For extensive information on recycling opportunities in Howard County, visit You will find information on topics ranging from Specialty Item Recycling to the Feed the Green Bin Program to establishing recycling programs at Apartments, Condos and Businesses and much more.

residential recycling

Howard County residents with County-provided collection can place recyclables all together in the same container. Residents are provided one recycling container per household but may be exchanged for a different size if needed. Damaged carts can be repaired or replaced, however, residents are responsible for keeping them clean.

County recycling program participants may place their recyclables mixed together in the cart. Acceptable recyclables include metal cans, plastics, glass bottles and jars, mixed paper and cardboard. Remember – keep it loose, lose the bag! As of June 2019, the County is unable to accept any plastic film for recycling, including plastic bags, wrap and packaging material. Additional details can be found at

Waste Man­age­ment Recy­cle Amer­ica (WMRA) is under con­tract to Howard County for the pro­cess­ing and mar­ket­ing of recy­clables. WMRA oper­ates a state-of-the-art recy­clables pro­cess­ing facil­ity near Elkridge, which has the nec­es­sary equip­ment to sort recy­clables in prepa­ra­tion for sale to indi­vid­ual mate­r­ial markets.

The Residents’ Convenience Area at Alpha Ridge Landfill is a great resource for additional recycling opportunities for all Howard County Residents! Items ranging from scrap metal to reusable building materials to used cooking oil can be brought in for recycling. Visit their websites for up to date details about opening hours and a complete list accepted items.

What Do I Do With…

Howard County’s Recycling Division has also developed a Know Before You Throw webpage  – a comprehensive list of materials from American Flags to Yoga Mats with information on how to properly dispose, recycle or reuse these items and more.

Prac­tice Waste Prevention

  • Buy only what is needed
  • Shop for items with minimal packaging
  • Buy quality items that will last and are repairable
  • Reduce consumption
  • Think before you print. If you must print, print double-sided
  • Donate unwanted items
  • Explore Freecy­cle and Buy Nothing groups to reuse locally
  • Opt out of junk mail

Business Recycling

Help­ful resources about start­ing a recy­cling pro­gram at a busi­ness can be found on Howard County’s Bureau of Environmental Service’s Busi­ness Recy­cling web­page. You’ll find advice on everything from how to get started through ideas for non-traditional items that are still recyclable!

Howard County also has a Work Green Howard cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram for busi­nesses that report their recy­cling. It’s easy and helps our county meet its recy­cling goals. Use the following easy tips for your business.

Close the Loop

One vital, yet often over­looked, aspect of recy­cling is to pur­chase items con­tain­ing recy­cled con­tent — all of those recy­clables you put in the recy­cling con­tainer need a mar­ket. Encour­age your pur­chas­ing depart­ment to buy sup­plies made from recy­cled mate­ri­als. Prices for items made from recy­cled mate­r­ial are usu­ally very close, if not cheaper, than items made from vir­gin materials.

Only Shred When Needed

Shred­ding paper cuts the paper fibers so that the paper can­not be recy­cled as many times. Only shred those doc­u­ments that con­tain personal/confidential infor­ma­tion and truly require shred­ding. This saves the paper fibers and saves you time at the shredder.