September 14, 2021 Baltimore County

Baltimore County today released the final report of the Solid Waste Work Group, offering 19 recommendations for improving the County’s solid waste collection and disposal system and reducing the overall volume of trash produced in Baltimore County.

“We have an obligation to take action now to reduce our waste and create a sustainable path forward for generations to come,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “I applaud County Administrative Officer Rodgers and all the members of our Work Group for their efforts to develop these actionable recommendations which will inform our ongoing work to create more sustainable practices, reduce the garbage we create, and protect our planet.”

County Executive Olszewski created the Solid Waste Work Group in October 2020 to examine the County’s existing waste collection and disposal programs, review national industry best practices, and make recommendations for a more sustainable future.

Baltimore County’s current solid waste collection system operates according to regulations, practices and policies that date as far back as 1949. The County’s landfill input increased from 304 tons per day to 1,840 tons per day over the last five years.

Chaired by County Administrative Officer Stacy L. Rodgers, the Solid Waste Work Group was comprised of County leadership, community members, and industry representatives who held eight public meetings and created an online survey which received nearly 6,800 responses from community members.

The Work Group’s recommendations released today include the following:
  • Establish formal hauler service agreements to support long-term sustainability of the County’s collection program.
  • Eliminate plastic bags for yard materials.
  • Explore providing new rolling carts for recycling collection.
  • Launch pilot programs for food waste compost collection and same-day collection services for both recyclables and yard material.
  • Implement a Zero Waste outreach program to educate residents and commercial entities
  • Create a technical assistance program to help haulers improve the efficiency, quality, and safety of current operations
  • Consider efforts to expand the capacity and extend the lifespan of the Eastern Sanitary Landfill
  • Explore establishing a new Mixed Waste Processing facility to provide increased landfill diversion and increased collection of recyclables.
  • Perform maintenance and plans for future replacements of the Central Acceptance Facility and Western Acceptance Facility.
  • Perform an organizational, staffing, and equipment review to help ensure effective management and administration.
  • Explore opportunities for additional regional collaboration.
Olszewski already fulfilled one of the recommendations included in the report when he announced that the County plans to restart bulk trash pickup for the first time since 1992.

This pilot program is expected to begin service in early 2022.
The Solid Waste Work Group’s review of the Recycling and Solid Waste System will help inform the County’s future work to improve the system in the coming years.

The full report is available here (PDF).