Tenleytown Trash

Thursday, August 18, 2016

$2500 Tenleytown Trash Scholarship Winner - Colby Bosley-Smith

Barney Shapiro, Tenleytown Trash COO, stands next to truck.

Barney Shapiro, our COO, is known for his philanthropic heart. With the words "tikkun olam" (heal the world in Hebrew) written on every one of our trucks, it's no surprise that he created a $2500 Tenleytown Trash Scholarship for recent graduates at Capital City Public Charter School - Peabody Campus (a Tenleytown Trash customer).

What sparked Barney's idea to create this scholarship was recollecting the pride he felt when one of his sons received a merit-based scholarship before heading off to college. He wanted to pay that feeling forward so teamed up with the wonderful administrative team at Capital City to create an essay contest. The question posed to recent Capital City grads was: "Why Do You Recycle?"

We received nearly 20 submissions and the winner was selected by Barney himself. It was a challenge choosing a winning essay as so many of them were heart-felt, but ultimately Barney selected Colby Bosley-Smith's essay as the winning recipient. Congrats, Colby and good luck in college! 

Read Colby's essay below...

Recycling Matters
Winning Essay Finalist - Colby Bosley-Smith
Matter cannot be created nor destroyed. The most basic laws of physics explicitly state that recycling is fundamental. In a figurative sense, nothing can be truly new and nothing is ever truly lost therefore everything we touch is recycled or repurposed.

It is often difficult for humans to fully grasp the true nature of this concept. How can it be said that matter never disappears if every day we put what we no longer want in trash bags to be taken away to landfills where it is buried under the earth? We live in a society trapped in a cycle of consumption and waste. We buy, we use and we discard. We are led to believe that matter is created and destroyed.
"Our processes of getting rid of waste have resounding impacts on our surroundings..."

A few months ago I visited a landfill on the eastern shore of Maryland. Manmade hills rose up from the surrounding flat landscape and a distinctive odor in the air was an ever present reminder that these hills were created from garbage. Seagulls littered the ground picking at rotting food and a nearby wetland did not seem to be thriving. The reality of landfills are pushed to the outskirts of our communities, as far away from the lives of upper class citizens as possible. Without exposure to them it is easy to understand how we can put the trash out each day and believe that it will simply disappear. This trash becomes someone else’s problem. Therefore, it is permitted to exist in the low-income communities where people lack the power of money or in natural environments where plants and animals lack the power of speech. Waste never truly disappears.

"Waste never truly disappears."

Evidently, our processes of getting rid of waste have resounding impacts on our surroundings. Our trash in landfills releases enormous amounts of methane into our atmosphere, significantly propelling rates of climate change. The daunting realities of climate change are not the realities of some distant future but are affecting us now. Far too many people in the world seem to be trapped in a dream that despite our enormous populations and ability to live everywhere, we are able to have no impact on our environment. Instances of unusual extreme weather, observations of quickly melting glacial ice and heightened numbers of species extinction should be enough evidence that yes, our actions really do come with consequences. These consequences are currently affecting us all. Recycling appears to be one easy way to limit the severity of our environmental harm.

At the same time, we struggle with the notion of limited resources. Everything is of a finite supply. Therefore, the ability to recycle, reuse, and repurpose something is incredibly useful. We cannot create matter so we must reuse it. Objects like recycled notebook paper, recycled plastic and paper bags, recycled aluminum cans or plastic water bottles are the only ways people can continue to live in a world of finite materials.

The concept of recycling is much broader than the plastic, paper and aluminum products that we put out in blue bins each week. Recycling is giving up on plastic and paper grocery bags and investing in reusable ones. Recycling is buying second hand clothing and stepping out of a consumer mentality. Recycling is biking or walking to school or work to conserve our underground resources. This sort of recycling is more nuanced and thrives on creativity and ingenuity. It often proposes complete changes to lifestyles yet can be very simple to maintain. This type of holistic recycling is the key to sustaining the vitality of this planet.

So why do I recycle? I recycle because I understand that nothing really ever disappears and nothing is ever really created. Our trash can exist in a state that harms the environment or it can be repurposed into something that is once again useful. Likewise, we can exhaust the boundaries of our finite matter or we can reuse this matter and live in the world of the infinite. I recycle because it is so easy to do and has enormous benefits. The real question is not why I recycle but rather, why doesn't everyone recycle?


Tenleytown Trash is DC's only locally-owned and operated, CBE waste management company in Washington, DC. Serving DC and Maryland for regular trash and recycling service, bulk-removal, and dumpster drop-off/pick up, we're large enough for any haul but small enough to take your call! Click for more information and affordable rates.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday, December 18, 2015

We Welcome Hallie to The Team!

We are very excited to welcome Hallie Clemm, most recently the Solid Waste Management Deputy Administrator for the DC Department of Public Works, as the new COO for Tenleytown Trash. She will officially take on the position starting in January 2016. With more than 25 years of experience as an analyst, program manager and change agent working for the DC government and the Maryland Department of the Environment, she will be a welcome member of the Tenleytown Trash team.

Barney Shapiro, founder and "Head Honcho," has been acting COO since the company's start in 1997. Clemm will replace him as COO and Shapiro will maintain his position as CEO, stepping back from operations and focusing more on the overall business as a whole.

Clemm's hire gives Tenleytown Trash a strong female presence, something that is unfortunately particularly rare in the waste management business. She joins Adrienne Edmands, Business Manager, in the Tenleytown Trash offices where she will help run day-to-day operations. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Single Stream Recycling Story on NPR

Cardboard and bottles and tin, oh my! How does all of that single-streamed recycling actually get recycled?

Learn more about the process from NPR's recent in-depth report on the subject here.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Back to School-Keeping Classroom Paper Use Down

Photo Credit: http://viktorg.com/wordpress1/meconomorph-2/

The smell of fall is in the air (well, almost) and school is back in session.  With school starting again, comes more paper use.  Did you know that each American student (primary to high school age) averages using approximately 800 pieces of paper each school year, and that's just while they are in the school's building alone?

Here are a few ways to keep your students' paper consumption down:
  • Always use recycled paper.
  • Always recycle paper.  If you don't have recycling at your school, check out our curriculum and special school program here.
  • Re-use your paper.  Have a bin in your classroom that students can collect paper they can reuse (only used on one-side).  For special assignments, have them go to that bin to use that paper.
  • Keep it organized.  If there are systems in place for recycling or reusing papers, students are more likely to use the system and also understand how to implement these practices at home.

Find out more ways to keep your classroom environmentally friendly at NRDC's Green Squad website.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The "Golden" Rule

We were founded on the principal of “better service for our community.” Service and philanthropy have always been and will always be very important to us. The words "Tikun olam - Repair the world," are written on every truck we own so as to be a constant reminder to us that it is our responsibility to help make the world a better place.  

For a full list of our Community Partners, click here.

Community Partner Update:  The Golden Rule

Besides coaching Special Olympics, Barney Shapiro, "Head Honcho" of Tenleytown Trash, is a “Gold” Sponsor. Barney is pictured below with Pam Yerg, Director of Montgomery County Special Olympics, at the  Montgomery County Special Olympics Annual Gold Tournament. 

Here is another great shot of Barney and his Special Olympics team below.

If you are affiliated with a non-profit and would like to reach out to Tenleytown Trash for support, please contact answers@tenleytowntrash.com

Monday, July 28, 2014

DCPCS: Let's Recycle!

Click here for brochure
Check out our brochure that details the new program here.As former educators ourselves, we know how busy school administrators are operating our schools. Recycling may be something they want to do, but with everything else on their plate, we realize it often takes a back seat to maintaining a high functioning public charter school. With the introduction of Tenleytown Trash’s, CBE Certified, DCPCS Recycling Program, our aim is to make the act of recycling as easy as possible for our DC Public Charter Schools. 

We have experience working with DC public charter schools, including Capital City, Mundo Verde and Next Step, and we are excited at the potential of working with more through this new program.  

Check out our brochure that details the new program here.  You will see that it offers 

-Quick, easy and affordable solutions to recycling,
-A student scholarship program, and
-An optional guest lecture about the importance of recycling, customized for any age group.

I     If you would like to learn more about our new program, please contact us at answers@tenleytowntrash.com.