19 Innovative Recommendations for Baltimore County, Maryland

In mid-September 2021, Baltimore County, Maryland released the Final Report from its Solid Waste Work Group. The report included recommendations on implementing innovative industry practices and waste diversion strategies to reduce the overall volume of trash produced in the County. The 19 recommendations are grouped into five categories and consider:

  • Final Report of the Baltimore County Solid Waste GroupCollection
    • Establishing 5-year service agreements for haulers
    • Eliminating plastic bags for yard materials
    • Providing technical assistance to haulers
    • Purchasing new recycling carts
    • Implementing pilot projects to evaluate 3 service configurations
  • New Programs & Services
    • Advancing a Zero Waste Strategy approach for bulk items
    • Implementing a Zero Waste Education and Outreach Strategies program
  • Infrastructure & Disposal
    • Transferring 215,000 tons/year from Eastern Sanitary Landfill to non-County disposal
    • Establishing a new Mixed Waste Processing
    • Outsourcing organics processing to a third party for pilot projects
    • Planning and permitting an Eastern Sanitary Landfill vertical expansion
    • Designing/Permitting/Building a new Western Acceptance Facility as current one located in a flood plain
    • Adding yard material transfer capability at the Central Acceptance Facility
    • Planning for MRF Maintenance and Future Replacement
  • Financial & Contracts
    • Conducting a Solid Waste Full Cost Accounting review
    • Establishing new system funding mechanisms
    • Promoting regional collaboration
    • Planning for long-term process for collection
  • Other Considerations
    • Performing an organizational, staffing and equipment review

The comprehensive report was developed with the assistance of a multidisciplinary team led by GBB, which included EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., under contract with the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority (NMWDA) and Baltimore County, Maryland.

As a first step, the County created a Solid Waste Work Group – composed of County leadership, community members and industry representatives – to examine current solid waste collection and disposal policies and practices and make recommendations for implementing innovative industry practices and waste diversion strategies to reduce the overall volume of trash produced in the County.

Key to this fast-paced initiative, was the GBB Project Team’s multi-pronged approach, which included:

  • Baltimore County Work GroupDetailed review of the County’s system and development of findings, best practices, and recommendations.
  • An online survey of Baltimore County residents and businesses (in total approximate 6,000 responses for a county with a population of nearly 850,000)
  • A series of eight virtual stakeholder meetings, during which findings and recommendations were reviewed and innovative, technologies and solid waste management solutions were discussed (video recordings of the meetings are available on the County’s Work Group webpage.)

As a final step, the GBB Project Team developed the Final Report alongside the County and NMWDA, which included detailed descriptions of the recommendations, schedule for implementation, estimated costs for implementation (both capital and operating), anticipated cost reductions or revenues gained, and anticipated change(s) in recycling and disposal tonnages.

The project was featured in both the 2021 Spring and Fall editions of WasteWatch, the NMWDA newsletter, respectively highlighting the development and implementation of the report’s recommendations. GBB is proud of its contribution to create a pathway to less waste, and a more inclusive, livable, and vibrant Baltimore County!

“I applaud County Administrative Officer Rodgers and all the members of our Work Group for their efforts to develop these actionable recommendations which will inform our ongoing work to create more sustainable practices, reduce the garbage we create, and protect our planet.”

– County Executive Olszewski
(NMWDA’s WasteWatch, Fall 2021)

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