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Keyword: sustainability

Through 10-year Agreement, County will Provide Glass to be Recycled as New Glass Containers

Baltimore County today that announced the Department of Public Works, Bureau of Solid Waste Management has started a new glass recycling program in partnership with Cap Glass, Inc. of Connellsville, Pennsylvania. 

Under the new 10-year agreement, the County will deliver glass from the Cockeysville Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to the Cap Glass facility in Baltimore City. Cap Glass will process the glass to remove contaminants (such as paper and other items) and recover marketable glass. The marketable glass will be sent to OI Glass, Inc. to make new glass containers. 

“A better Baltimore County is one where sustainability and the future of our planet is a top priority, and this new agreement puts that commitment into action as we make our County’s recycling even more efficient,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “I’m proud that our team was able to find an innovative solution to resume glass recycling in Baltimore County, reducing waste output in the process.” 

The glass recycling program will expand both the number of products and the volume of material that the County will be able to market. The County started delivering glass loads on July 20, 2020.  

“This is an important initiative to expand the County’s current recycling efforts,” said Michael R. Beichler, C.P.E Chief of the Baltimore County Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Solid Waste Management. “We’re thankful to engage in this productive partnership with Cap Glass and are looking forward to working together for years to come.” 

Until 2013, Baltimore County directly processed glass recycling. Like most jurisdictions across the country, Baltimore County experienced both technical and financial limitations that prevented efficient glass recycling at municipal facilities. 

This new agreement is the result of Baltimore County’s multi-year search for a sustainable glass market. Olszewski, who took office in December 2018, provided new funding in the County’s FY21 budget to help support County efforts to pursue a cost-efficient glass recycling initiative. 

This is the latest effort from the Olszewski Administration to promote environmental sustainability. 

Shortly after taking office, Olszewski created the County’s first Chief Sustainability Officer who is leading the development of county-wide Climate Action Plan, covering topics such as reduced energy consumption, promotion of green infrastructure, and sustainable growth policy. Earlier this year, Olszewski convened a Youth Climate Working Group to ensure youth voices and recommendations are included in the County’s Climate Action Plan and other sustainability efforts. The Youth Climate Working Group presented their recommendations to the administration in April 2020.


By Jeanette Garcia Polasky, Communications Specialist, Department of Public Works

Americans will spend about $9 billion this Halloween on costumes, decorations and candy. Most of this merchandise is single use and comes in packaging that can’t be recycled. In fact, the amount of Halloween waste we generate each year is downright terrifying. But fear not! There are lots of creative ways to green your Halloween and save money while having a ghastly good time.

Buy pumpkins, gourds and cornstalks from local farms, nurseries or farmers markets. Have a green goblin thumb? Grow your own next year. And don’t waste those pumpkin guts – use the flesh in recipes and roast the seeds for a healthy snack.

Swap, buy used or upcycle

Swap, buy used or create upcycled decorations. You’d be surprised by how easy it can be. It took me less than 30 minutes to transform a selection of sweet-faced knick-knacks into a motley crew of creepy décor using a little paint.

You also can swap, buy used or make upcycled costumes. Use ingredients you have at home to make face paint. Next September, host a Halloween costume swap party.

Use up arts and crafts supplies by upcycling buckets, pillowcases, cans, t-shirts, gift bags or reusable totes for trick-or-treating. Trick or treat in places you can reach on foot or by public transit.

Keep treats in the bag

Please don’t litter! Parents – bring a bag and gloves or grabber tool to pick up litter along your trick-or-treating route. Your little ghosts and ghouls shouldn’t be leaving a trail of candy wrappers in their wake. Want to help keep ours a clean green county year round? Clean streams and public lands with your local watershed association, do a Clean Green 15 pickup in your community, or get your group to participate in the Adopt-A-Road program.

Having a party?

Send invitations electronically. Serve locally-sourced food and drink. Buy fair-trade chocolate. Use reusable linens and kitchenware. If you must purchase new items for your Halloween celebrations, look for products and packaging made with recycled content. Serve witches’ brew or Frankenpunch in drink dispensers instead of beverages in bottles and cans. Use a meal planning tool to determine how much food to prepare. Store leftovers in reusable containers and (actually) eat them. Put out a recycling bin and ask your guests to use it. Visit the County’s website to find out what is and is not accepted for curbside recycling collection.

Use leftover candy in baked goods, ice cream sundaes, snack mixes, cereal bars and more. Use your imagination, or try one of many recipes found on Pinterest.

Be safe and have fun! 

Have a Green-o-ween idea you’d like to share? Send it to cleangreen@baltimorecountymd.gov. Follow Clean Green Baltimore County on Facebook for news and information to help you live more sustainably.


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 baltimorecountymd.gov/CleanGreenBaltCo.

 

 

 

                  


 
 
Revised October 16, 2020               
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