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Baltimore County News

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Keyword: recycling

By Jeanette Garcia Polasky, Baltimore County Department of Public Works, Recycling Division

Throughout his career with Baltimore County, the late County Executive Kevin Kamenetz demonstrated a steadfast commitment to protecting the environment. He understood that governments, businesses and citizens must work together to find solutions that help us live and conduct business more sustainably.

With the help of many other county employees, County Executive Kamenetz built a legacy of environmental stewardship that will have an impact on our region for generations to come.

  • Almost two billion dollars invested in water and sewer projects to provide safe, clean drinking water and responsible waste management.
  • More than $137 million in stream restoration, shoreline stabilization, reforestation and other water quality projects to preserve and restore the County’s natural infrastructure, including nearly 50,000 trees planted on 466 acres.
  • Building a new single-stream recycling facility.
  • Establishing energy efficiency and renewable energy policies to reduce the County’s carbon footprint.
  • More than $68 million invested in new parks, recreation facilities and community centers.
  • Seventeen Small Watershed Action Plans developed to clean up streams and rivers and send healthier waters to the Bay.
  • Twenty four TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) Implementation Plans developed in nine county watersheds to reduce waterway pollutants such as trash, bacteria, sediment, phosphorus, nitrogen and mercury.
  • Creating the environmentally-focused Clean Green Baltimore County Facebook page.

Baltimore County has earned a number of recent awards for its environmental programs, including:

  • National Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA Awards every year from 2010 to 2017
  • Maryland Recycling Network’s Outstanding Government Leadership Award
  • National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award for Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge
  • National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award for the County’s Single Stream Recycling facility
  • Maryland Recycling Network Extraordinary Achievement Award for the Clean Green Baltimore County Facebook page

By his leadership and actions, County Executive Kamenetz saw a sustainable future for our county and state, with cleaner air and water, green open spaces, abundant forests, healthy wildlife and a thriving Chesapeake Bay.

He also had faith that we, the citizens, employees and institutions of Baltimore County, would do our part to make this vision a reality.

The question is, what can we do today to make ours a cleaner, greener county? Find tips and resources at





Charlie Reighart Named Recycler of the Year; County Honored for Environmental Social Media Page

Baltimore County received two awards from the Maryland Recycling Network (MRN) at the MRN/Mid-Atlantic SWANA (Solid Waste Association of North America) Annual Conference last week. Charlie Reighart, Recycling and Waste Prevention Manager for the County’s Bureau of Solid Waste Management won the Dwight Copenhaver Recycler of the Year award and the Bureau of Solid Waste Management received the Extraordinary Achievement Award for its Clean Green Baltimore County Social Media Program.

“Charlie Reighart has been a real leader in the recycling field, creating innovative programs that not only benefit County residents but are models for similar programs at the state and national level,” said Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler. During Reighart’s 28 years with the Bureau of Solid Waste Management, Baltimore County has received five national and ten statewide awards for recycling and waste prevention.

Reighart has provided leadership to MRN and other state and national organizations to expand recycling and waste prevention, including leading efforts for a statewide waste diversion goal and guidelines for a source reduction credit system. Since 1996, he has served on the MRN Board and in various MRN officer and committees chair roles.

Reighart has managed many other County programs and projects, including once-a-week trash and once-a-week recycling collection, the implementation of single stream recycling, electronics recycling, recycling container placement at County intersections, a four-year recycling program calendar and guide, source reduction programs, recycling tonnage reporting to the State and the development of Ten Year Solid Waste Management Plans. In addition, he has hired and mentored 101 interns since 1992. These interns have provided important services to County residents, and many have gone on to other responsible positions in the public and private sector, with seven former interns currently working in the recycling field.

Going Clean and Green on Social Media

In 2017, the Recycling Division developed the Clean Green Baltimore County Facebook Page ( This social media page publishes environmentally-focused content related to Baltimore County agencies, including, but not limited to, the County’s Departments of Environmental Protection and Sustainability, Public Works, Planning, and Recreation and Parks, as well as the Energy Management and Sustainability Section in the Property Management Division of the Office of Budget and Finance. None of these agencies has its own social media presence. 

The page is a digital “one-stop shop” to help residents, businesses and institutions become better environmental stewards by providing information on programs, services and resources that support healthy, sustainable living. In addition to educating people about initiatives that focus on sustainability, nature and the environment, the page publishes tips, strategies and resources to improve its followers’ efforts in recycling, waste prevention and reuse, energy savings, natural resource conservation and other aspects of green living, as well as information about state, national and international environmental initiatives and success stories.

Highlights from the page’s first year include 1.3 million page impressions, reaching more than 825,000 people, 46,000 video views, 5,300 post shares and more than 2,100 page fans. The page produced the County’s first Facebook Live Q&A, an interactive, semi-scripted, 55-minute live video broadcast on America Recycles Day (November 15, 2017). The page also included events and activities related to Earth Month in April. The County publicized these environmental efforts at a cost considerably below other forms of traditional advertising. The Facebook site is an effective way to promote waste prevention, recycling and other environmental programs.

Residents Should Check Schedules for Specific Collection Dates

Beginning April 1, yard materials will be collected separately for recycling (not with trash) from Baltimore County residents with “Y” days on their schedule.  These separate yard material collections will occur from April through as late as December 14.

For example, if a resident’s first “Y” day is April 11, yard materials set out at the curb or alley from April 1–10 will not be collected with trash, but will be picked up separately on April 11.  If a resident’s schedule has no “Y” days, their yard materials will continue to be collected with trash year-round.

While residents may set out an unlimited number of bags of yard materials, the collector may not collect all of the bags on the same day.  Collectors must make trash collection their first priority, and must take into account all of the residents on their route.  Residents are asked to leave their yard materials out until collection occurs.

Yard materials acceptable for recycling collection include grass, leaves, vines, twigs, shrubbery trimmings, and branches and limbs.  Residents are reminded to use paper or plastic lawn and leaf bags to set out their yard materials, not trash cans.  Bags of yard materials set out for collection must not exceed 30 pounds.  Also, branches and limbs will be collected only if they are no larger than 3 inches in diameter, no longer than 3 feet, and tied in bundles not exceeding 30 pounds.

The yard materials collected on “Y” days will be composted into an earthy organic material, to be used by Baltimore County agencies and residents.

For more information about the County’s trash and recycling collection program, residents should visit the solid waste management web site or call 410-887-2000.

Revised September 11, 2017