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Recycling - Seasonal Tips

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Season - spring 

SPRING HAS SPRUNG... As you begin spring clean up in your yard and around the house keep in mind that there are many alternatives to throwing unwanted items in the trash. Here are some spring seasonal recycling solutions and environmentally safe disposal alternatives for you to consider and practice. 

In the Home...

Spring Cleaning Tips... Don't Throw It All Away! 

  • Visit our What Should I Do With...? webpage for unique recycling and reuse opportunities.
  • Give unwanted clothes to a friend, family member or donate it to a local charity (ripped or stained clothes can be cut and made into rags).
  • Recycle extra plastic bags at your grocery store.
  • Detox your home and avoid harsh chemicals.
  • Return styrofoam peanuts to a local shipping store (like Mailboxes, etc.).
  • NEED EXTRA CASH? Have a yard sale! One person's trash is another person's treasure.
  • Renovating your home? THE LOADING DOCK accepts reusable building materials and other fixtures at Alpha Ridge Landfill.
  • Visit the Alpha Ridge Landfill and recycle your "junk" including scrap metal, tires, cardboard boxes, yard trimmings, used oil, antifreeze and much more.
  • Set out unlimited quantities of recyclables for curbside collections.

Household Hazardous Waste...Collections at the Alpha Ridge Landfill (Saturdays, April through November)

In the Yard...

Yard Trim Collection
Seasonal yard trim collection begins
Help the environment...Recycle your yard trimmings!

During yard trim collection season, Howard County collects unlimited grass, leaves and light brush from residents of single family homes and town homes in Columbia, Elkridge, eastern Ellicott City, Laurel, Savage, River Hill and other metropolitan areas.

Many Howard County residents have already solved the yard trim challenge right in their own backyards by COMPOSTING!

Save time and money by leaving grass clippings on your lawn as your mow.

Season - summer 

Summer is the time of freshly cut grass, neighbors working on their lawns, picnics and fun in the sun! 

Picnic Tips... Less is best!

If you're having a picnic or party, don't forget the 4Rs:

  • REDUCE the volume of trash created
  • REUSE materials
  • RECYCLE as much as possible
  • RESPOND by thinking about the environment when shopping and set an example for others!

Remember to:

  • Buy bulk food items to REDUCE the amount of packaging.
  • Use plates, glasses, napkins, dinnerware and tablecloths that may be washed and REUSED (Your guests will be surprised and honored). Many disposable plates, cups and silverware items are durable and can be placed in your dishwasher.
  • RESPOND and encourage guests to recycle at your picnic. Tell people where to place empty plastic bottles, aluminum cans and glass bottles & jars. Your picnic may convince one more person to start recycling!
  • RECYCLE your picnic recyclables in your blue recycling container or place marked see-through bags throughout the yard that your guests can identify. All you have to do is put the bags or container out for collection on your next recycling day!


Cutting the grass is a part of everyone's summer chores, but here are some tips on how to save time, energy and the environment!

Try GrassCycling - leaving the grass clippings on your lawn as you mow to recycle naturally. Grasscycling is a gentle way to release nitrogen gradually on your lawn. It also saves you from bagging and dragging your grass clippings to the curb for pickup.

For more information, visit the Grasscycling webpage.

Yard trim is Recyclable too!

Trimming your hedges? Pulling out weeds or cutting small limbs off your trees? Wondering what other nature's treasures can be collected in our curbside recycling program?

For more information, visit the Yard trim webpage. 

Household Hazardous Wastes...

Collections at the Alpha Ridge Landfill every Saturday (April 1st through November 30th) 

Bring your unwanted pesticides, herbicides, gasoline, batteries and other "household hazardous waste" items to the Alpha Ridge Residents' Convenience Center, 2350 Marriottsville Road, Marriottsville 21104. Saturdays from 8 am - 4 pm only.

For more information, visit the Household Hazardous Waste webpage.


Season - fall 

Wondering what to do with all that yard trim?

Choose the best option for you: 

NOTE: grass, leaves and small brush WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED for trash pick-up in areas where yard trim recycling is offered.

If you have questions about recycling or trash services call 410-313-6444
We are open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm to serve you!

Season - winter 

Did you know?
By participating in Howard County's Christmas Tree Recycling program you will help to keep hundreds of tons of waste out of our landfill each year? All recycled trees are delivered to a compost facility and transformed into compost and mulch. 

Important Reminder

Curbside yard trim collection ends the third week in January! 

Once a week curbside collection of UNLIMITED amounts of grass, leaves and light brush is available through the third week in January to most residents in eastern Howard County.

See Yard trim for more information!

Inclement Weather Hotline

Call 410-313-2900, for a recorded message about recycling & trash collections during snowy, icy or other inclement weather conditions.

Merry Mulch your Holiday Tree

Curbside Holiday Tree Recycling is available for eastern Howard County residents who have curbside yardwaste recycling service. If you live in this area, you can recycle your tree on your normal recycling day from December 26 through the third week in January. Trees will not be collected on trash days if you receive curbside yardwaste collection. If you are unsure if you receive yardwaste service, call 410-313-6444.

How to Prepare Your Holiday Tree for Recycling
Remove all tinsel, garland, ornaments, tree stands, plastic bags, or any other man-made materials.

Set your tree out the night before your pick up. Trees are picked up by a separate truck, as early as 6 a.m. or as late as 7 p.m.

There are other ways to dispose of your tree: 

Tree Drop-off Sites 

There are 11 convenient sites around the county where you can take your tree to be recycled.

    • Kendall Hardware
      12260 Route 108
    • River Hill Garden Center
      12165 Route 108
    • Cedar Lane Park
      5081 Cedar Lane
    • Grandfather's Garden Center
      5320 Phelps Luck Drive
    • Rockburn Park
      5400 Landing Road
    • Court House Drive
      parking lot near Courthouse
    • Schooley Mill Park
      12975 Hall Shop Road
    • Alpha Ridge Landfill
      2350 Marriottsville Road
    • Savage Park
      8400 Fair Street
    • Western Regional Park
      14800 Carrs Mill Road

Alpha Ridge Landfill Residents' Convenience Center 

Don't worry if it's past the third week in January...
You can still RECYCLE your tree at the landfill.
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 8 am - 4 pm

As a Last Resort...

If it's past the third week in January or you do not receive curbside yard trim collection, you can dispose of your tree by placing it out for trash pick up. However, trees collected this way are taken to the landfill for disposal and NOT RECYCLED! To conserve our landfill, we ask that you only use this option as a last resort. If you must dispose of your tree this way, please remember your 4's;

  • 4 item per week limit for TRASH. (UNLIMITED RECYCLABLES!!!)  
  • Each item under 40 pounds.
  • Each item less than 4 feet long.
    (Cut your tree into 4 foot lengths and tie or bundle together.
  • Put out beFORE 6 a.m.

THANKS SO MUCH...to the many western Howard County residents who recycle holiday trees using chippers, or by creating a brush pile for a wildlife habitat.