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Office of Energy and SustainabilitySuperior government service with the smallest possible environmental footprint

Waste Reduction

Montgomery County reduces waste by delivering better services with fewer resources; reusing, donating, or selling excess office supplies, furniture, vehicles, and construction waste; and recycling at all County facilities.

About

Waste disposal pollutes our air and water and creates a human health risks. Recycling and reusing materials, not only reduces waste, but also reduces the need for raw materials and the amount of energy needed for manufacturing new products. At Montgomery County government facilities, we are continually looking for opportunities to reduce waste through:

  • reuse and reducing use of new materials;
  • recyling materials;
  • composting; and
  • purchasing green materials.

Reduce Use

Reduce Paper Use

The County continues to reduce paper waste from government operations, eliminating more than 7.4 million sheets of paper waste in FY2018.

  • Our County-wide state of the art print management system defaults to double-sided, black and white printing and deletes unwanted print jobs.
  • The Department of Permitting Services (DPS) converted to an electronic permit application system called ePlans, eliminating 17.7 million sheets of paper waste since converting.
  • Departments across the County continue to transition to and use digital processes for routine County business.
  • Montgomery County Public Libraries has eliminated the use of printer mailers, eliminating approximately 1,000 postcards per week. The Department of Finance is also replacing paper forms with electronic forms submitted online further reducing waste.

Reduce Furniture Use

Montgomery County reuses office furniture through its furniture supply warehouse. Employees in need of furniture visit the warehouse and select items for pick-up or delivery, reducing the need for new furniture.

Recycling

In addition to paper, plastic, metal and glass recycling, Montgomery County also recycles printer and copier toner cartridges, electronics, steel from our fleet and sign shops, and other specialized items.

Construction waste

Construction Waste

When we build or renovate a facility, we divert construction waste from the waste stream by reuse and recycling. During the demolition of the former Public Safety Training Academy, 26,901 tons of concrete, steel, and clean masonry material were reused on site or recycled, accounting for 96% of demolition waste.

Computer Electronics

Recycling Electronics

In FY2018, the County recycled over 440 communication devices through the Department of Police and 100% end of life computer equipment including 1,600 PCs, laptops and tablets through Department of Technology Services’ (DTS) DCM Program.

Vehicle Recovery Station

Vehicle Recovery Station

The County’s Vehicle Recovery Station sells unclaimed vehicles at auction to scrap processors for recycling or reuse. In FY2018, over 2,000 vehicles, along with other items such as bicycles, were sold at auction to be reused or recycled, totaling approximately 3,500 tons of metal.


Employee Engagement

We’re tracking recycling rates at each facility to better target education and outreach efforts. DGS and DEP work together to improve recycling stations in County facilities with clearly labeled bins and educational posters. DEP also provides training and educational materials to increase recycling rates among employees and visitors at County facilities. Additionally, employees donate surplus binders and other office supplies to families in need through the school system’s Drive for Supplies and other programs.

Compost Food

The County is composting waste from food preparation at three cafeterias in County facilities. In addition, leftover food is packaged and brought to area homeless shelters for distribution. From November 2011 through October 2018, a total of 136 tons of food scraps have been diverted from the waste stream by composting, enough to fill 10 garbage trucks.

Purchase Smart

Employee Engagement

Montgomery County currently purchases 30% or higher post-consumer recycled content paper. The County has eliminated the use of Styrofoam from all County food service contracts. We also use recycled materials in construction and renovation projects. In FY2018, Montgomery County purchased over $6 million of products containing recycled materials. More...

To learn more about what you can do visit https://mygreenmontgomery.org/projects/waste-reduction/.

 
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