Recyclable Materials Market Study (Maryland Department of the Environment)

The Office of Waste Minimization and Recycling of the Maryland Department of the Environment is responsible for implementing the 1988 Maryland Recycling Act, stipulating that all counties in the state must plan and implement ways to reduce their respective waste streams through recycling. GBB was selected by the Maryland Department of the Environment to perform a study of recyclable materials markets available to the State of Maryland. The study assessed the supply of recyclable materials from all Maryland counties and fifteen eastern and mid-western states and the District of Columbia. GBB analyzed how the flow of recyclables from other states may or may not limit Maryland’s access to end-user markets. Market demand, based on reported plant capacity, was projected to determine whether study area markets would be able to absorb supplies of recyclable materials during the next ten years. Import and export data was also analyzed to determine combined domestic and export balance between supply and demand.

The results of the study have been used to augment information contained in Maryland’s county recycling plans, provide guidance for State and local recycling activities, and help to establish a framework for state-level recycling policy and implementation requirements. The study also provided the Maryland Department of the Environment with an extensive contact listing of Maryland-based intermediate processors and brokers, and a study-wide database of more than 300 current end-users of recyclable materials.