The Department maintains a Reuse Directory of businesses and organizations that accept items for reuse. If you know of a business or group that should be listed, or if you would like to be listed, contact our Solid Waste Manager by phone; (301) 475-4200 or by fax; (301) 863-8810.
The Mission Statement of the St. Mary's County Recycling Division is "To promote Reuse, Recycle, and Reduction programs through effective communication, public education and example." To achieve the goal of waste reduction, the Department of Public Works & Transportation has adopted the following hierarchy of the "4 R's" - Reduction, Reuse, Recycling and Recovery.
Wherever possible, waste REDUCTION is the preferable option-it is best to produce as little waste as possible. Reducing the amount of waste is by far the most effective way to battle the flow of garbage into a landfill. How to reduce it-avoid using it in the first place.
If waste is produced, every effort should be made to REUSE it if at all practical. Reusing also means that the product doesn't end up in a landfill. How to reuse it-find products you need and share your excess products with others at a cost savings to everyone.
RECYCLING is the third option in the waste management hierarchy. Although recycling does help to conserve resources and reduce wastes, it is important to remember that there are economic and environmental costs associated with the waste collection and recycling processes. For this reason, recycling should really be considered for waste which cannot be reduced or reused. How to recycle it-place it in the right container to save money.
Finally, it may be possible to RECOVER materials or energy from waste which cannot be reduced, reused or recycled. Practicing the first 2 R's of waste management can be as simple as changing household habits or as complex as altering industrial processes.
We have RETHOUGHT, REVISED and are RESPONDING with new programs each year in accordance with the County's Recycling goals and objectives.