New yard waste rules for Anne Arundel County residents in 2017

| July 18, 2016

kb true value bagAnne Arundel County has begun a six-month outreach effort to inform residents about new curbside yard waste collection requirements.  

Beginning January 1, 2017, the Department of Public Works will no longer accept plastic bags as a container for grass clippings, leaves, Christmas Trees, and other yard waste materials set out for curbside collection.

After the new requirements are implemented, residents will still have three choices when setting out yard waste for collection:

  • Bag it using compostable lawn and leaf paper bags, available at most home or hardware stores.
  • Bin it in your own reusable containers marked with an “X”.
  • Bundle it in collectable bundles.

The practice of accepting yard waste in plastic bags has nearly eliminated the County’s recycling options.  Refining the County’s program is necessary to address the litter problems and increased processing costs that result from the use of plastic bags.  The new requirements follow composting industry trends and will immediately increase the County’s available recycling outlets.

“Making this change not only reduces waste, it is the fiscally responsible way to manage County government,” said County Executive Steve Schuh.  “Expanding our yard waste processing options will decrease our operating expenses back to sustainable levels and ensure our ability to continue recycling this material as the law requires.”

For years, private companies within Anne Arundel County  and the Prince George’s County Yard Waste Composting Facility in nearby Upper Marlboro ensured that the County could recycle its leaves, grass, and brush.  The County has incurred significant increases to its yard waste processing costs over the last three years during which time all but one area composting facility have prohibited plastic bags or gone out of business.  

Since 2015, the Department of Public Works has recycled yard waste by shipping materials collected in plastic bags 40 miles away to its lone remaining option in Carroll County.  The private company in Woodbine, Maryland charges a $12 per ton premium to handle yard waste delivered in plastic bags.  Annually, the County collects approximately 30,000 tons of yard waste as part of its curbside collection program.

The Recycling and Waste Reduction Division of DPW’s Bureau of Waste Management Services will utilize several different outreach methods to ensure residents are effectively informed in advance of the new requirements.  All customers will receive two postcards over the next six months; an announcement and a reminder of requirements.  Notices will be provided to customers who use plastic bags this Fall as a reminder of  the new requirements to begin January 2017.  Other outreach methods will include the posting of useful information on the County’s website and through social media outlets, providing presentations for Homeowner’s Association Meetings, and producing flyers suitable for use in neighborhood newsletters and distribution in the community.

Blackwall Hitch

Category: Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

About the Author ()

Eye On Annapolis is a community based site focusing strictly on Anne Arundel County. These staff postings are general news postings made by our team of bloggers throughout the day and are not attributed to any one particular staff person.

Comments (9)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Bill Nagorka says:

    All bull aside…did anyone compare the cost of the paper bags being sold by your neighborhood hardware store BANDITS ? I’ve seen them on sale for a buck or more ? Maybe time for an organization to make some money selling paper bags to the public(Boy Scouts ?) Start thinking…those of us who keep our yards clean etc can use 10-15 bags a week.

  2. JR says:

    Bout time. Some of us are already there. So this will save the county around 360K. Doubt it will drop my county waste bill but another good move in the right direction. Most of my friends in other places don’t come close to all the recycling we have here. Well done AACo!

    • Laurie says:

      I agree if my Mom wants to recycle she must separate glass,newspaper,ect. Next she must take it to a place ,unload it & haul it to the correct container ,at age 89. We are lucky in AACo with recycling.

  3. William Tatley says:

    Can I paint an “X” on a yellow county-provided recycle lidless barrel for yard waste collection?

  4. w. morrison says:

    County must clarify: “Bin it in your own reusable containers marked with an “X”.” What is a “bin”???

    Also: what happens when it rains? Will the workers skip, or clean-up torn bags due to being wet?

  5. J Downin says:

    What happens when it rains between bagging and yard waste pick-up?
    Who will pick up the mess when the bags fall apart????

    • Laurie says:

      I wondered that too. I have been using them from Ace hardware in Cape St Claire, Annapolis & mine don’t fall apart after rain

  6. Mike Anderson says:

    I worry about not having enough paper bags to meet demand. Then what happens?

  7. PK says:

    I live in a heavily treed neighborhood and regularly use 50+ bags, at about $0.25 each, several times per season for leaf cleanup, and those are 39 gallon bags. Looking around at average prices, I’m going to have to pay about $1.50 per 30 gallon bag. I might be better off paying someone else to clean them up and haul them away. That’s really frustrating!