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Votes

Bravo to Behnke

Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

As regular user of the county’s blue recycling bins, we were delighted to discover a new participant in the mix: Behnke’s Nursery on River Road has a recycling station for those millions of plastic flowerpots.

Most County residents know that only plastic containers with a neck (like a water bottle) are recycled. So all plastic deli or yogurt containers, all plant containers, and many others, go to the growing mound of unredeemable trash — despite the cheerful recycling triangle printed on them.

How is Behnke’s pulling off what the county does not or cannot do? General Manager Gary Ingram said they do recycle flowerpots, but at a separate facility. And they reuse the expensive pots with their names printed on them, holding down cost and prices. He pointed out that an earlier drive to offer this service was defeated by people leaving trash in the recycling areas … but they’re trying it again. Thank goodness.

So how ‘bout it Montgomery County? Why must we wait for individual stores to step up to this public issue like Behnke’s or Whole Foods, which offers stations for paper, bottles, cans, plastic containers and plastic bags?

Where’s the leadership? Where should we take all our non-neck plastic recyclables?

And speaking of leadership, it sure would be great if the Potomac Village shopping centers expanded from the one recycling bin in the public area outside Starbucks. Several years ago that bin was installed after scores of Potomac Elementary School students wrote to local elected officials, media, and the Potomac Chamber of Commerce on the occasion of Earth Day. That was good progress but it’s time for better. Potomac Day is coming on Oct. 28 — imagine how many cans and plastic bottles won’t end up in that one recycling bin. Could the vendors be prevailed upon to set up trash and recycling cans, side-by-side?

The question now is: when can we expect leadership from the county, from the stores that sell recyclable containers, or — dare we say it — both of them?

Diana Conway and Will Conway (age 12)

Potomac