Litter does more than look bad and detract from our communities—it washes into storm drains and pollutes our waterways. There’s no single solution to combating the litter issue in Baltimore County, which is why we've taken a multi-agency approach through both litter prevention and removal programs. Learn more about these programs by emailing email@example.com.
Sign up for BaltCo Litter Blitz 2023
All across Baltimore County this spring, communities are teaming up to tackle litter from Earth Day through Memorial Day. Register your group today to conduct a Litter Blitz cleanup of any size from April 20 through May 29. Baltimore County will provide free bags and gloves upon request, while supplies last.
Litter not only brings down the neighborhood; it washes into storm drains and pollutes our waterways. See below for year-round community anti-litter programs and to review our helpful Litter Blitz Community Cleanup Checklist.
Name our Streams Contest
Name Our Streams Contest—The Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) is working to call attention to the importance of protecting our local streams that lead to the Chesapeake Bay, and you can help! We’ve identified an unnamed neighborhood stream in Hillendale and invite community members to add their “watermark” by submitting suggested names for EPS’ consideration. The winning name will appear on official maps and signs.
It’s simple to suggest a name:
- Show your “stream spirit” by spending 15 minutes outside picking up litter before Wednesday, May 10.
- Report the cleanup results on the Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge website.
- Submit your proposed name on the Name Our Streams entry form. See the form for stream naming guidelines and to view a map of the unnamed stream.
Previous Name our Streams Winner
The U.S. Geologic Survey has approved “Church Meadow Creek” as the new name for the previously unnamed, local stream in Pikesville. It crosses Church Lane and runs through a new, four-acre County park (currently in the planning stages). Thanks to everyone who submitted a stream name suggestion and participated in a Clean Green 15 litter cleanup!
Anti-Litter Programs for Residents
To help give your anti-litter efforts a lasting, ripple effect throughout your community, we encourage you to participate in the following County programs that combat litter and show that you care about keeping our environment clean.
The “Litter Doesn’t Stop Where it Drops” litter prevention campaign illustrates how ground litter can be carried by wind or rain down the nearest storm drain and into streams, where it then pollutes local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. Litter can contain bacteria and toxins that are harmful to people and wildlife, and can contaminate the food we eat. Help keep our community clean and healthy by "putting litter in its place"—a recycling bin or trash can.
To help plan your community cleanup, download the Community Cleanup packet, which includes:
- A step-by-step checklist to planning a successful event
- A sign-up template to help promote your event and recruit volunteers
- A social media kit which offers suggestions and language for publicizing your cleanup and sharing your results
- Images for social media can be downloaded here:
- Facebook/Twitter: 1200 x 628 px
- Instagram: 1080 x 1080 px
- Images for social media can be downloaded here:
Help your favorite Baltimore County public school win an environmental project grant by submitting your cleanup (large or small) as part of the challenge.
Join the County's Adopt-a-Road program to show your community how much your group cares about a Clean Green Baltimore County. Eligible adopters include civic and nonprofit organizations, school groups, commercial and private enterprises, families and individuals. For more information, call the Bureau of Highways at 410-887-3560.
Neighborhoods can look littered after heavy winds or unwanted pests get into trash cans. Follow these tips to prevent accidental littering in your community:
- Always use a trash container, and don’t overfill.
- Put a tight fitting lid on your trash and recycling.
- Use a sturdy outdoor trash container (34 gallon maximum container size) for your recycling and mark it with a large “X” or the word “recycle.”
- Secure loads in your car or truck so doesn't blows out and create litter.
- Take bulk items to any of the three Baltimore County drop-off facilities.
Communities of 50 or more homes may qualify for County funding for dumpster rentals for one cleanup per year. Contact the Bureau of Solid Waste Management at 410-887-8693 to learn more.
The following actions can help improve streams:
- Tree plantings in open areas, along streets and in yards
- Expanding forested areas along streams (stream buffers)
- Disconnection of downspouts to keep roof water out of storm drains
- Plant rain gardens and hooking up rain barrels for watering
- New or upgraded stormwater management facilities
- Stream cleanups and stream restoration projects
- Education and outreach on many issues related to water quality
- Proper lawn care education (fertilizer reduction, watering techniques)
- Community awareness about stormwater and pet waste disposal
- Trash and litter awareness
The Litter-Smart Business Program
The County’s Litter-Smart Business program for commercial operations and other establishments offers real-world tactics for effective waste management, as well as encouraging litter removal and prevention.
County Litter Removal and Enforcement
The County’s street sweeping program helps keep sediment and trash from clogging storm drains and flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. The Bureau of Highways’ street sweepers remove some 6,000 tons of debris each year from County roadways with curbs and gutters. The Bureau of Highways also responds to complaints of roadside dumping and excessive litter.
Code Enforcement works in collaboration with residents to maintain and improve communities by enforcing County Code and zoning regulations. Their inspectors respond to complaints on residential and commercial properties, including trash or debris in yards.
Volunteer at Your Local Watershed Association
Join a local watershed association to participate in volunteer opportunities to make improvements to our streams, forests and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Find contact information for your local watershed below to learn about restoration activities available in your community.
|Watershed||Volunteer Contact Information|
|Deer Creek||Deer Creek Watershed Association|
|Blue Water Baltimore|
|Liberty Reservoir||Friends of Patapsco Valley and Heritage Greenway|
|Patapsco River||Patapsco Heritage Greenway|
Gunpowder Valley Conservancy (GVC)
Watch the "Watershed Moments" video series.