April 22, 2020 Baltimore County

Social Distancing Measures Remain in Place

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced that yard waste collection will resume and residential Drop-Off Centers will reopen.

"We know these services are important to our residents, and we feel confident that we can safely resume them with appropriate social distancing measures in place," Olszewski said. "I'm grateful to our trash haulers for their service, and I'm grateful to our residents for their patience and cooperation as we continue to navigate this unprecedented crisis."

Residential Drop-off Centers

Beginning tomorrow, Thursday, April 23, Baltimore County's residential Drop-off Centers will reopen to the public. These locations include: 

  • Eastern Sanitary Landfill-6259 Days Cove Road, 21162
  • Central Acceptance Facility-201 West Warren Road, 21030
  • Western Acceptance Facility-3310 Transway Road, 21227

Residents will be required to adhere to all social distancing guidelines and required to wear masks onsite. These requirements will be strictly enforced.

Yard Waste Collection

Additionally, beginning today, Wednesday, April 22, yard waste materials will be collected from Baltimore County residents with "Y" days on their schedule. These separate yard material collections will occur through as late as December 2020.

Collection schedules are available for download on the Bureau of Solid Waste Management's website and may also be requested by calling 410-887-2000. Schedules are also available on the County's BaltCoGo app, for use on mobile phones.

The amount of garbage being collected from residents has increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, during the week ending April 18, trash haulers collected nearly 23 percent more tons of trash than the same week in 2019. County Executive Olszewski approved hazard pay of $75 dollars per week for workers collecting trash in the County during the pandemic.

Requirements for Collection

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 collection include grass, leaves, vines, twigs, shrubbery trimmings, and branches and limbs. 

Residents are reminded to use 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 three inches in diameter, no longer than three feet, and tied in bundles not exceeding 30 pounds.

Benefits of Grasscycling and Composting

Grasscycling Infographic thumbnail

Baltimore County Department of Public Works officials also reminded residents that they are encouraged to try "grasscycling" or home composting in addition to placing yard waste for pick-up.

These practices not only reduce the amount of yard materials to be bagged and stored, but also provide benefits such as protection and nutrients to plants and lawns.

To grasscycle while mowing your lawn, remove the bag from your mower and let the grass clippings fall back onto the ground. To protect the health of your lawn, never cut more than one-third of the length off of the grass blade in one mowing.

Keep the grass mowed to two inches in the spring, gradually increasing the height to three to four inches by summer. When fall arrives, decrease the blade height back to two inches.

The practice of grasscycling eliminates the time and labor required to bag lawn clippings. In addition, when grass clippings are properly cut, they decompose quickly and release vital nutrients back into the soil.

Another beneficial use for yard materials is home composting. Composting-creating a mixture of decomposed organic matter-is an easy way to produce a nutrient-rich soil additive. Using compost in your garden also helps to suppress plant diseases and pests and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.

For more information about grasscycling, home composting and other ways to manage organic material at home, visit the Bureau of Solid Waste Management's website.