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Maryland State Government Maryland Department of the Environment

Solid Waste Management in Maryland

New items of interest:

»  Application of Refuse Disposal Permit Requirements to Combustion of Refuse Derived Fuel

» Open Burning Fact Sheet final_7.14.10.doc - Fact sheet describes the regulatory requirements and provides examples of when materials that are solid waste can and can't be burned.  (Fact sheet is in .pdf format and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view).

» Composting Operation Permitting Fact Sheet, updated 2/3/2012-  Two-part fact sheet developed by the Land and Water Management Administrations provides guidance regarding the various types of MDE permits that may be required for commercial, governmental or experimental composting operations.  Additional information on composting in Maryland can be found on MDE's Composting web page See also the proposed composting regulations in the January 10, 2014 issue of the Maryland Register, available in .pdf format at

 Program Summary:

MDE's Solid Waste Program (SWP) is responsible for assuring that society's domestic, commercial, and non-hazardous industrial solid waste is handled properly. Improper handling of these wastes can pose direct threats to both public health and Maryland's natural resources, particularly water resources. Since 1914, Maryland has had laws requiring solid waste be handled in a manner that minimizes the risk posed to public health and the environment. The impact caused by poor waste disposal practices include:

  • pollution of groundwater, which many Marylanders rely on for drinking water supplies;
  • pollution of surface water, with the potential for impacting drinking water supplies of many of the large municipalities in Maryland (e.g. Baltimore City); and,
  • health nuisances such as odor, rats, flies, and mosquitoes

Solid Waste Acceptance (SWA) Facilities

landfill cell being lined MDE regulates SWA facilities to ensure the proper disposal of solid waste in an environmentally acceptable manner while protecting the public health and the environment, including surface and groundwater. A Refuse Disposal (RD) Permit is required for the installation, alteration, or extension of a SWA facility. The RD Permit regulates the design, construction, operation, and monitoring of such facilities to minimize the impact on public health and the environment. Municipal, rubble, and some industrial waste landfills are required to have liners and leachate collection systems that facilitate the collection of leachate and prevent migration of pollutants out of the landfill to adjacent subsurface soil, groundwater, and surface water. (The term leachate is used to describe the liquid formed when precipitation soaks into landfill waste and migrates downward through waste due to gravity. As liquids move through the waste, they may extract substances leaching out of the waste - hence the term "leachate.") With some exceptions, processing and transfer activities are required to be conducted in an enclosed building to control odor, dust, noise, and the like. SWA facilities, which are regulated by a RD Permit, include:

  • Municipal landfills
  • Rubble [construction and demolition (C&D) debris] landfills
  • Non-hazardous industrial waste landfills
  • Land clearing debris landfills
  • Waste-to-energy facilities
  • Municipal incinerators
  • Special medical waste incinerators
  • Special medical waste processing facilities
  • Solid waste processing facilities
  • Solid waste transfer stations


Upcoming Solid Waste Public Meetings or Hearings of Interest: 

 Updated February 2014:  Frederick/Carroll County Renewable Waste-to-Energy Facility -

Based on the testimony and other evidence received at the hearing and during the public comment period, the Department has reached a final determination and issued a refuse disposal permit in this case.

Joint Hearing 1/30/2013:  The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) made a tentative determination to issue a Refuse Disposal Permit for the Frederick/Carroll County Renewable Waste-to-Energy Facility to be located at 4549 Metropolitan Court, Frederick, MD.  A JOINT HEARING that addressed permit applications made to MDE's Air and Radiation Management and Water Management Administrations for the air quality and surface water discharge permits that the facility also requires was held at 6 pm on January 30, 2013 at the Tuscarora High School auditorium, 5312 Ballenger Creek Pike, Frederick MD 21703. 

For information concerning the other permit applications, the Notice of Tentative Determination provides contact information for the other Administrations.  See also the Department's joint webpage concerning this application that has links to the other permits pertaining to this facility at

Relevant documents are available in .pdf format below:

Notice of Tentative Determination: Gives information about the hearing, the availability of documents, etc.

Solid Waste Permit Application Fact Sheet:  Discusses the Refuse Disposal Permit application review process.  Updated February 21, 2014.

Proposed Draft Refuse Disposal Permit: Regulates the handling of solid waste, ash, etc.

Refuse Disposal Permit Application Documents:  Includes documents that support the refuse disposal permit application.  Note: This document is a very large .pdf file - about 48 MB - and may take a few minutes to download and open.

Scrap Tire Management Application Documents  Includes documents that support the request to accept scrap tires.  Note: This file is a very large .pdf file - about 32 MB - and may take a few minutes to download and open.

Final Determination  Summarizes the Department's decision to issue the Refuse Disposal Permit for this facility. 

Final Refuse Disposal Permit This document is the Refuse Disposal Permit issued for this facility.

Questions concerning the Refuse Disposal Permit can be directed to the Solid Waste Program at (410) 537-3315.   

 Fort Armistead Road - Lot 15 Industrial Waste Landfill, Baltimore City - Public Hearing 10/23/2012.  

 The Maryland Department of the Environment (the “Department”) has made a Tentative Determination to approve a Refuse Disposal Permit Application submitted by Fort Armistead Road – Lot 15 Landfill, LLC for the construction and operation of the Fort Armistead Road – Lot 15 Landfill.  This landfill is currently permitted and operating as the 65-acre parcel of the Hawkins Point Plant Industrial Waste Landfill located at 3601 Fort Armistead Road in Baltimore City, Maryland, that accepts coal combustion byproducts in the permitted landfill cell that is the subject of this hearing.  This application is for the proposed lateral and vertical expansion of the existing landfill, as well as a change in the permittee from Millennium Inorganic Chemicals, Inc. to Fort Armistead Road – Lot 15 Landfill, LLC.  The proposal would increase the previously permitted 28.5 acre landfill fill area to a total of 32.4 acres, and increase the maximum elevation of the landfill from 219 feet above mean sea level (ft-amsl) to 257 ft-amsl.

To provide opportunity for interested citizens to obtain information about the proposed application and the Department’s Tentative Determination, a Public Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. in the Curtis Bay Recreation Center located at 1630 Filbert Street, Baltimore, MD 21226.  A Public Informational Meeting concerning this application was previously held on November 3, 2011 in the same location.  The Public Hearing will be held to provide the citizens an opportunity to formally comment on the Department’s Tentative Determination concerning the proposed landfill expansion and permittee change.


  • Notice of Hearing:  Hearing Notice for 10/23/12
  • Public Hearing Fact Sheet: Fact Sheet for Hearing 10/23/12
  • Draft Permit Proposed for Public Comment: Draft Lot 15 Permit 10/12
  • For the complete application and supporting reports, see the hard copies placed in the local library.  The application and supporting documents will be available for public review at the Enoch Pratt Free Library (Brooklyn Branch) located at 300 E. Patapsco Avenue, Baltimore MD 21225, the Riviera Beach Public Library located at 1130 Duvall Highway, Pasadena, MD, 21122 and at the MDE by appointment.  

Contacts: Solid Waste Program, 410-537-3315; Cheryl Kerr/Water Management Admin., 410-537-3911


 Tolson Rubble Landfill Public Meeting and Hearing, Anne Arundel County:  On August 18, 2011, at 6 pm, MDE hosted a public informational meeting followed by a public hearing concerning the Department's tentative determination to issue a Refuse Disposal Permit for the proposed Tolson & Associates Rubble Landfill to be located at the west end of Capitol Raceway Road near Crofton, Anne Arundel County.  The record for this hearing is now closed.    For more information, please see the following documents:



Natural Wood Waste Recycling (NWWR) Facilities

man pulling greenery toward mulcherA NWWR Facility is a facility that accepts natural wood waste such as tree stumps and limbs, brush, root mats, logs, leaves, grass clippings, unadulterated wood wastes, and other natural vegetative materials that are generated when land is cleared for construction purposed. These facilities produce a variety of products including wood chips, mulch, compost, and firewood, which may be sold to consumers. These facilities are valued because they prevent natural wood waste from entering the landfill and make useful products from such waste. Recycling natural wood waste saves valuable space, thereby extending the life of landfills in Maryland. An individual or general NWWR Facility Permit is required for persons constructing and operating such a facility. (factsheet)



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