Special Recycling Events
Special recycling events are coordinated with the Allegany County Recycling Office and Solid Waste Management Board. These events include tire recycling, electronics recycling, household hazardous waste collections, etc... These special events are not held on a regular basis, so the City will be providing information here to be inform to Cumberland residents. Additionally, as events are scheduled they will be added to Notify Me and the Main Calendar. For more information please contact the City's Environmental Specialist at 301-759-6604.
The Ins and Outs of Co-Mingled Recycling
By Raquel Ketterman and Allison Layton
Do you know what belongs in the recycling bin and what doesn’t? This month, the focus is on what should and should not be recycled. It may be a little confusing at first, but once you know the basics, it becomes second nature to determine what should be placed in your recycling bin for weekly pick up and what may need to be recycled elsewhere, or will have to be thrown away.
The burgundy bins are issued to every City residence by Burgmeier’s Hauling and are to be used for your convenience to collect and set out your Co-Mingled Recycling. Not sure when your bin should be placed out for collection? It coincides with your first trash pick up every week.
So, what can go in my Co-Mingled Recycling Bin?
It can be tricky to determine whether an item can go into your co-mingled curbside recycling bin. The overarching answer is plastics with the following numbers in the recycling triangle: #1, #2, #4, #5, #7; aluminum cans, and glass bottles & jars.
The rule of thumb is everything should be household containers, such as drink bottles, jugs and containers, jars that food came in, some plastic carry out containers, detergent bottles, cans, etc. These are typically containers from your kitchen, bathroom or laundry areas, so when you empty a plastic container - check for the recycling triangle for the appropriate plastic number. If it has a #1, #2, #4, #5 or #7, you're good to throw it in the bin!
What should not go in my Co-Mingled Recycling Bin?
Random plastic, glass and metal items are not accepted. Things such as toys, toy parts, garden tools or any kind of hoses, electronics, dishes, mugs, glass ornaments, mirrors, candle holders or decor are not accepted in curbside recycling. These odd items can contaminate an entire load of recycling.
The recycling bins are also not intended to be used for yard waste. Do not put sticks, soil, grass, rocks or other items in the recycling bins. These items should be bagged or put in an alternative garbage container. Please be mindful of the weight of any garbage bag or container, they must be no heavier than 40 pounds.
I have some items left after doing Spring clean-up, what can I do with them?
You may find yourself with a pile of flower pots, trays and flats as you plan your landscaping and garden. These may be reusable by the vendor or greenhouse where you purchased your plants and flowers, simply ask the vendor where you bought the flowers about returning these items for reuse.
Or, if you’ve been painting, you may be wondering what to do with paint cans. Completely empty paint cans may be recycled; however, if there is paint residue or dried paint they cannot be recycled. Remember that paint must be fully dried-out prior to disposal with your curbside garbage. Simply pop open paint cans and let them dry completely. Try mixing paint with kitty litter, pour in a box and put it in the trash after it’s dried.
If you have any part-full cans of paint laying around? Check around to see if you can simply use it up on an odd job or find a location or organization which will accept your donated paint products. It’s always better to find someone else who can use it rather than just throwing it away.
If you have recycling questions you’d like to see answered here? Call 301-777-0416 ext. 2402. Thank you for recycling!
By Allison Layton, Raquel Ketterman and Siera Wigfield
Spring is always a great time to open up your windows, air things out and go through your home to clear out the clutter you no longer need. We’d like to remind you when cleaning out your home, always consider Reduce - Reuse - Recycle, in that order.
In case you get stuck with how to Reduce-Reuse-Recycle as you declutter, we’ve put together some pointers that will help you do just that!
What do I do with accumulated plastic (grocery) bags?
Reduce: In the future (post-pandemic) consider using reusable grocery bags and refuse plastic grocery bags.
Reuse: Consider reusing plastic bags as household trash-can liners.
Recycle: Some retailers take back plastic bags for recycling; look for retailers with a collection box for these bags (i.e. Martin’s, Walmart, Kohls, Weis, etc…).
Note - Plastic bags or plastic wrap of any kind are not allowed in Cumberland’s curbside recycling bin.
What do I do with a pile of used household items?
Reduce: Be mindful before you buy something as you will have less clutter later. Ask yourself: Does this item really need to be replaced, or can it be repaired or repurposed? If the answer is no, consider using the item a bit longer. If the answer is yes, consider buying items made of more sustainable materials, or find the item second-hand. Plus, the less you buy, the less packaging there is.
Reuse: Can items be upcycled into something more useful? Google “upcycle” for loads of great ideas such as melting broken crayons into a large multi-colored crayon.
If your cabinets and closets are overflowing, consider donating gently used items to a charity or second hand store. Locally, places such as Barking Basement, Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. will accept donations. Check out the Allegany County’s reuse directory: https://alleganygov.org/302/Reuse-Directory
Items such as worn-out textiles can be cut into rags; further extending their lifecycle.
Recycle: Overused and broken household items are not accepted in the City’s Recycle Bins. Research other recycling options for particular items; such as electronics: https://www.alleganygov.org/1654/Electronics
How do I address piles of papers, catalogues, magazines, etc?
Reduce: Stop junk mail, ask to be removed from mailing lists. Don’t sign-up for new mailing lists; sign up for email lists instead. Request electronic bills and statements.
Reuse: Use the blank side of paper to make notes, doodle on or to print draft documents! Shred old papers and use it as packing material. Reuse greeting cards as postcards. Use magazines and old calendars for a fun collage project with your kids.
Recycle: Most of these paper items can be bundled and set out on the curb on Mixed Paper Recycling day each week in Cumberland! Reduce piles of paper around your house by setting out a bundle or brown paper bag every week on your second trash collection day. To ensure recycling, set the bundle out next to your trash container, not on top or below.
What about all those (half-full) containers in the basement, garage and under the sink?
Reduce: The best thing to do with all that material in cans and bottles is to use it. Complete that paint project, touch up some areas around the house and yard. Repaint old porch furniture. Read labels carefully on cleaning products, pesticides, and other liquids. Use liquids up or see if someone else could use these products.
Reuse: Empty buckets, cans and jars are great for household storage of odds & ends. Organize loose change, nails & screws, and other items in containers. Be sure to mark or re-label each container.
Recycle: Containers of really old liquids, unrecognizable labels, and potentially toxic ingredients should be kept out of the trash and recycling bins. Instead, hang on to these items - keeping in original containers - and bring them to the next Too Toxic To Trash event (Save the date October 9, 2021). These events are advertised to the public and held approximately every two years locally.
Empty metal containers such as propane tanks may be taken to a local scrap metal recycler.
For any questions in regards to Allegany County recycling programs please email email@example.com , call 301-876-9563 or visit alleganygov.org/recycle .
Questions regarding City of Cumberland recycling programs can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-759-6604.
By Raquel Ketterman and Allison Layton
Have you ever wondered why mixed paper recycling needs to be bundled? There are actually many factors that come into play, which we are happy to share with you. Increasing understanding of the how’s and why’s behind recycling is the City’s goal, hopefully encouraging more and more residents to participate.
To continue, mixed paper recycling needs to be bundled for the following reasons:
● When the wind blows, so does loose paper. The bundles make it easier to keep littering at bay during breezy weather.
● Bundling newspaper, junk mail, used office paper, cereal boxes and other food/beverage boxes, as well as cardboard makes for manageable weights and sizes for collection.
● The compartment of the trash/recycling collection truck is small and mechanically deposits the bundles inside.
● Mixed paper bundles are also easy for the collectors to identify as recycling.
Mixed paper should all be stacked, boxes emptied - flattened - folded to a size no larger than 24 X 24 inches, and then secured together by twine, tape, or secured in a paper bag. Bundles should be no heavier than 40 pounds.
When rain and storms are in the forecast, don’t fear...mixed paper bundles will still be collected for recycling, even if they are moistened by dew or rain. So, there is no need to cover your bundle with trash or plastic to protect it from the elements.
With a better understanding of mixed paper recycling, we move on to another topic that seems to generate confusion. If you’ve ever wondered why we say “NO PLASTIC BAGS” in any recycling, well, we’ve got the answers for you here:
● Cumberland’s recycling goes to a materials recovery facility (MRF) with mechanical sorting machines. There are rotating conveyor belts, screens, drums and other parts where plastic bags become tangled and can actually cause a shutdown of a recycling process. When this happens, facility workers often have to physically cut the tangled plastic out of the equipment.
● Plastic bags can blow around and get tangled anywhere; in trees, on the ground, carried away into the storm drain during a rain event, or into our scenic trails and waterways.
● Even if bags have a recycling label, plastic bags are not accepted for any of Cumberland’s curbside recycling collections!
We, of course, encourage the recycling of these often one-time-use bags. If possible, reuse them the next time you go to the store - or recycle plastic shopping bags in the recycling bin found at many of our local retailers like WalMart, Martin’s, Weis, Kohls, etc…
If you have any questions regarding curbside trash or recycling, please reach out to Burgmeier’s at 301-777-0416 ext.2402.
- Bring your own: Bags to the store! Coffee mug to the coffee shoppe! Reusable container to a restaurant!
- Buy used over new
- Fix what you already own
- Start a backyard compost
- Use cloth napkins and towels instead of paper
- Take packaging into consideration when shopping, look for minimal or recyclable packaging @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
- Allegany County's Recycling Office keeps a comprehensive list of how/where to recycle various items. @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
Please visit here often for **NEW** **UPDATED** special recycling events!!!