Monday, May 11, 2015

Recycle and Earn Discounts

I think everyone's received their trash and recycling bins by now. What at least half of you probably didn't receive was a mailing from Mascaro with the new instructions for trash and recycling collection.

They're addressed to the homeowner, which is great if you own and live in your home, but 59% of Norristown residents rent. My brother's one of them and he didn't get a mailing. His likely went to his landlord. Even if you rent and your landlord is living nearby, and conscientious enough to pass on the mailing to you, well, if you have more than one apartment in the house you live in, your landlord will need to be extra conscientious and make copies for all of his tenants. I don't see that happening in most cases. So Mascaro get's a "D-minus" in disseminating information.

If you didn't get a mailing, call 1-800-432-1616 and request one be delivered to you.

Now, let me take a moment to report on the one thing I LIKE about the new program--the recycling part.

The mailing lists all the things we should be recycling, and it's a much longer list than before. Besides, the usual glass, aluminum and tin cans, plastic bottles, cardboard, etc., they're now taking all plastics #1-7, phonebooks, aluminum pie plates,  trays and foil, plastic plant pots, paper bags, paper and plastic cups, newspaper, junk mail, magazines, over-the-counter pill bottles, loose plastic lids over 3 inches wide, milk and juice cartons, plastic takeout containers, and bagged plastic bags.

By "bagged bags" they mean don't put them in the recycling container loose. They'll just blow around town on collection days. Stuff your plastic bags into one bag. When it's full, tie the handles together and throw it in the bin that way. But DON'T bag anything else (such as soda cans, paper, etc.). They get sorted at the facility and they want them loose and separate to make that easier. They won't take recycles in bags.

You still have to flatten cardboard cartons. Smaller boxes like cereal boxes are shown whole, so I guess it's okay to put them in that way. Loose lids need to be wider than 3 inches, but I think smaller lids are okay if they're attached to bottles and jars.

Also, be careful of personal information that's on any papers you recycle. Things like bank statements should be put aside for shredding (assuming Montgomery County ever has another shredding event near Norristown. They have plenty out in the 'burbs, but none near us for years). UPDATE: This just in--Representative Bradford is having a shredding event at his office on May 30th. I'll post more next week.

The items listed on the mailing and those on Mascaro's website aren't the same, so who knows if they'll really recycle everything they say they will. I'm putting it all out anyway.

The thing I like best is that Mascaro has an incentive program to encourage residents to recycle. Residents can sign up at their website ( and earn points which can be redeemed at local businesses listed at this link.

Points are determined by community-wide recycling. That is, they weigh the TOTAL amount Norristown recycles, then somehow determine how many points to give participating households. I suspect they'll divide the total amount by number of residences, so I doubt we'll get more than 5 points a week unless most of N-town really meets the challenge and starts filling those recycling bins.

To get your share of the points, go to and sign up. You need to use a valid email address for a username. Then step up your recycling and encourage your neighbors to do the same.

I have to say, I think our Council reps need to take a hand in telling their constituents about the recycling program. Or maybe people working outside at the polls next Tuesday could hand out copies of Mascaro's mailing along with all their election literature (which hopefully will end up in our recycling bins instead of our trash).

Please do your part and share this blog with your Norristown friends. Thanks.



  2. Are you sure the recycling incentive is available in Norristown? According to this link ( ), it appears Mascaro is only offering the program in Whitemarsh and West Conshohocken...

  3. Yes, Norristown is included. I think Mascaro just hasn't updated that page yet. But if you go into register, Norristown is one of the choices. Also, thanks for the link -- it shows that Representative Bradford is having a shredding event at his office on Markley on May 30th. I'll post info on that weeks event blog.