By the time 1978 is over, the Washington metropolitan area will have cast off about 1.7 million tons of paper, plastic, garbage, cans, bottles and other residential, commerical and industrial solid waste.

That estimate, provided by Trevis Markle, an environmental planner at the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments doesn't include construction rubble or heavy, non-incinerable solid waste.

While most of the area's trash is destined to end up in costly and limited landfills, some of it will be recycled. There has been a "tremendous increase" in recycling efforts around the country since 1970, according to Neil Selman, director of waste utilization at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Although most of the estimated 3,000 dropp-off recycling centers that sprang up in the United States from 1970 to 1973 have now disappeared, Seldman said, they are being replaced by pick-up services for recyclable goods.

Usually, recyclable materials are delivered directly to mills or plants or are sold to middlemen. When the materials are sold to middlemen, the paper is shredded and bailed and metal is shredded and compacted. The items are then sold to manufacturers.

Manufacturers sometimes make new products from recycled materials are mixed with virgin materials. The materials don't always come back in their original form. While newspapers can be recycled as newsprint, they also can return as cellulose insulation or other products. Glass can be used for many different products, such as bottles, pipe, cement, or road construction materials. Some rubber tires can be retreaded, and other tires are mixed with asphalt for roads.

Manufacturers want recycled materials, Seldman said, because "It's cheaper to buy secondary materials than virgin materials." Producing aluminum products from recycled aluminium take 5 percent of the energy it would take if new materials were used, Seldman said. In making paper products from recycled paper, 30 percent of the energy 10 saved; in steel, 74 percent of the energy is saved, and in glass, the saving is about 25 percent, he said.

The following guide to some recycling facilities in the area shows what suburban Maryland and some organizations are doing to recycle some of the area's solid waste. The guide includes information on how to go about getting rid of bulky household items such as refrigerators, stoves and furniture.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY - The county operates a drop-off center for tin cans with aluminium tops (pop-top cans), all-aluminum and the cans, newspapers and clear, green and brown bottles at the county landfill, 15100 Southlawn La., Rockville. It is open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

County Executive James P. Gleason has asked the county Department of Environmental Protection to look into the possibility of establishing a special newspaper pick-up service for residents. William Bell, chief of the division of resource protection, said the matter is being studied, but it is not known when the study will be complete.

About a third of the county residents recycled regular trash service through the county. The county refuse collection district covers about 68,000 homes in the lower third of the county. People in this district can call 424-2662 to arrange for special pickup of major household appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and stores or household fixtures such as sinks or bathtubs. Calls should be made as soon as the items are put out for collection. Pick-up takes from one hour to one week.

There is a special pickup charge for each item, ranging from $10 to $15. Every 90 days, residents in the refuse collection district can receive a free special pickup for furniture, rugs, beds, mattresses, springs, grams and garden trimmings in bags or shrub cuttings tied in bundles.

Montgomery County residents who do not live in the refuse collection district must arrange for special pickups through their private trash collector. About 30 private trash collectors are licensed in the county to provide regular residential trash pickup service. Prices for regular and special pickups vary.

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY - Prince George's County does not operate any recycling programs.

About 53,000 households in the county receive refuse collection through the county and pay additional county taxes ties within the county provide their own trash pickup service. In other areas where the county does not provide the service, homeowners use any of about 144 trash collectors licensed to work in Prince George's County.

All single-residential households cutside of the incorporated municipalities in the county can arrange to have bulky household items such as refrigerators, stoves, washing Machines, water heaters or furniture picked up by calling 853-4745. There is no charge.

BOWIE - The city has a special pickup of white glass and all types of cans each Wednesday by request. Residents can call 262-6200 by noon Tuesday in order to have those items, which much be put in separate containers, picked up.

Wednesday also is the day when residents can arrange to have bulky household items, such as refrigerators for furniture, picked up by calling the above number by noon Tuesday.

COLLEGE PARK - The city does not operates any recycling facilities for glass or paper. Bulky household items such as stove, refrigerators, furniture or hot water heaters will be picked up if left at the curb any weekday. Call 474-4194 by noon to have items picked up the same day.

GREENBELT - For the last five years, the city has been operating a drop-off center for glass of all colors, newspapers and aluminum. The drop-off site is at the public works building, 555 Crescent Rd. Greenbelt, just off Kenilworth Avenue and the Beltway. It is open 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Satursdays.

Used oil also is accepted at teh drop-off site. Two 50-gallon drums are located behind the salt pile for disposal of the oil.

Newspapers are picked up from residences served by the Department of Public Works. They are collected once a week from all households. One half the residents leave the papers by their trash cans on Wednesdays, and the other half on Thursday. Greenbelt has a city ordinance requiring that residents separate newspapers from other trash.

Bulky household items such as refrigerators, stoves, water heaters or old furniture also will be picked up. To arrange for a special pickup, call 474-8004. The pickup usually can be made the same day.

ROCKVILLE - The city operates a special newspaper pick-up one Saturday each month for all their regular refuse service customers. Newspapers should be bundled with twine. Large metal objects, furniture and other bulky items can be left at the curb on the special pick-up Saturday.

The city also has a recycling program for oil. Motorists who change the oil in their cars can take the used oil to participating Rockville service stations. Posters identifying the stations have been supplied by the city. For information on participating stations, call the public information office at 424-8000, extension 216. Most stations prefer that the oil be placed in clean plastic containers.

TAKOMA PARK - The city has no recycling facilities. Large household items such as refrigerators, stoves, water heaters or furniture will be hauled away by the city. Residents should call 585-8333 for an appointment.

Some organizations which was involved in recycling are:

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND - The student-run Environmental Conservation Organization picks up recyclable goods only on campus, but they operate a community drop-off center for newspaper, magazines, telephone books, aluminum, tin and bimetal cans and glass of all colors.

The drop-off center is located on the campus at the corner of Rossborough Lane and Campus Drive East in College Park. It is open Sundays, except on holiday weekends, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Labeis should be removed from tin food cans; large tops should be removed from glass bottles and there shouldn't be any food left in containers; newspper should be bundled or placed in paper grocery bags.

BUCK DISTRIBUTING CO., INC. - This private beer distributor at 4606 Largo Rd., Upper Marlboro, Md., operates a drop-off site for aluminum cans. They pay 17 cents per pound for the cans.

Most beer cans and some soft drink cans are all aluminum. You can tell if they're aluminum if a magnet does not stick to them. Cans are accepted Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

FIRESTONE TIRE AND RUBBER COMPANY - Firestone pays $1 each for old tires that are worn but in good condition.

Although the nearest Firestone tire recycling drop-off center is in Baltimore, the company can make arrangements to have a truck available at a local Firestone store if there is enough interest by clubs or organizations.

Organizations wishing to participate in the program must first register with Firestone headquarters in Akron, Ohio, to obtain full details. Registration inquiries should be sent to E. K. Henry, Manager of Retread Manufacturing, Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., 1200 Firestone Parkway, Akron, Ohio 44317.

If you just want to drive to Baltmore and sell fewer than 20 tires, the tire can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2915 Whittington Ave., Baltimore. If you bring in fewer than 20 tires, they will be inspected on the spot to make sure they are retreadable, and then payment will be made.

The NATIONAL BLACK VETERANS ORGANIZATION has organized a major recycling effort in the District, and is developing systems throughout the metropolitan area for a comprehension recycling operation.

The veterans operate a public drop-off collection center for paper and aluminum at 629 F. St. NW from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. The group is planning to open several additional public drop-off collection points in the District soon. It also makes pick-ups at 48 private points throughout the city.

The organization cannot make pickups from individuals, but it assists groups in establishing their own recycling collection centers.

The veterans also can help groups with paper and aluminum drives. The veterans organization will provide educational and publicity campaigns for these groups, make marketing agreements and provide collection services. People interested in organizing a pick-up point for their own groups can call Patricia Ferrand or Charles Rooks at 638-2399.

A substantial share of the materials collected by the National Black Veterans Organization are donated by those who support the aims of the program. The group's aims are to promote conservation of energy and resources and to create a fund for the unsubsidized employment of veterans.

For groups or individuals who want to recycle for fundraising purposes, NBVO pays current market prices for loose newspapers and newspapers tied or stored in brown paper grocery bags. It is not practical for the group to pick up small quantities of paper and must plan to acquire at least 300 to 500 pounds per stop. (An average household can easily save 50 pounds of paper per month, they say.)

Aluminum cans, in any quantity, are worth 17 cents a pound when brought to 629 F. St. NW or when collected by NBVO in quantities of 1,000 pounds or more. When the veterans group provides collection service for less than 1,000 pounds, but more than 500 pounds, payment is 15 cents per pound. For less than 500 pounds, payment is 12 cents per pound. (Prices are subject to change depending on current market value).

The ALUMINUM ASSOCIATION, INC. operates a 24-hour toll-free telephone service to inform callers of the nearest all-aluminum can collection center. The toll-free number is 800-223-6830. The collection centers normally are manned by attendents who will weigh cans and pay for them. Call first for operating hours.

REYNOLDS ALUMINUM RECYCLING CO. sends two mobile recycling units out daily to shopping centers in the District, Northern Virginia and Maryland pick up aluminum, including cans, siding, foil, scrap aluminum and other types (except for aluminum castings, such as lawn mower engines).

Scraps should be broken down so they are longer than three feet in length and should be bundled with rope or twine. Cans should be put in bags, which are supplied at the mobile unit stops.

To find out when a mobile unit will be visiting your area, call (toll free) 800-243-6000. Aluminum can be dropped off and sold at the Reynolds Recycling Center at 9730-A George Palmer Highway, Lanham, Md. from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.