“That’s a huge number,” General Manager Bob Thompson told a group of approximately 45 people gathered at the Yacht Club last Thursday evening to learn about recycling.
Thompson and Jon Southworth of Waste Management, the trash collection company for Ocean Pines, discussed the new recycling program that includes possible cash benefits for the community and vouchers or coupons for residents. The program is expected to start in July.
Waste Management is partnering with SC Johnson, which is sponsoring the Green Choices program nationwide.
“Waste Management selected us to represent Maryland in the upcoming challenge,” Thompson said. “it’s very, very exciting for us. Other communities are of a comparable size.”
“For poundage of the recyclables we send, points build up,” Thompson said. “It’s a really aggressive program.”
Waste Management will weigh all of the recyclables from curbside collection in Ocean Pines and “we all get credit for it” in the contest, Thompson said.
Ocean Pines as a community could win $100,000 and households could win vouchers or coupons for merchandise or discounts. Many of the businesses offering the vouchers or coupons are national, but local businesses may also participate.
“Obviously, the Yacht Club will participate,” Thompson said. “It’s not just national.”
Thompson said Ocean Pines has a chance of winning the contest, but residents must sign up at www.wmcurbside to participate. Sign-ups begin in June.
Participation in the bi-weekly recycling collection is not enough. Residents must also sign up for the contest. When the program begins, Waste Management customers will be notified of how to sign up. Notifications will be sent by email, fliers will be distributed and information will be in the Ocean Pines quarterly newsletter as well as on the Web site, www.oceanpines.org.
After the contest begins, participants will self-report each month if they recycle. That may be done online or by calling.
“We could win $100,000 and think about it, it could put us in the national spotlight,” he said.
The average consumer in the recycling program earns about $160 worth of reward points annually, Thompson said.
The campaign to inform customers about how to activate their accounts for the contest will begin in the next couple of weeks, Southworth said.
Some of the residents were a bit unsure what items they could recycle and some said they were combining their items in a large plastic trash bag and then putting the bag into the 90-gallon container provided free of charge by Waste Management.
A list of recyclable items was printed on a sheet of paper that was with each recycling container as it was delivered, but some people just tossed it in with trash or their recyclables. A list of suitable items may be found online at
The residents were told they should not put their recyclables in a plastic trash bag. Instead, they should place the recyclables in the container and it does not matter that they are combined. That is why it is called “single-stream” recycling.
Other residents said they thought the 90-gallon containers were heavy, but Thompson advised them to tilt it.