From restoring our watersheds to expanding our tree canopy and preserving rural lands, Baltimore County prides itself on its commitment to environmental stewardship. Find resources to help you reduce your environmental impact as well as volunteer opportunities and local environmental updates.
News and Updates
Bring Your Own Bag Law—Effective November 1, 2023, Baltimore County prohibits the distribution of single-use plastic checkout bags at the point of sale in order to reduce the significant negative impact of plastic bag litter in our communities, waterways and at the County’s recycling processing plant.
Subscribe to "The Resource" Newsletter—The Resource is Baltimore County's solid waste reduction, reuse, recycling and refuse disposal monthly e-newsletter.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning and Implementation—Learn about planning efforts to develop plans to improve Baltimore County's transportation system for pedestrian and bicycle use. A committee of local citizens, elected officials and government staff is creating a blueprint for constructing pedestrian and bicycle facilities over the next 20 years.
Follow the Clean Green Baltimore County Facebook page, which publishes tips, news and information for residents, businesses and organizations looking to improve their environmental protection and sustainability efforts.
Get Involved, Get Outdoors
County parks and nature centers offer year-round opportunities to enjoy and learn about the great outdoors, wildlife and the environment.
Discover educational programs, events and volunteer opportunities to help reduce pollution and improve water quality in the Baltimore region. Check out the workshops, tree plantings, litter cleanups, trail maintenance and other events hosted and promoted by these local organizations:
- University of Maryland Extension, Baltimore County
- Enjoy Baltimore County—Nature and Outdoor Events
- Back River Restoration Committee, Inc.
- Blue Water Baltimore
- Clean Bread and Cheese Creek Community Cleanups
- Dundalk Renaissance
- Gunpowder Valley Conservancy
- Maryland Waterways Foundation
- Patapsco Heritage Greenway
You can participate in the Clean Green effort by planting trees, participating in community cleanups, recycling, switching to renewable energy and more.
Baltimore County is working hard to achieve its tree canopy goals in our rural areas and neighborhoods. Learn how you can participate in this effort by planting trees on your property, and possibly qualify for free reforestation projects.
Tree-Mendous Maryland—Offers communities and residents resources for planting in residents' yards and on public lands like parks, public schools, community colleges, government facilities, rights-of-way and homeowner association open spaces.
You and your group can do a quick litter pickup and help your favorite local Baltimore County public school win the Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge and earn an environmental grant.
Join Baltimore County's Adopt-A-Road Program. Participating groups, who conduct at least four litter cleanups per year, will have their name posted on two road signs promoting their good work.
Find more information on our Local Stream and Litter Cleanups page.
Conserve Water —Learn how to conserve water to reduce stress on our natural resources and local infrastructure. You'll find tips on reducing water usage inside your home and for gardening, washing vehicles and maintaining swimming pools.
Downspout Disconnection—Learn about this easy way for homeowners to keep stormwater from gushing into our streams.
Prevent flooding from clogged storm drain inlets—Avoid raking or blowing yard waste into roadways. Remove debris from neighborhood storm drain inlets to help prevent flooding, especially before heavy rain and snow events. Contact the Department of Public Works and Transportation Bureau of Highways to report clogged storm drain inlets.
What we do on the land affects our water quality. Pollutants like storm runoff and bacteria from pet waste wash directly into storm drains and streams and flow unfiltered into the Chesapeake Bay. Here are some good practices for a bay-friendly yard:
Backyard Actions for a Cleaner Chesapeake Bay—You'll find helpful tips to contribute to a cleaner Chesapeake Bay from Maryland Department of Agriculture, including best practices to control erosion and rainwater runoff.
Bay-Wise Program—Baltimore County’s Master Gardeners program shares resources to help homeowners design an environmentally friendly yard.
Yard Materials—Keep your yard clippings out of storm drains and streams by grasscycling or composting.
Pet Waste—Scoop the poop every time to prevent bacteria and other pathogens from washing into our waterways. Take the pet waste pledge.
Learn more about the following topics from local resources.
Learn about Baltimore County's recycling and waste prevention programs and opportunities.
Food waste makes up an estimated 30 to 40 percent of the U.S. food supply, contributing 119 billion pounds to the waste stream. Consider these ways to reduce the amount of food you waste, such as:
Household Hazardous Waste— Learn about Baltimore County's programs for household hazardous waste disposal, recycling and reduction.
- Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audit—Find low-cost solutions to help you waste less energy and water.
- Find a Renewable Energy Provider—Search for providers and compare rates.
- Learn about Baltimore County government's renewable energy policy and action strategies.
- Learn about electronic vehicles and find charging stations.
- Maryland Energy Administration (MEA)—MEA offers grants, loans, rebates and tax incentives designed to help attain the state's goals in energy reduction, renewable energy, climate action and green jobs. MEA helps Maryland residents, businesses and nonprofits implement energy efficiency upgrades and install renewable energy systems.
- Septic System Upgrade Grants—Grants are available for septic system users to upgrade onsite systems with the Best Available Technology (BAT) for nitrogen removal. Apply online to see if you are eligible.
Estimate your carbon footprint —Use the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Household Carbon Footprint Calculator to calculate in three areas—waste, home energy and transportation.
NeighborSpace—Find out about potential opportunities to preserve your neighborhood's green spaces through easement protection.
View recreational water sampling results and water quality safety alerts and advisories from the Baltimore County Health Department. Learn about the long-term overall ecological health of local streams and waterways by viewing the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability Water Quality Dashboard.
Register as a Litter-Smart Business by pledging to keep your property litter free and inviting.
Add your business to the Maryland Green Registry today—A free, voluntary program that showcases sustainability efforts by local governments and businesses, the Green Registry offers resources to help organizations and businesses meet sustainability goals.