Baltimore County Now
Deborah Meehan, CPPB
Division Chief, Baltimore County Purchasing Services
Office of Budget & Finance
As a professional buyer, it’s always important to get the most “bang for your buck,” the best value and quality at the lowest price possible. Here in Baltimore County’s Purchasing Division, we are proud of our commitment to not only save money, but to get the best “deal” for our environment as well.
Years ago, realizing the impact that a large local government can have on local recycling markets, we updated the County Code to specify the purchase of recycled and recyclable products. This includes the purchase of recycled paper that contains post-consumer fiber as well as the use of double-sided copies.
We make a point to purchase Energy Star computer equipment and appliances. We have gone green with our janitorial cleaning products – using citrus-based cleaners to reduce toxicity while saving money without sacrificing results.
As you might imagine, we recycle tons of paper and bottles and cans from County offices and facilities. But it doesn’t end there. We also recycle outdated computer and electronic equipment by the truckload, keeping it out of landfills and earning a rebate per pound. And, we make a point to ensure that these e-cyclables are not shipped offshore to facilities with questionable environmental standards.
Our printer cartridge recycling effort is a particular success story. We are enjoying significant savings on this basic office expense without any reduction in quality.
We have recently begun to accept some bids or proposals electronically, and expect to eventually open that procedure up to all bids and proposals, saving reams and boxes of paper per bid. When you consider that we have more than 1,100 contracts and receive an average of 175 bids per year, that’s a lot of paper and a lot of trees! Plus, electronic submission simplifies and speeds up our processing.
We are committed to being part of the solution, and our environmentally preferable purchasing policies are making a difference for the bottom line and are helping to ensure a healthy environment for all of our children and grandchildren.
Justin Tucker, Baltimore County Office of Communications Intern, contributed to this blog.
Office of Budget & Finance, Purchasing Division
Minority & Small Business Marketing Manager
Do you or someone you know own a minority or women-owned company and seek to do business with the County? If so, let me clear up a common misconception about who can bid on potentially lucrative Baltimore County contracts.
When I talk with people about the County’s Minority/Women’s Business Enterprise certification requirements, people often believe that minority-owned and women-owned businesses must be certified in order to bid in County procurements. Baltimore County's procurements are open to ALL businesses, including MBE/WBE firms. Certification is NOT required to bid as prime contractor.
The County advertises its procurement opportunities online at
· Purchasing Division: www.baltimorecountymd.gov/purchasing;
· Department of Public Works Construction Contracts Administration: www.baltimorecountymd.gov/go/constructioncontracts;
· Department of Public Works Professional Services: www.baltimorecountymd.gov/pssc; and
· eMaryland Marketplace: https://emaryland.buyspeed.com/bso/.
Certification is used in the MBE/WBE subcontracting goal process. In these cases, only MBE/WBE firms certified by Maryland Department of Transportation Office of Minority Business Enterprise (MDOT) or the City of Baltimore’s Minority and Women’s Business Opportunity Office can be counted towards the participation goal.
Certified and noncertified minority-owned and women-owned businesses bidding as the prime contractor with the County must also meet the subcontracting goal requirement set in the solicitation. The MBE/WBE subcontracting participation goal is a contractual obligation of the prime contractor, regardless of the prime’s minority/women’s status.