Montgomery County’s Division of Solid Waste Services works to reduce the
amount of waste that we generate and to recycle as much material as
possible. The County has a waste reduction goal of no increase in the
amount of waste per resident, and a goal for businesses of no increase in
per-employee-generated waste over the 1992 level.
Montgomery County’s goal is to recycle 50 percent of all waste generated in the County. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2008, the County's overall recycling rate was 44.3 percent, while businesses recycled 40 percent of the non-residential sector waste, up from 37.3 percent recycled in FY 2007. Businesses are critical to the success of the County's recycling achievement, as they produce more than half of the County’s solid waste. If business recycling were carried out as intended, the 50 percent recycling goal for Montgomery County could be easily met.
Most of the Potomac-area businesses are too small to be required to submit an annual Waste Reduction and Recycling report to the County. Like Montgomery County’s large businesses, though, Potomac’s restaurants, grocery stores, retailers, medical and dental offices, home-based businesses, and swimming pools are required to recycle mixed paper, commingled materials, scrap metal, and yard trim materials.
We are concerned that some local Potomac businesses may not fully understand the County’s goals, may feel that bins are unsightly, or may not be implementing a recycling program consistent with the County’s goals. To address that issue, we are inviting local business owners to come and join us when Mr. Pultyniewicz speaks about the County’s recycling programs. We, the public, also have a role. As we patronize Potomac businesses, we need to look for – and use – recycling bins, and we can thank a manager that makes bins visible and convenient.
Planning and Zoning Report – by George Barnes
Potomac Swim and Recreation Club – The Planning Board voted two to two,
with one Commissioner absent, on a Special Exception modification to permit
additional courts and a tennis bubble for the club at Oaklyn Drive. The
decision, without finding for or against, transmits the Planning Board’s
staff report, which recommended denial based on incompatibility with the
surrounding residential neighborhood, to the
Board of Appeals. The Board of Appeals hearing, originally scheduled
, has been postponed. A new date will be set and all
Environmental Report – by Ginny Barnes
Forest Conservation Law (FCL) Amendments – The County Executive has asked Department of Environmental Protection staff to look at creating a process to protect trees on smaller lots as well as the forest stands that are currently part of our County FCL. Councilmember Marc Elrich, who has sponsored a set of amendments to the FCL now under consideration by the County Council, is enthusiastic about this approach.
Circle Drive Ash Tree – Several years back, WMCCA worked to protect an enormous specimen Ash tree from land disturbances impacting the critical root zone. We hired an arborist and testified at the Planning Board on a proposal the Board subsequently denied. The tree is again in danger from a plan to remove the old house located just next to it, preparatory to developing the property. We have concerns about how the tree will be made safe if the house is removed as well as the placement of long-term maintenance protections if the property is developed.
River Road Water Main Break – The enormous volume of water that rushed down River Road during the 66-inch water main break was directed by gravity to the nearest watershed, the . While much has been made of the damage to the road and the disruption of vehicular transportation, there is an untold story in this disaster. What did thousands of gallons of chlorinated water roaring into Cabin John do to the stream banks, aquatic life and the nearby Potomac River into which the creek flows – and from which River Road takes its name?
Update on Gaithersburg West Master Plan – by Diana Conway
The current draft of Gaithersburg West Master Plan adds 20
million square feet of space, 60,000 jobs, and thousands of housing units to
an area very near
Road and Darnestown Road that are not in Potomac proper but abut our
area. This would have serious impacts on our roads, our homes, and our
streams and forests.
A group of citizens in the Gaithersburg West area has formed Residents for Responsible Development (RRD) to advocate for more balanced growth that respects existing neighborhoods and natural resources as well as original Master Plans. WMCCA is participating in the citizen group because of the impacts so much development would have on our sub-region along with its threats to our region's role as a Green Wedge between the rural up-county and the urban down-county areas.
WMCCA recently joined numerous civic associations in co-signing a letter to Park & Planning Chairman Royce Hanson, listing the objections and concerns of RRD and proposing several alternative planning scenarios with more appropriate densities. RRD is particularly concerned that the transit component upon which so much density is premised – the – may not be funded in these difficult budget times. For more information, contact Diana Conway at email@example.com or Pam Lindstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Montgomery County Citizens Association Newsletter
Check the web site for information on issues we are working on.