My wife and I try to do the right thing. We separate all glass bottles, plastic milk containers, tin soup cans, beer and soda cans etc. from the rest of our trash so we can have these things recycled. We do not have curbside recycling pickup in our community, but we don't mind driving to the public waste transfer facility in Gaithersburg to deposit our recyclables.

Recently we were turned away from the facility for the third time. We learned that Monday is a useless day to recycle because the bins that hold the recyclable items are full, and we were told to "come back tomorrow" or just throw our recyclables in the trash bin. There were several other people like us also trying to recycle, and they were told the same thing. The people turned away that day must have numbered in the hundreds.

The dilemma for us is we can't easily come back another day. We both work and have two infant children. By waiting for the next weekend, we would have had too many recyclable items to fit in the trunk of our car. That would mean making two trips. I was not willing to do that. My face was red from embarrassment and anger as I threw an entire trunk-load of recyclables into the garbage bin to be hauled to the landfill.

The only way recycling is going to work in Montgomery County is if the county makes it convenient. The system now is backward. The person at the gate should be telling the people dumping, ''I'm sorry, the landfill is full. But you can recycle over here.'' Instead, he's doing the opposite.