Waste Diversion in Maryland

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) promotes and encourages waste diversion across the State of Maryland.  Waste diversion combines both recycling and source reduction activities.

The waste management pyramid​The Maryland Recycling Act (MRA) requires all Counties and Baltimore City to recycle 15% (populations under 150,00​0) or 20% (populations over 150,000) of the waste generated. State government is required to recycle 20% of their solid waste.  These rates increase to 20% or 35% for counties by December 31, 2015.  State government must implement a recycling plan to reach a 30% recycling rate by July 1, 2014.  In addition, Maryland established a voluntary waste diversion goal of 60%, and a voluntary recycling rate of 55% by 2020.  The waste diversion goal is comprised of the recycling rate plus source reduction credits (maximum 5%) that Maryland Counties and Baltimore City earn through activities designed to reduce the amount of waste going to the waste stream.


MDE works toward Maryland's waste diversion goals by partnering with Maryland's jurisdictions and the public and private sectors to develop markets for recyclable materials and by working with other State agencies to increase the volume of materials diverted from​ landfills. 

 

Announcements

  Executive Order 01.01.2017.13 calls for the Department to consult with stakeholders on the State’s methodology for tracking waste generation, recycling, and source reduction, and to (1) recommend to the Governor a method of obtaining business source reduction and recycling data; (2) establish an improved method of tracking the statewide recycling and source reduction rates; and (3) establish voluntary statewide goals to encourage continuous improvement of sustainable materials management. Goals and Measurements Draft Recommendations are now open for PUBLIC COMMENT.  All comments must be received by October 26, 2018 to be considered. Please email your comments to David Mrgich.  A public meeting will be held at MDE headquarters on October 22, 2018, from 9:30 to 12:30 to present the recommendations. You must RSVP to David Mrgich by October 15, 2018, if you plan on attending the public meeting.  

  
Baltimore City Household Hazardous Waste Days- Various dates & times each month until October 2018
Mishore Household Hazardous Waste Day​ - Saturday, November 17, 2018, from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

For details on other Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) programs in Maryland, visit the Department's Local HHW Collection Programs​ webpage. 

 
 
 Rx takeback day.jpg
 
 

Th​e 2016 Maryland Statewide Waste Characterization Study report is now available under the Recycling and Solid Waste Management section on the Land Publications & Reports web page.

 

Business Assistance

Recycling Permitting Assistance

Information on permits issued by the Land and Materials, Air and Radiation, and Water and Science Administrations is available on the Environmental Permits and Approvals web page. Depending on the activities conducted, a permit from one or more of these administrations may be required for a facility that conducts recycling. If you need assistance in determining which permits apply to a particular recycling-related facility, contact Dave Mrgich by email or phone at 410-537-3314, or Ed Dexter by email or phone at 410-537-3315.

Composting facility permit information is available on the Organics Diversion and Composting web page or by contacting Tariq Masood by email or phone at 410‑537‑3314.

Natural wood waste recycling facility permit information is available on the Solid Waste Management in Maryland web page or by contacting Kaveh Hosseinzadeh by email or phone at 410-537-3315.


Business 
Startup Assistance

If you need assistance in starting a recycling business, please review the resources available on the Maryland Department of Commerce's Business Resources web page.

Maryland Business Express has information for small business owners to start, manage and grow their businesses.


 

Issues in Focus

  • Buy Recycled

    Information on the benefits of buying recycled products; common misperceptions; and the manufacturers and vendors of recycled products.
  • Composting

    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.
  • Construction and Demolition (C&D)

    Information for finding markets for C&D materials, a list of C&D acceptance facilities, disposal methods, and job-site recycling and waste prevention.
  • eCycling - Electronics Recycling

    Information provided on where businesses and residents can recycle or donate computers and other electronics, the benefits of recycling electronics, collection events, and eCycling partners.​
  • Education and Outreach

    Classroom presentations, America Recycles Day, fact sheets, fun facts, activities and web sites for educators and kids.
  • Green Building

    Information provided on green building programs, design, maintenance, product directories, model contracts, available funding, case studies, database of LEED architect/engineer/builders, green hotels and more.
     
  • Green Procurement and Environmentally Preferable Products

    Information on manufacturers and vendors of recycled products, environmentally preferable procurement programs, case studies, green procurement starter kits, model contracts, implementation information and buy-recycled training information.
     
  • Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)

    Information on HHW collection events and programs, HHW county coordinator information and propane cylinder recycling.
  • Mercury Recycling

    ​Information on mercury, where it can be found, mercury thermometer drop-off locations for residents, alternative products, spill kit vendors, recycling resources, and thermometer manufacturers and retailer prohibitions.​ 
  • Newsprint Recycling

    Information on the required newsprint recycled content for newspaper publishers and distriubtors, the report forms, and the newsprint recycling board.
     
  • Oil Recycling

    Information on used motor oil and antifreeze collection.
     
  • Pesticide Container Recycling Program

    For 25 years, Maryland’s pesticide container recycling program, offered by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), has helped prevent pesticide residues from entering the soil and local waterways and has saved valuable landfill space by recycling more than 900,000 empty, plastic pesticide containers.
     
  • Polystyrene Recycling

    Information on polystyrene recycling.
  • Recycling Market Directory

    The Maryland Recycling Directory locates markets for batteries, motor oil, aluminum, wood, textiles, fluorescent lights, and much more.​
  • Scrap Tires

    Scrap tires, because of their size, shape and associated environmental hazards, present both difficult and costly disposal and recycling challenges for the entities responsible for overseeing their management. MDE's Scrap Tire Program is dedicated to ensuring the cleanup of illegal scrap tire stockpiles and to managing the collection, transportation, recycling, and processing of the scrap tires generated in Maryland. 
  • Source Reduction in Maryland

    Contains helpful tips for reducing the amount of solid waste generated at home, school, office, and at the store, plus detailed information about source reduction in Maryland's counties.

 

Contact Info

For additional information or questions, contact the Waste Diversion Division by email or phone at 410-537-3314.​​​​​​​​​​​​​