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Keyword: recycling

By Jeanette Garcia Polasky, Department of Public Works

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Baltimore County thanks you for recycling! In 2018, Baltimore County residents set out more than 52,500 tons of material for recycling. On America Recycles Day 2019, which was observed on November 15, the Bureau of Solid Waste Management asked residents to celebrate by doing one or more of the following:

 
Photo of Kat and Nat

Bath and beauty products come packaged in a variety of materials that can confuse even the most dedicated recyclers. Head over to Clean Green Baltimore County on Facebook and watch a new video hosted by Bureau of Solid Waste Management employees, "Kat & Nat," to learn about what you can and can't recycle in the bathroom or at your vanity. 

To view a full list of accepted recyclables, visit the Bureau of Solid Waste Management's residential recycling collection information page on the County's website. 

By Jeanette Garcia Polasky, Department of Public Works

Photo of a carved pumpkin

Americans will spend about $9 billion this Halloween on costumes, decorations and candy. Most of this merchandise is single use and comes in packaging that can’t be recycled. In fact, the amount of Halloween waste we generate each year is downright terrifying. But fear not! There are lots of creative ways to green your Halloween and save money while having a ghastly good time.

Buy pumpkins, gourds and cornstalks from local farms, nurseries or farmers markets. Have a green goblin thumb? Grow your own next year. And don’t waste those pumpkin guts – use the flesh in recipes and roast the seeds for a healthy snack.
 

Swap, Buy Used or Upcycle

Swap, buy used or create upcycled decorations. You’d be surprised by how easy it can be. It took me less than 30 minutes to transform a selection of sweet-faced knick-knacks into a motley crew of creepy décor using a little paint.

You also can swap, buy used or make upcycled costumes. Use ingredients you have at home to make face paint. Next September, host a Halloween costume swap party.

Use up arts and crafts supplies by upcycling buckets, pillowcases, cans, t-shirts, gift bags or reusable totes for trick-or-treating. Trick or treat in places you can reach on foot or by public transit.

Keep Treats in the Bag

Please don't litter! Parents—bring a bag and gloves or grabber tool to pick up litter along your trick-or-treating route. Your little ghosts and ghouls shouldn’t be leaving a trail of candy wrappers in their wake. Want to help keep ours a clean green county year round? Clean streams and public lands with your local watershed association, do a Clean Green 15 pickup in your community, or get your group to participate in the Adopt-A-Road program.

Having a Party?

Send invitations electronically. Serve locally-sourced food and drink. Buy fair-trade chocolate. Use reusable linens and kitchenware. Serve witches’ brew or Frankenpunch in drink dispensers instead of beverages in bottles and cans. Use a meal planning tool to determine how much food to prepare. Store leftovers in reusable containers and (actually) eat them. Put out a recycling bin and ask your guests to use it. Visit the County’s website to find out what is and is not accepted for curbside recycling collection.

Use leftover candy in baked goods, ice cream sundaes, snack mixes, cereal bars and more. Use your imagination, or try one of many recipes found on Pinterest.

A few last words: If you purchase new items for your Halloween celebrations, look for products and packaging made with recycled content. Most importantly, be safe and have fun!

Have a Green-o-ween idea you’d like to share? Send it to cleangreen@baltimorecountymd.gov.

This article originally appeared in The Resource newsletter in October 2018. Visit the County’s website to subscribe or read The Resource blog online.

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Revised October 25, 2019