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Help Combat Litter in Baltimore County

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 to the litter issue through both litter prevention and removal programs.

BaltCo Litter Blitz Volunteers Made Tons of Difference in Earth Month 2022

Thank you to the 1,400 volunteers who removed more than 10,000 pounds of litter in 83 BaltCo Litter Blitz cleanups all across Baltimore County during Earth Month, April 2022. Communities teamed up with the County to tackle litter, making literally tons of difference in this outdoor spring cleaning. Visit the BaltCo Litter Blitz hub site to view more results. See below for year-round community anti-litter programs and review our helpful Litter Blitz Community Cleanup Checklist (PDF).

Name Our Streams Contest

The community has spoken! The winning name for this unnamed local stream in Pikesville, is Church Meadow Creek. 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!

The County will submit the name to the US Geologic Survey for final approval. Pending this approval, we will celebrate the new name with the Pikesville community.

Anti-Litter Efforts

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.

Take your cleanup efforts to the next level by being the change you want to see!

Litter Doesn't Stop Where It Drops

In 2019, the County launched the “Litter Doesn’t Stop Where it Drops” litter prevention campaign. The 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.

Organize a Community Cleanup

To help plan your community cleanup, download the Community Cleanup packet (PDF), 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

Team BCPS Clean Green 15: Litter Challenge

Logo Clean Green 15: a Clean Green County Initiative.

Help your favorite Baltimore County public school win an environmental project grant by submitting your cleanup (large or small) as part of the challenge.

Adopt-a-Road Program

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 non-profit organizations, school groups, commercial and private enterprises, families and individuals. For more information, call the Bureau of Highways at 410-887-3560.

Put a Lid on Litter

Neighborhoods can look littered after heavy winds or unwanted pests get into trash cans. Putting a tight-fitting lid on your trash and recycling cans is one simple way to prevent accidental littering in your community. Download and share the Put a Lid on Litter resource flyer (PDF) to learn more.

The Litter-Smart Business Program

Commercial operations and other establishments can be a significant source of litter in our environment. The County’s Litter-Smart Business program offers real-world tactics for effective waste management, as well as encouraging litter removal and prevention.

Download the Litter-Smart Business program packet (PDF), which includes:

  • The Litter-Smart Business pledge
  • The Litter-Smart Business Community Partner sign—Display this sign prominently to show everyone that you care about keeping the community clean
  • The Litter-Smart Business Guide—Read tips designed specifically for businesses and their employees on how to manage litter in dumpsters and trash cans

County Litter Removal and Enforcement

Roadside Dumping

Report roadside dumping and debris to the Bureau of Highways via BaltCoGo (also available for free from the App Store). You can also report issues by calling 410-887-3560 or emailing

Trash and Debris on Private Property

Report trash and debris on private property to Code Enforcement via BaltCoGo. You can also report issues by calling 410-887-3351 or emailing

Street Sweeping

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’ 10 street sweepers remove some 6,000 tons of debris each year from County roadways with curbs and gutters.

Clean Water Act Mandate

Baltimore County is one of just six jurisdictions in the United States under Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) federal mandates, which are like “pollution diets” for a waterway. TMDLs stem from the federal Clean Water Act and aim to reduce trash in specific waterways. Our Trash TMDL states that each year, 159,626 pounds of trash needs to be stopped from entering the Gwynns Falls and Jones Falls watersheds, both of which originate in Baltimore County and flow into the Baltimore Harbor.

The County is currently implementing Phase One of both our Trash TMDL Implementation Plan (PDF) and our 2014 Trash Reduction Strategy, which involves continuing existing removal efforts, applying additional source reduction efforts and monitoring. If this approach does not reach the goal, the County will need to move to Phase Two, which involves very expensive structural changes like installing trash-trapping devices, which require ongoing routine maintenance and do not get to the root of the litter problem.

More Information

Learn more by emailing or by calling the DEPS Watershed Management group at 410-887-5683.

Revised May 13, 2022         
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