In The Loop

Welcome to the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority's Blog

Entries for month: December 2018

Going Green in the New Year

December 20, 2018 ·

Each new year comes with a promise of a fresh start, new experiences and for some, resolutions. It’s not too late to resolve to go green in 2019! Here are some simple and easy resolutions that contribute to a healthier planet.

Plastic Water Bottles: Ditch Them!
Buying bottled water not only costs money, but also generates plastic waste. In fact, enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the Earth four times. Instead, invest in an at-home filtering pitcher or a reusable bottle made from aluminum, glass or recycled plastic.

Reusable Bags: A Must Have
Plastic bags are a huge drain on the environment, taking 15 to 1,000 years to decompose. Only 2% of bags are recycled each year, and the rest are sent to landfills or make their way to pollute our oceans. Next time you make a trip to the grocery story, consider using a reusable bag. Washable and sturdy, reusable bags make shopping trips more convenient and ecofriendly.

Cut Back on Paper Towels
Did you know 13 billion pounds of paper towels end up in landfills every day? Investing in a few cotton cloths and some fabric napkins can help reduce paper waste significantly. When the fabric napkins get dirty, just run them through the laundry. Cloth alternatives are not only less wasteful, but more economical.

Switch to Rechargeable Batteries
According to the EPA, Americans throw away more than 3 billion batteries every year. Many of these batteries will end up in landfills, taking up land as a precious resource. Make the switch to rechargeable batteries. This will decrease your battery consumption to a fraction it was before, saving you money, and producing less waste.

If the holidays have left you with a pile of old batteries you don’t know what to do with, LCSWMA offers free battery bags to Lancaster County residents. Place the bag next to your garbage can, or deliver it to our Household Hazardous Waste Facility on Harrisburg Pike for free disposal. To request bags or for more information, email us at info@lcswma.org.

Proper Disposal of Waste
When it comes to disposal, not all waste is the same. For instance, paint and electronics should not be placed in your trash can. Household hazardous waste (HHW) should be delivered to LCSWMA’s HHW Facility, free to Lancaster County residents. For a complete list of materials accepted at the HHW Facility, view our Resident’s Guide.

Tags: Green Tips · Recycling

Christmas Tree Recycling

December 14, 2018 ·

The following are some suggested Christmas Tree Drop-Offs. All trees must be contaminant-free. No tree stands or plastic (including bags), wire, ornaments, lights, nails, tinsel, etc. may remain on the trees. No yard waste is accepted.

1. Lancaster County Central Park – main entrance located along Chesapeake Street, Lancaster. Call the Park Office at 717-299-8215 during regular business hours for additional information and instructions. Trees may be dropped off daily from December 26 through January 31 dawn to dusk. Mulch will be available free to the public beginning January 4 on a first come, first served basis. Persons desiring free mulch should provide their own pitchfork or shovel and a bag or trailer for transporting the mulch. There is a three (3) tree per vehicle limit and a $1.00/tree donation is requested and appreciated to support the Dr. John Moss Native Tree Nursery in the park. Not for commercial collection.

2. Martin Mulch Products – located at 55 Woodcrest Drive, Ephrata. Call 717-733-1602 with questions. Trees may be dropped off Monday through Saturday between dawn and dusk. Single trees are $2.00 each; the price varies for larger deliveries.
3. Zeager Brothers – located at 4000 East Harrisburg Pike, Middletown. Call 717-944-7481 with questions. Trees may be dropped off Monday through Friday between 6 am and 6 pm and on Saturdays from 8 am until noon. No charge. Zeager Brothers will be closed for business on December 25 and January 1.

Many municipalities offer curbside collection of trees through their contract program; other municipalities offer drop-off locations for residents. CLICK HERE for a list of participating municipalities. Residents are encouraged to contact their municipal office for more information about programs in their community.

Tags: Recycling

Decorating Green for the Holidays

December 14, 2018 ·

Did you know, between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, Americans throw away one million extra tons of garbage each week?

Many celebrate the holidays as a season of giving, and one of the most important gifts we can give is to make choices that help ensure a sustainable future for our community and environment. “Going Green” is easier than you think, and small changes can make a big difference.

Here are a few eco-friendly decorating tips to get you in the spirit of “going green” this holiday season:

Lighting.
A favorite holiday activity is the tour of beautiful lights adorning homes and businesses in our community. While lovely to look at, holiday lighting can increase energy consumption.

When decorating with lights, consider more efficient LED bulbs. Though more costly up front, they last longer and use less electricity. Over a 30-day period, lighting 500 traditional holiday lights will cost about $18, while the same number of LED lights costs only $0.19. As an added bonus, if one of the LED lights burns out the rest of the strand will stay lit.

Christmas Trees: Live or Fake?
For some, the Christmas tree is a focal point of holiday decorations. Artificial trees are a first choice for many because they can be displayed for several years, and seemingly reduce the number of trees being cut down.

Surprisingly though, live Christmas trees may actually be the most sustainable choice. Most are grown on tree farms where, in many cases, represent the only crop the soil can support. They also provide shelter for native animal and bird species.

Many artificial trees, however, are made with petroleum-based plastics and have a much larger carbon footprint than live trees. This is largely due to their manufacturing origin, which is often international countries like China.

Buying a live tree from a local tree farm or stand, also supports local businesses, and in turn, the community.

TIP: If you’re planning to go with a live tree, remember to recycle it when the season ends. You can mulch the tree or process it into firewood. There are some suggested Christmas Tree Drop-Offs in Lancaster County, and many municipalities offer curbside collection. For more information, click here.

Decorating “Green”.
While bright shiny tinsel and plastic snowflakes look very nice around the house, they contribute to a significant amount of annual holiday waste. Using organic material for holiday decorations is a great way to decorate in a sustainable manner. Many stores sell live wreaths, holiday arrangements or ornaments. Don’t forget! Organic decorations can be composted. Check out these tips for composting.

Looking for a holiday activity you can do with friends and family? Make your own decorations! Here are some fun green DIY holiday decoration ideas.

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