Working for a More Sustainable Mount Rainier Maryland

Category: Reports

Mount Rainier Reuse and Recycling Guide

This guide to what is recyclable by the City of Mount Rainier, what is not recyclable, and what can be recycled at other nearby locations was last updated in July 2018. You can also download a printable version of the guide here.

Did you know the average Marylander generates 6 pounds of waste each day?

This adds up and in the City of Mount Rainier this totaled close to $75,000in landfill costs in 2014. Reducing waste, recycling and composting can help save the planet and save money.

The purpose of this guide is to help residents find alternatives and beneficial uses of your waste.

City Recycling Programs

Curbside Recycling Pickup
The City picks up recycling every Friday. If there is a holiday, it will be picked up the following Monday. Accepted materials include aluminum and steel/tin food and bev-erage cans, glass bottles and jars, mixed paper and card-board, plastics #1 through #7 (See quick guide on back). If you need a cart contact Public Works at 301-985-6583

Curbside Yard Waste Pickup Biodegradable yard waste is collected every Monday March through November. Yard waste must be in biode- gradable paper bags or in reusable containers—no plas- tic bags. Residents are allowed 3 cubic yards per pick up, anyone going over the limit will be asked to pay for the overage. Bamboo and wood are not yard waste, these are collected as bulk trash. Yard waste such as brush and branches must be tied in bundles not more than 4′ in length and/or 50 pounds.

Backyard Composting Program
The City launched a program to help residents compost by offering compost bins for residents at a subsidized cost of $20. The bins generally retail for more than $80. Help keep food waste out of the landfill and contact Public Works to purchase a bin at 301-985-6583.

Electronic Waste/Polystyrene Days
The City hosts electronic waste recycling days on the third Saturday of March, June, September, and Dec-ember where residents can bring their items to 3750 Wells Ave (Public Works). Acceptable items include computers, tab- lets, keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, fax machines, TVs, VCRs, DVD/CD/MP3 players, stereos, radios, turntables, telephones, cell phones, cables/cords, and ink jet and toner cartridges.

The Green Team at the same time hosts polystyrene #6 (Styrofoam) recycling collection, which is taken to the EPS Industry Alliance in Crofton. If you don’t want to wait, you can take your polystyrene to the location during business hours. For more information on what polystyrene is acceptable:

Recycling Quick Guide

The City cannot accept recyclables in plastic or paper bags


  • Food and beverage containers


  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Aluminum, bimetal, ferrous, and steel food and beverage containers
  • Aluminum foil

Mixed Paper/Corrugated Cardboard

  • All paper
  • Aseptic/gable-top milk and juice cartons
  • Catalogs & Magazines
  • Flattened corrugated cardboard (boxes)
  • Frozen food packaging
  • Hard- and soft- covered books
  • Kraft paper bags & wrapping paper
  • Magazine
  • Newspapers with inserts
  • Paper board (cereal and cracker boxes)
  • Telephone books
  • Unsoiled Pizza Boxes


  • Drinking cups
  • Flower pots
  • Narrow-neck containers numbers #1 through #7
  • Wide-mouth containers such as peanut butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise tubs
  • Prescription bottles

Remember to rinse all food and beverage containers and to recap or place the lids in the recycling cart/bin.

Common items that are NOT RECYCLABLE:

  • Plastic Bags (As of July 1, 2015 no plastic bags or film)
  • Styrofoam
  • Coat hangers

Other Recycling Options

Plastic Bags
As of July 1, 2015 plastic bags are no longer recyclable. Many grocery stores accept plastic bags and have bins for recycling. You can search for the nearest location here:

My Organic Market
My Organic Market (MOM) grocery store offers recycling of many types of items including drink pouches, corks, sneakers, and batteries, in addition to plastic bags. For more info:

Refrigerators, Freezers, Air Conditioners
Pepco has an appliance-recycling program and will recycle old, working refrigerators or freezers and give you $50. Through this program you can also recycle working window air conditioners and get an extra $25 at the same time. You can schedule a pickup by calling 877-395-5540 or visit the Pepco Appliance Recycling Program website.

Building Materials & Furniture
Community Forklift
Community Forklift in Edmonston accepts donations of mostly new and salvaged building & landscaping mater-ials, appliances, and tools, as well as antique and vintage housewares. They also accept furniture and commercial materials on a case-by-case basis. More info is available by contacting 301-832-0781 or by visiting

Habitat For Humanity
The Habitat for Humanity Restore accepts donations of household goods, building supplies, and furniture donations. All household goods and furniture donations are sold to the public at deep discounts and all proceeds are used to fund new affordable housing in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. You can drop off items or they will pickup.

Do you have concrete, bricks or chunks of clay and rubble? Luckily there is a local business that will recycle this material for a small price at 3334 Kenilworth Ave in Hyattsville. Contact DC Materials at 301-403-0200 or

Scrap Metal
Scrap metal is a hot commodity in Mount Rainier. One option is to place it on the curb and likely it will disappear within hours. However, if you’d like to get some cash for your metal, you can bring it to Metro Re-Uz-It Co., Inc. at 3401 Kenilworth Ave in Hyattsville. More information is available at

Clothing, Housewares, Etc.
Find a local Goodwill to donate items to:

Charity Pickups
Find a charity that will pick up your donations for free:

Freecycle is a moderated listserve for people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers:

Mount Rainier Listserve
If you have something to get rid off, consider posting it to the Mount Rainier listserve. If you aren’t on the list you can join by contacting:

Something else not listed?
Search Earth 911 for recycling/reuse locations:

Hazardous Items
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)

Do NOT throw CFLs away in your household garbage. CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury within the tubing – an average of 5 milligrams – and are safe to use in your home. However, the bulbs should be handled with care. Broken CFLs are considered hazardous waste. Unbroken CFLs can be brought to any Home Depot store or you can search here for other locations near you:

Hazardous Waste
What is Hazardous Waste?
Items include:

  • Car & household batteries
  • Automotive fluids
  • Cooking oil
  • Cleaning agents
  • CFLs
  • Oil-based paints
  • Poisons
  • Insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers
  • Solvents, varnishes and stains

For more info call 311 or visit

The City is not permitted to collect hazardous material. All material must be brought to the Brown Station Road Sanitary Landfill in Upper Marlboro. For information call 311. It is free of charge to County citizens and residents who need to dispose of harmful household waste.

The County does offer collection for Senior citizens and the disabled. To qualify, no one living in the home can be under 65 years of age or be physically able to transport the material to the County’s facility. Residents who qualify for this service should call 311 to schedule an appointment for the at home collection of household hazardous waste.

2017 Membership Survey

In 2017 the Green Team conducted an internal survey to ensure we were heading in the direction the Team as a whole felt was appropriate.  Here is a link to the report.

2017 Green Team Membership Survey Results

City Hall Sustainability Walkthrough Recommendations

On August 5, 2016 a representative from the Mt Rainier Green Team conducted a walkthrough of Mt Rainier City hall in order to find ways to improve the sustainability of City Hall operations.  Here is a link to the report – City Hall Sustainability Walkthrough Recommendations.

Municipal Carbon Footprint Report City of Mount Rainier

Nick Ryugo (Chesapeake Conservation Corps/Sustainable Maryland) worked with The Green Team to examine the Government of the City of Mount Rainier’s carbon footprint. This was the second assessment of the city’s municipal carbon footprint. You can read the report here – Carbon Footprint Report

Street Light Replacement Report

The Green Team examined the environmental and financial benefits of replacing street lights in Mount Rainier with LEDs. You can read the report here – Street Light Replacement Report.

Green Home De-Icing

At the 2017 Snow Symposium the Green Team gave a presentation on more environmentally friendly ways to remove snow and ice during winter storms. Here is the presentation – Green Home De-Icing.

Bicycle Master Plan

In February 2016, the Green Team developed a Bicycle Master Plan for the City that was later adopted by the the City Council. You can read the report here – Mount Rainier Bicycle Master Plan.

Green Infrastructure Plan

In 2013 the Green Team helped put together a green infrastructure plan for the City of Mount Rainier. You can read it here – Mount Rainier Green Infrastructure Plan.

Rolling Cart Analysis

An analysis of the financial benefits of switching to rolling recycling carts. Mt Rainier Rolling Recycling Bin Analysis.

2018 Update: some cost numbers have shifted since analysis was completed.

Green Purchasing Policy Recommendations

Here is a link to recommendations from the Green Team to the City of Mount Rainier concerning Green Purchasing Policies – Green Purchasing Policy Report..

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