Archive for the ‘Recycling’ Category

Recycle Event: Arlington Virginia E-Care

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Our friends at Diana’s Books let us know that Arlington E-Care is happening October 16th, 2010 from 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM at  Thomas Jefferson Middle School at 125 S. Old Glebe Rd.  The school is one block east of Glebe Rd. and one block south of Rt. 50.  The entrance will be marked.

Arlington County continues to set the standard for the ultimate reuse/recycling event with Arlington E-Care. Arlington residents can bring the following items and they will either be reused or recycled properly.  Items marked with an * have a nominal fee.

hazardous household materials
bicycles* $10 donation and the bikes go to Bikes for the World
small metal items
computers* $15
electronics*
televisions* $20
clothing, linens, shoes
microwaves
air conditioners
eye glasses (for South Arlington Lyons Club)
medical equipment (Being shipped to remote locations by Virginia Hospital Center Medical Brigade)

Diana’s Books will be on hand accepting books, CDs, DVDs, and audio books.

For full information on Arlington E-Care download this brochure.

Donate Your Bike and Make a Difference

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Donate your unwanted bike and make a difference to someone in need.   Bikes for the World works to provide affordable transportation to individuals in developing countries.  The bikes help these individuals get to work and school, or in providing health and education services to low-income rural people. 

I’m impressed that in the first five years (January 2005 – December 2009) of their charity work.  They have donated over 40,000 bicycles to 11 different countries.  I have no doubt that Bikes for the World is the largest bike reuse program in the country.  Visit their benefits page to view their amazing statistics.

Bikes for the World is holding two bike collection drives at local REI stores in September. Future donation locations can be found here.

REI – Rockville, 1701 Rockville Pike
September 18 from 12 PM – 4 PM

REI – Bailey’s Crossroads, 3509 Carlin Springs Rd.
September 19 from 12 PM – 4 PM

A tax-deductible doantion of $10 covers shipping and handling of your bike, your donation will also reduce future landfill waste.

Professional Organizer in Washington, DC is a Hoarder. Can You Help?

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Many of my Facebook Fanpage followers are already aware that I’m a hoarder.  That’s right!  I’m a  professional organizer and I’m a hoarder!  Wait – don’t get the wrong idea.  I’m not living among piles of stuff like you would see on A&E TV’s hit series Hoarders, I’m only hoarding denim.  I’m collecting jeans for Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, Maryland and I’m trying to collect 500 pairs of your used denim.

Habitat for Humanity is collecting denim for the COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN® denim drive.  All donated denim will be recycled into UltraTouch™ Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation for Habitat for Humanity homes.  What I love is that UltraTouch™ contains no chemical irritants and requires no warning labels compared to other traditional products. There are no VOC concerns when using UltraTouch™, as it is safe for you and the environment.  This makes it very easy for the volunteer Habitat home builders to install the insulation.

What recycled denim insulation looks like.

So why am I trying to collect 500 pairs of jeans you ask?  It takes 500 pairs of jeans to insulate one Habitat for Humanity home.  As a professional organizer who encourages people to declutter their closet, I thought, why not turn the unwanted denim of my clients into something good.  I began telling clients and friends about my idea right before Earth Day.  I started my efforts by posting notes on Facebook, on my Twitter profile, and emailed other members of the National Association of Professional Organizers asking everyone to donate jeans and to help me spread the word.  Now I’m taking it to you, my readers.

I’ve been blessed so far with my collection efforts, but still need help to reach my goal of 500 pairs of jeans.  One client donated over 50 pairs from her family. Real Estate Agent, Hub Krack told his friends and clients and dropped off 18 pairs of jeans. At the NAPO Conference in Columbus, Ohio, 67 pairs of jeans were donated by numerous organizers attending the conference.  Professional Organizer Tanna Clark of Nashville, TN wrote a check to Habitat for Humanity for $125.00 to help cover the cost of shipping of the jeans and many others donated cash.  One of my favorite local furniture stores, Vastu is currently accepting donations of jeans on my behalf until Sunday, May 23rd.  Read more about that on their blog post, Declutter Your Denim.

Currently I have 338 pairs of jeans, but it is not enough.  Can you help spread the word?  Please announce it on your Facebook status.  ReTweet this blog post on Twitter.  Clear out your closet and donate your denim to Habitat.  Comment here about recycling efforts in your community.  Or, if you’re a fan of Habitat for Humanity, tell us why.  If you have jeans to donate, tell me how I can reach you and I’ll schedule a pick up date or you can drop them off at Vastu.

The current denim collection in my kitchen.

I will be collecting denim until I reach 500 pairs or until August 20th, which ever comes first.  Officially denim is being collected through August 20th at the following locations:

Habitat for Humanity ReStore
9100 Gaither Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
301-947-3304

Amicus Green Building Center
4080 Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895-2465
301-571-8590

Self Storage Plus
851 E. Gude Drive, Rockville, MD 20850
301-637-2598

Learn more about the recycle process in this past blog post on denim recycling.

Electronics Recycling in Montgomery County Maryland – This Weekend!

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

In April 2008, the Consumer Electronics Association published a Market Research Report called: Trends in CE Reuse, Recycle and Removal which reported the average American Household has 24 electronic products per household. I don’t know about you, but as I look around my apartment, I have MANY more then 24! With that said, when it is time to recycle the items, we all must do our part to recycle the electronics.

This weekend, Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services is hosting another FREE electronics recycling event.

Sunday, July 26, 2009, 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.
Sherwood High School
300 Olney-Sandy Spring Road
Sandy Spring, MD 20860

(The event will be held in the parking lot behind the school and near the school’s stadium.)
They also accept electronics daily at their Solid Waste Transfer Station.
Full electronics drop-off event collection schedule can be found on their website.
Accepted items include:

    small electronic appliances
    calculators
    camcorders
    CDs and floppy disks
    CD players
    cell phones
    computers and computer-related products
    consumer electronics
    copiers
    cords and cables (including chargers)
    digital cameras
    electronic typewriters
    fax machines
    microwave ovens
    monitors
    personal digital assistant equipment
    printers
    projection equipment
    scanners
    telephones
    small electronic toys
    televisions
    VCRs

If you’re curious what exactly happens to the items after they’re collected – read this post.

Montgomery County Electronic Recycling Events for 2009

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

As a professional organizer, I often find
that my clients have dead electronic equipment cluttering their closets or their garages.  The e-waste is there because they do not know what to do with it.  I appreciate they don’t want to simply toss the TV, computer, or microwave in the trash!  Most would agree, that our landfills are full enough.

I spoke with Peter Karasik who is the Section Chief of the Division of Solid Waste Services of Montgomery County.  We spoke about the upcoming electronic recycling events in Montgomery County.  He recommends to residents they stay in their vehicles as they approach the unloading zone.  They have staff who will unload the cars. This keeps the traffic moving and makes the process faster for everyone.

For the drop-off, electronics should not be in boxes or bags unless you have multiple small electronics or if want to keep cables or power supplies together.   Karasik estimated they could collect 20 – 40 tons of electronics during each collection date.   The e-waste is shipped off to a processing plant in Elkridge, Maryland called E-Structors.  E-Structors does all the data destruction, separates the glass, pulls the copper from wires, and cuts up circuit boards into 1″ squares.  Their process is EPA-approved and results in the materials being 100% separated and recycled. Nothing from their process ever enters the nation’s waste stream.  That’s incredible!

In my opinion, Montgomery County continues to lead the way promoting their recycling efforts.  They’ve published a calendar on their blog of the upcoming recycling events and you can subscribe to receive future dates via email.  You can also follow the recycling events on Twitter by following @GoGreenMC Here’s the full list for the my faithful readers of Declutteryou.com!

12:00 PM – 4:00 PM Electronics Recycling Event at Poolesville High School
17501 Willard Road, Poolesville, MD 20837

12:00 PM – 4:00 PM Electronics Recycling at the Montgomery County Agricultural Center
16 Chestnut St Gaithersburg, MD 20877

Sunday, April 26, 2009
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM Electronics Recycling at Baker Middle School
25400 Oak Drive, Damascus 20872

12:00 PM – 4:00 PM Electronics Recycling at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School
4301 East-West Highway, Bethesda 20814

Note the program for electronics is open to all Montgomery County residents and businesses.

Accepted items include:

  • Small Electronic Appliances, Calculators, & Camcorders
  • CDs and Floppy Disks, CD Players, & Cell Phones
  • Computers & Computer-Related Products
  • Consumer Electronics, Copiers,Cords & Cables (including chargers)
  • Digital Cameras,  & Electronic Typewriters
  • Fax Machines, Microwave Overs, & Personal Digital Assistant Equipment
  • Printers, Projection Equipment, & Scanners
  • Telephones, Small Electronic Toys, Televisions, & VCRs,

I love that every single item collected is recycled!  Did you notice they do not accept videotapes?  I’m looking for a local resource for people to recycle VCR tapes.

If you live in Montgomery County or know someone who does, tell them to clear out their closets, garages, attics and basements.  It’s time to recycle all their electronics in Montgomery County, Maryland!


Free Electronics Recycling in Montgomery County

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

I often find dead electronic laying around the homes of my clients.  You can’t donate them, you don’t want to fill the landfills, so you need to recycle the electronics, right?  According to the site, Earth911, ‘e-waste is growing at three times the rate of other municipal waste and e-waste may be responsible for as much as 70% of the heavy metals in landfills, including 40 % of all lead.’  That’s insane, people!

There is a free electronics recycling event on December 14th in Bethesda, Maryland.  Now is your chance to make a difference.

The event is from 12 PM – 4 PM at Walt Whitman High School.  I recommend you get there early. Accepted items include:

Calculators Small Appliances
Camcorders Fax Machines
CDs & Floppy disks PDAs
CD Players Microwave Ovens
Cell Phones Printers
Computers & Computer-Related Products Projection Equipment
Consumer Electronics Scanners
Copiers Telephones
Cords, Cables & Chargers Small Toys
Digital Cameras Televisions (limit 3)
Electronic Typewriters VCRs (not the tapes)

If you can’t make it on December 14th, the Shady Grove Transfer Station has electronics recycling every day for Montgomery County residents!  No need to wait for those special monthly collection events.   There is a limit of three TV’s per drop off.

Shady Grove Solid Waste Transfer Station
16101 Frederick Rd
Derwood, MD 20855

* Please use the Car Entrance to the facility.
* Open daily 9:00 AM. to 5 PM (Sunday – Saturday)
* Household Hazardous Waste can only be received during these hours — please do not drop off this
material at other times.
* These hours are only for Montgomery County residents – sorry business owners.

Fairfax County’s Recycling Roadshow: October 25

Friday, October 17th, 2008

Don’t miss the 7th Annual Recycling Roadshow!  It’s hosted by Fairfax County Solid Waste Management Program, the Students Against Global Abuse from Herndon High School, and the Town of Herndon this October 25. This recycling event is in honor of America Recycles Day. The goal of America Recycles Day is to build consumer demand for recycled products and to educate all Americans about the environmental and economic benefits of recycling. We want to make consumers aware of the importance of “buying recycled.”

This year they’re accepting pretty much everything!  Read below for a complete list.

  • bicycles ($10 donation requested to cover shipping fees)
  • cell phones
  • clothing
  • compact fluorescent bulbs
  • computers and peripherals
  • eyeglasses
  • gently worn shoes
  • clean/working microwaves
  • rechargeable batteries (no automobile batteries)
  • clean bed linens and towels
  • personal documents for secure shredding (5 medium-sized boxes max per household)
  • televisions
  • window a/c units
  • working sewing machines

Where:  Herndon High School
700 Bennett Street, Herndon, VA 20170

When:  October 25, 2008

Time:  10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Sponsored by the following organizations:
Fairfax County Solid Waste Management Program
Covanta Energy, Inc.
Fairfax County Public Schools
HHS Students Against Global Abuse
Town of Herndon
ServiceSource
Bikes for the World
Art for Humanity
Safeguard Shredding
OAR of Fairfax
RBRC

Old Denim? Put It To Use for Habitat!

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Recently I worked with a client who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. We’ve been clearing out her basement in order to create a home office and exercise area. In the process we discovered a box full of jeans. No, the box wasn’t full of Earnest Sewn, 7 For All ManKind, or Diesel. We had the wide leg kind, short-short cut-offs, painter jeans, and even the classic overalls. Holly explained “my accumulation of jeans was inspired by a quilt my mother made when I was in high school.”

Holly found numerous things to donate (which really helped move the basement project along). I left her with the assignment to find a new home for the donations before I returned one week later. Today, Holly emailed me to say she found the perfect place for the denim. “Since I recognize that I will never get around to making a quilt for myself, and that I can put the jeans to a good use, I was able to let go of them.”

An eighth grade student in Montgomery County, Christa Guild, is collecting jeans for a denim drive sponsored by Cotton Inc. and Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County ReStore in Gaithersburg.

All the jeans collected will be shipped to California. There the jeans begin their transformation into Cotton Fiber Insulation. California-based Allen Company donates their resources to bale the denim. Next, the material is sent to JBM Fibers in Texas. JBM converts the denim back into cotton fiber. Eventually, the cotton fiber will be sent to Arizona, where Bonded Logic Inc. makes it into UltraTouch Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation. It’s lots of work for a cool product, which Habitat for Humanity will use in new houses built in New Orleans and the Gulf region.

As noted in the May 7th edition of the Montgomery County Gazette, Guild has already collected 114 pairs of jeans. She said, ‘‘we’re trying to get 500 because that’s how much it takes to insulate one house.”

The denim insulation is not created with harsh chemicals, is 30% more sound proof then fiberglass insulation, is hypo-allergenic, and it is not itchy like other insulation. The UltraTouch Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation can be installed without gloves or masks. Wouldn’t that make every insulation installer happier?

Cotton Inc. partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County ReStore to bring the drive to Montgomery County for the first time this year, said Adeela Abbasi, marketing and communications manager with Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The goal for the county is to collect 2,500 pairs of jeans and insulate five homes.

Deadline for donations is September 2, 2008!
Be sure to donate before Labor Day. Take your jeans to:

Going Green in DC With The USPS

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

The United States Postal Service has selected DC as one of ten cities to participate in a pilot program for recycling used small electronics. Ten cities doesn’t sound like very many, but it includes over 1500 branches. If the program is successful it could go nationwide.

You can recycle your cell phones, PDAs, MP3 players, digital cameras, ink cartridges, and other small electronics by simply dropping them in the small, postage-paid mailer available at DC area USPS branches.

According to a press release on the USPS website, the free program has a corporate sponsor.

Postage is paid for by Clover Technologies Group, a nationally recognized company that rec

ycles, remanufactures and remarkets inkjet cartridges, laser cartridges and small electronics. If the electronic item or cartridges cannot be refurbished and resold, its component parts are reused to refurbish other items, or the parts are broken down further and the materials are recycled. Clover Technologies Group has a “zero waste to landfill” policy: it does everything it can to avoid contributing any materials to the nation’s landfills.

It’s great the Postal Service is willing to participate in this program, enabling consumers to make environmentally friendly choices for their small electronics. I’ve wanted to test out the program so I took a field trip to my local Post Office branch. The box of return envelopes is not terribly large, so you might need to look around for it. Also, it appeared to be empty because the roll of envelopes was caught inside the box.

Once I had the envelope in hand, I was able to slide in a few different items. There are a few limitations which are not specified on the envelope. It is small, so whatever you slide inside must fit in a 5.5″ by 6.25″ envelope and total contents can’t weigh more than 13 ounces. The envelope doesn’t say the weight limit and I’m not going to pull out a scale to weigh the phones. If they want the phones, they’ll take them, right?

With a quick trip down the street to the
post office box, I was able to drop the mailer directly into the mail box. Because of the thickness of the phones I could not put it in the mail slot at the building where I live.

Overall I think the program is great. One suggestion is the USPS could include one mailer in each person’s mail box to increase the awareness of the program. Perhaps Clover Technologies Group should also pay for an advertising campaign to promote the project. I’ve shared the program’s information with many clients, friends, and local ‘green’ stores and no one had heard about the program. Perhaps the program can expand the number of locations the return envelopes are available? Most people avoid a trip to the post office at all cost!

If you’re reading this blog post and live in one of the 10 cities that is piloting this program, how did you hear about it?

Trash Becomes Treasure – Recycled Art

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

DC has a very cool event each year titled Artomatic. It’s 1000 artist, displaying their work for 28 days and nights, all in one building, attracting over 50,000 visitors. The diversity of the artwork at this year’s event was amazing. I personally enjoyed all the artwork created with recycled objects. Over the next few weeks I’m going to highlight a few of the artists who’s work caught my eye at Artomatic 2008.

Elizabeth Lundberg Morisette
created a very cool 3-D display of bottle caps, title 1,584 Bottles of Beer on the Wall (I’ve Had My Share). Created with bottle caps and nails, I thought the 40″ x 50″ piece was very cool. It was inspired by her Grand Father-in-Law who gave up drinking around age 60. When he passed away, Elizabeth received two cans of nails he had saved. She used those nails for this installation. Check out Elizabeth’s Flickr Stream, she has great work much of it created with recycled materials.

Click on any image to view it full size.

I wanted to know more about how this display came about so I contacted Elizabeth. She told me the bottle caps have been collected over time from friends and family and that they were often brought back from vacations, or weddings. She created a permanent bottle cap mosaic wall in her house (which is for sale, by the way) with nearly 5,000 bottle caps. You can see more pictures of her house here.

Since her family is moving to Colorado, when Artomatic closed down, she couldn’t keep all the bottle caps. However, she did share this cool photo of a pot she created with some of the left over bottle caps.

I think this is truly ‘Pop’ Art! Do you know any other artist creating art from recycled materials?