PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners and the Calvert County Department of Public Works celebrated recycling excellence in Calvert County during its first annual recycling awards ceremony Tuesday, July 26. The event recognized individuals, businesses, government agencies, non-profits and schools for recycling ingenuity and results.
“It is important that all of us do our part when it comes to managing solid waste,” shared Board President Evan Slaughenhoupt. “These winners showed how powerful the results can be when you stay focused and committed to a recycling program.”
“Calvert Countians on average generate about 300 tons of solid waste a day,” said Rai Sharma, director of county Department of Public Works. “We promote recycling as a way to reduce that impact. These award winners demonstrate how innovation can lead to remarkable recycling results.”
The 2016 Calvert County Recycling Award recipients are:
Calvert Library Southern Branch
The library stopped giving out disposable plastic bags and now gives away reusable bags for customers to tote their materials. Library staff enlisted community members in a project to create reusable tote bags out of plastic bags, with each tote bag removing 150 plastic grocery bags from the waste stream.
Asbury Solomons Continuing Care Retirement Community
The Go Green Committee at Asbury Solomons worked with residents to recycle 51 percent of the facility’s waste. It also encouraged its dining and maintenance service provider to use recyclable carryout containers and washable plastic glasses.
Calvert Memorial Hospital
The hospital has a comprehensive recycling program that helped it divert nearly 200,000 pounds of waste from landfills in fiscal year 2015. Measures included new laboratory equipment that saved glass biohazard waste and hazardous chemical waste, paper shredding events and even shoe recycling.
Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant
The plant’s Environmental Stewardship Committee led an effort that helped divert 28 percent of its waste to the recycling market while saving on disposal costs. An LED relighting project and the recycling of wooden pallets and metal helped make Calvert Cliffs a corporate leader.
Sneade’s Ace Home Center
Sneade’s recycled nearly 42 tons of materials from its two stores last year. Sneade’s staff works to ensure all cardboard, paper, cans, newspaper, toner cartridges and batteries are recycled.
Planet Aid’s 16 yellow bins helped recycle close to 50,000 pounds of textiles in Calvert County last year – a 50 percent increase from 2014. Not only is this reducing landfill waste, it also reduces carbon dioxide emissions by up to 200,000 pounds.
From its two Calvert County locations, Chesapeake’s Bounty composted 750 cubic feet of organic matter. Other efforts include recycling or reusing cardboard, the phasing out of plastic bags and the return of oyster and clam shells to the bay for the recolonization of oysters.
Trash Troopers First Lego League Robotics Team
Realizing a lack of locations for LED recycling in Calvert County, this team developed a return package with pre-paid postage as a prototype for sending LEDs to recyclers. Team members then performed a play to educate friends and families.
Dowell Elementary School
Dowell Elementary reduced its landfill waste by 26 percent by recycling more than 49,000 juice pouches and almost 8,000 writing utensils. Students also collected 189 pounds of glue stick containers and sent them to Appeal Landfill for rigid plastic recycling.
Mill Creek Middle School
Mill Creek, a Maryland Green School, diverts 17 percent of its waste to recycling. Students created art from vinyl records and began composting to produce mulch for the school’s flower and plant beds.
Calvert High School
Along with light bulb, electronic and shredded paper recycling, Calvert High students looked at where recyclable waste is being generated. They brought back recycling in the cafeteria and worked to separate recyclable items at the school’s athletic fields.
Three of the county award winners – Calvert Library, Asbury Solomons and Calvert Memorial Hospital – went on to win a state-level Maryland Recycling Network Recycling Award for their recycling efforts.
“Most businesses, organizations and institutions understand the long-term economic and environmental savings we can realize through recycling,” explained Calvert County Recycling Program Specialist Keith Roumfort. “We were thrilled to highlight the success and best practices in our community and hope it inspires more people to actively join the effort.”
Recycling is an important part of Calvert County’s waste management program. Recycling can help conserve natural resources, conserve landfill space and save money by reducing the cost of trash disposal and offsetting the need for a new landfill. Learn more by visiting the Calvert County Division of Solid Waste and Recycling online at www.co.cal.md.us/recycle. Division representatives are available to assist any business in helping to set up or review recycling programs. Like Calvert County Government on Facebook.