When I first moved to Washington, DC there was something that I noticed right away, the lack of recycling in the city. I had come from a background in recycling. I worked for the Ecology Center in Berkeley, CA which ran the city residential recycling program. They are a great model for a non-profit organization using money received to run their other programs i.e. the information center, farm fresh choice, and the eco-house. People seemed to be confused by the recycling process and acted as if it was more problem to recycle than just throw it in the garbage.

I wondered why recycling was so hard in DC and then a friend took me to the Fort Totten transfer station and I was shocked when we didn’t have to pay for it.  My friend was confused by what I was asking him.  “Where is the scale?”

He told me that DC residents don’t pay for garbage and this is when I realized that having to pay for garbage encouraged recycling. Why would you throw away recycling if you have to pay for it.

The second thing that I noticed was that there was no recycling center for e -waste. If you wanted to drop off your cfl bulbs or other household waste you dropped it at a store and they had to voluntarily drop it off at a site in Maryland.

Well, I am excited to say that there is now a program for hazardous waste in DC. We still have figure out where it goes after the transfer station but at least it doesn’t have to be co-mingled with garbage

Household Hazardous Waste/E-cycling/Document Shredding services will be offered once a month only, the first Saturday of the month, except holidays, at the Ft. Totten Transfer Station, 4900 John F. McCormack Road, NE, between 8 am and 3 pm.

Another step forward toward sustainability.


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