home in the next 10 years. I never thought I'd be my own power company! There's a solar fair on the Hill on Saturday. Should be interesting. Pass the info along...and hope to see y'all there!


Thanks, Cathy, for your message! For more info on solar panels in DC, see the Capitol Hill Energy Coop.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How to recycle old technologies?

We can always recycle old technologies through the weekly DC E-Cycling Drop-Off. However, it is even better to pass those items off to someone who might still want them. My neighbor Daphne is getting rid of her slide projector and wrote me:

"I have been finding people who want slide sleeves. One great source is coin collectors for they use slide sleeves for their coins. I have given a bunch of mine to a retirement community's coin club for their members."

This innovative thinking is great. If the technology is still usable, you can sell it or give it away on Ebay, Craigslist, Freecycle, or one of the more specialized tech recyclers like Gazelle or BuyMyTronics. Reuse or recycle: it's all good.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Capitol Hill Solar Hour Tour on Oct. 16th

Capitol Hill Solar & Sustainable Home Fair & Tour (aka The Capitol Hill Solar House Tour) is on Saturday, October 16th. Talk to Hill residents who went solar and tour solar and sustainable homes. Also learn about wind power, geothermal, organic cleaning, weatherization, green roofs, rain gardens; see electric scooter and car. More than 30 vendors on hand to explain the ins and outs of solar panels and discuss green products. Fair--10:00am to 2:00pm at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 East Capitol Street, NE, Washington; Tour--Noon to 4:00pm. Tour map and guide are $5 per family. Advanced purchase available through web or at Frager’s Hardware (1101 Pennsylvania Ave SE), Hill’s Kitchen (713 D St SE), Riverby Books (417 E Capitol St SE), or Coldwell-Banker (605 Penn Ave SE). Guides will also be available at Eastern Market October 9-10.