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Maryland State Government Maryland Department of the Environment

Waste Diversion in Maryland

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) promotes and encourages waste diversion across the State of Maryland.  Waste diversion combines both recycling and source reduction activities.

The waste management pyramid

The Maryland Recycling Act (MRA) requires all Counties and Baltimore City to recycle 15% (populations under 150,000) or 20% (populations over 150,000) of the waste generated. State government is required to recycle 20% of their solid waste.  These rates increase to 20% or 35% for counties by December 31, 2015.  State government must implement a recycling plan to reach a 30% recycling rate by July 1, 2014.  In addition, Maryland established a voluntary waste diversion goal of 60%, and a voluntary recycling rate of 55% by 2020.  The waste diversion goal is comprised of the recycling rate plus source reduction credits (maximum 5%) that Maryland Counties and Baltimore City earn through activities designed to reduce the amount of waste going to the waste stream.

MDE works toward Maryland's waste diversion goals by partnering with Maryland's jurisdictions and the public and private sectors to develop markets for recyclable materials and by working with other State agencies to increase the volume of materials diverted from landfills.



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  • State, County and City Contact Information

    State/County/City recycling services, drop-off locations, and contact information.
  • State, County, and City Recycling Rates

    Recycling and waste diversion data for Maryland.
  • County Coordinator Resources

    Forms for use by County Recycling Coordinators.
  • State Agency Recycling

    Lists agency coordinators, agency recycling rates and newsletters.
  • Recycling Market Directory

    The Maryland Recycling Directory locates markets for batteries, motor oil, aluminum, wood, textiles, fluorescent lights, and much more.
  • Education and Outreach

    Classroom presentations, America Recycles Day, fact sheets, fun facts, activities and web sites for educators and kids.
  • Recycling at Work and School

    How to start a recycling program, locate contractors and find markets for your recyclable materials.
  • Source Reduction in Maryland

    Contains helpful tips for reducing the amount of solid waste generated at home, school, office, and at the store, plus detailed information about source reduction in Maryland's counties.
  • Composting

    Compostable materials such as food scraps and yard trimmings make up nearly 30% of all municipal solid waste generated in the U.S.  Instead of disposing of this material in landfills and incinerators, composting uses organic material to create a valuable product with environmental and economic benefits.
  • eCycling - Electronics Recycling

    Information provided on where businesses and residents can recycle or donate computers and other electronics, the benefits of recycling electronics, collection events, and eCycling partners.
  • Mercury Recycling

    Information on mercury, where it can be found, mercury thermometer drop-off locations for residents, alternative products, spill kit vendors, recycling resources, and thermometer manufacturers and retailer prohibitions.
  • Scrap Tires

    Scrap tires, because of their size, shape and associated environmental hazards, present both difficult and costly disposal and recycling challenges for the entities responsible for overseeing their management. MDE's Scrap Tire Program is dedicated to ensuring the cleanup of illegal scrap tire stockpiles and to managing the collection, transportation, recycling, and processing of the scrap tires generated in Maryland.
  • Buy Recycled

    Information on the benefits of buying recycled products; common misperceptions; and the manufacturers and vendors of recycled products.
  • Construction and Demolition (C&D)

    Information for finding markets for C&D materials, a list of C&D acceptance facilities, disposal methods, and job-site recycling and waste prevention.
  • Green Building

    Information provided on green building programs, design, maintenance, product directories, model contracts, available funding, case studies, database of LEED architect/engineer/builders, green hotels and more.
  • Green Procurement and Environmentally Preferable Products

    Information on manufacturers and vendors of recycled products, environmentally preferable procurement programs, case studies, green procurement starter kits, model contracts, implementation information and buy-recycled training information.
  • Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)

    Information on HHW collection events and programs, HHW county coordinator information and propane cylinder recycling.
  • Newsprint Recycling

    Information on the required newsprint recycled content for newspaper publishers and distriubtors, the report forms, and the newsprint recycling board.
  • Oil Recycling

    Information on used motor oil and antifreeze collection.
  • Pesticide Container Recycling Program

    For 20 years, Maryland’s pesticide container recycling program, offered by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), has helped prevent pesticide residues from entering the soil and local waterways and has saved valuable landfill space by recycling more than 743,000 empty, plastic pesticide containers.
  • Polystyrene Recycling

    Information on polystyrene recycling.
  • Telephone Directory Recycling

    Information on the required telephone directory recycled content for telephone directory publishers and the report forms.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)


Contact Info

For additional information or questions, contact the Waste Diversion Division by email or phone at 410-537-3314.

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