Organics Diversion and Composting

Waste Managed in U.S. in 2013

Compostable materials such as food scraps and yard trimmings make up nearly 30% of all municipal solid waste generated in the U.S.  Instead of disposing of this material in landfills and incinerators, composting uses organic material to create a valuable product with environmental and economic benefits, including greenhouse gas emissions reductions and green jobs.

Recycling of some organic materials, such as yard trimmings and manure, is widespread in Maryland.  One area of growing interest is food scraps diversion.  Though only an estimated 9.6% of food scraps was recycled in Maryland in 2014, much of the remaining material could be prevented, used to feed humans or animals, or composted.  

For additional information on Food Scraps Management in Maryland visit the Department's Foo​d Scraps Management web page.





House Bill 171 – Department of the Environment – Yard Waste, Food Residuals, and Other Organic Materials Diversion and Infrastructure – Study

Details on HB 171 and the Study Group are available on the House Bill 171 - Organic Materials Diversion and Infrastructure web page.



Composting Facility Permits

The Maryland Department of the Environment (the Department) has published a final General Composting Facility Permit (GCFP) as provided under Environment Article, §9-1725, Annotated Code of Maryland, and Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR)

The Department's review of submitted comments and a response to these comments are available in the Response to Comments on Draft General Composting Facility Permit March 28, 2016 summary.

Certain water related permits may be applicable to a composting facility.  See the Contacts section below, for groundwater and stormwater discharge contact information.


Composting Facilities

As of 2020, the Department  has issued 21 composting permits.  As a result of the reviews, the Department has issued 16 certificates for coverage under the General Permit, modified 4 landfill refuse disposal permits to include composting, and issued 1 Individual Composting Facility Permit.

Currently, 18 facilities are operating.  Out of the 18 facilities, 13 
compost yard waste, 3 compost both food and yard waste, 1 composts food waste and manure, and 1 composts hay, straw, and manure.​


Composting Facility Regulations Adopted (COMAR 26.04.11)

On June 12, 2015, a Notice of Final Action was published adopting new composting facility regulations effective July 1, 2015.  The Final Action adopted the regulations as proposed in December 2014, with several minor nonsubstantive changes.  The changes are listed in the Notice of Final Action.

Fact Sheets


The following are collections of organics diversion resources targeted to various audiences.  These resources can help you start an organics diversion program at work, school, or home, or simply learn more about compost and its use. Food Hierachy

Other Information

Legislation and Reports