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Important Note Regarding Plastic Bags

Plastic bag.Plastic bags—even if marked recyclable—are not accepted in the County's recycling program. Plastic bags of any type must not be used to set out recyclables for collection. These bags jam machinery at the single stream sorting facility. It is recommended that you bring reusable bags with you when shopping to eliminate the need for plastic bags.

Learn more about plastic bags and other "tanglers."

In the County’s single stream recycling program, all acceptable recyclables may be mixed together in the same container for collection.

  • Residents of single-family homes—View your collection schedule and set-out guide to learn how to place recyclables out for collection.
  • Residents of apartments and condominiums—Check with your property manager for details on how recycling collection works in your community.

Acceptable Containers

The County currently does not provide recycling containers. Learn about the variety of acceptable recycling containers.

Baltimore County has made stickers available for residents that may be affixed to containers as another way to designate that the containers are being used exclusively for recycling. These stickers are not in any way required to participate in the single stream recycling program. Stickers for recycling containers are available free of charge at the following locations:

  • Baltimore County public libraries—We encourage residents to call ahead to a library before visiting to ensure that they have a supply of container stickers. 
  • Baltimore County’s three trash and recycling drop-off centers
  • Contact or visit our Solid Waste Management office

Types of Materials

Below are the basic five categories of materials accepted in Baltimore County’s single stream recycling program. By focusing on these common and often valuable materials, you're helping the environment and the County's bottom line.

If an item does not belong in any of these categories, or if you’re not sure, you can help to minimize recycling contamination­ by following this rule—"when in doubt, throw it out (in the trash).”

Additional Acceptable Materials

Below are additional categories of items that can be taken to one or more of our residential drop-off centers.

Effects of Plastic Bags and Other "Tanglers"

Malfunctions can occur when plastic bags and other "tanglers"—long or stretchy items, such as plastic bags, clothing, linens, rope, electrical cords and chains—get caught in the equipment at the Materials Recovery Facility. These items bring the whole operation to a full stop, which wastes time and money, and endangers workers. Even if a plastic bag is marketed as "for recycling," "recyclable" or "compostable," it is not acceptable as a recycling container in Baltimore County.

Explore Recycling


Contact Us

Bureau of Solid Waste Management

111 West Chesapeake Avenue
Room 211
Towson, Maryland 21204


Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.






Nicholas Rodricks


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