For extensive information on recycling opportunities in Howard County, visit HowardCountyRecycles.org. 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.
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 HowardCountyRecycles.org
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
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.