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List of State Officials - Robert Ehrlich, Governor; Michael Steele, Lt. Governor; Kendl Ehrlich, MDE Secretary 

Volume 1, Number 7

November 2005

eMDE is a monthly publication of the Maryland Department of the Environment. It covers articles on current environmental issues and events in the state. Additional monthly features include: MDE public meetings and hearings schedule, enforcement and compliance notes, and permitting activity. . 

Maryland Just Shy of 40 Percent Waste Diversion Goal for 2005

By Dave Mrgich

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MD Waste Diversion Rates Chart 

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The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) promotes and encourages waste diversion across the state. This is accomplished through partnerships that work to develop markets for recyclable materials and increase the volume of materials diverted from landfills. In 2000, Maryland established a voluntary statewide waste diversion goal of 40 percent.

“We are encouraged by the results and look forward to expanding outreach efforts to promote recycling so we can reach Maryland’s waste diversion goal,” said MDE Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick. “MDE is participating in dialogues with EPA, other states, and industry representatives to develop mechanisms for increasing recycling awareness. These initiatives will raise the national recycling rate through local, state, regional, and private partnerships. MDE's Waste Management Administration is in the process of assigning more staff to promote recycling and assisting Maryland counties."

Last year, Maryland continued to strive toward the 2005 40 percent voluntary waste diversion goal with a 38.8 percent waste diversion rate. The waste diversion rate was comprised of a 35.8 percent recycling rate and a 3.0 percent source reduction (SR) credit. The 2004 waste diversion rate falls short of the 2005 goal and is down slightly from the 39.6 percent rate reported in 2003.

MD Same as National Trend
Maryland’s recycling rate is in line with the national trend toward stabilizing recycling rates. Even though the Maryland Recycling Act (MRA) recycling tonnage increased 88,455 tons from 2003, MRA waste disposed increased by 366,660 tons, resulting in the slight recycling rate drop. Meanwhile, Maryland’s source reduction rate increased to 3.0 percent in 2004, representing over 230,000 tons of waste that was prevented from entering the waste stream. This was an increase of over 29,000 tons of waste from what was diverted in 2003. 2004 County waste diversion totals were:


MRA Recycling Tons

MRA recycling Rate

SR Credit

 MRA Waste Diversion Rate

 Allegany    21,267.53  25.99%   3%  28.99%
 Anne Arundel  318,916.24  36.55%  3%  39.55%
 314,249.32  29.70%  0%  29.70%
 456,265.14  40.59%   5%  45.59%
 Calvert  38,420.37  39.08%   1%  40.08%
 Carroll  61,690.76  28.90%  3%  31.90%
 Cecil  23,557.00  22.39%  0%  22.39%
 Charles  44,635.16  30.06%  5%  35.06%
 Dorchester  27,520.02  37.80%  0%  37.80%
 Frederick  102,818.10  36.22%  2%  38.22%
 Garrett  24,888.64  50.40%  1%  51.40%
 Harford  178,292.16  60.11%  4%  64.11%
 Howard  134,318.61  37.37%  5%  42.37%
 Mid-Shore  120,080.54  47.58%  0%  47.58%
 Montgomery  390,092.00  33.77%  5%  38.77%
  299,293.55  36.30%  3%  39.30%
 Somerset  10,290.70  33.82%  0%  33.82%
 St. Mary's  17,569.73  22.11%  1%  23.11%
 Washington  29,796.00  22.26%   1%  23.26%
 Wicomico  29,898.73  21.18%   %  21.18%
 Worchester  38,118.05  32.78%  0% 32.78%
 2,681,978.35  35.8%  3.0%  38.8%

Maryland’s 2005 40 percent voluntary waste diversion goal was established in 2000 and is intended to encourage recycling and source reduction beyond the requirements of the 1988 MRA. The waste diversion goal is comprised of the recycling rate plus a credit of up to 5 percent for source reduction activities. Maryland was the third state to recognize the benefits of source reduction and offer jurisdictions credit for certain activities designed to reduce the amount of waste entering the waste stream. Details regarding Maryland’s waste diversion activities are available on the MDE’s recycling web page at www.mde.state.md.us/recycling.


©2005 Copyright MDE

Editorial Board
Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230