From bottles to cardboard, Montgomery County, Maryland, is seeing a big spike in recyclables left out on the curb at homes in the county amid the pandemic.
“We’re seeing real big increases from residences,” said Adam Ortiz, director of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.
According to Ortiz, between March — when many people began working from home — and October, the county has seen a 20% spike in what has been picked up, compared to the same period last year.
“We’re not exactly sure why that is, if it’s they’re getting takeout more and they’re taking those containers and putting them in the recycling bin or not,” Ortiz said.
The collection of recyclables isn’t the only thing people are ditching at home more, Ortiz said trash pickup is up about 13% in neighborhoods.
The large amounts of trash and recyclable materials being picked up by homes, according to Ortiz, hasn’t resulted in additional work for crews that pick up the items, due to a decrease in what is being left out by commercial properties.
“It’s taking a lot less time to get to those commercial properties because there is a lot less to pick-up,” Ortiz said.
He said with the pandemic, there has been some additional concern for the crews that pick up trash and recyclables because like police officers and health care workers, he says they are also working on the front line.
“Folks have been staying safe, and we’ve been able to keep up with what the public’s been putting out at the curb every week,” Ortiz said.
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