Alpha Ridge Landfill Guide


Address and Directions

The address is 2350 Marriottsville Road, Marriottsville, MD 21104. From Route 29 north, take Interstate 70 west to exit 83. Keep right onto Marriottsville Road, the entrance will be on the left.




Jeffrey Dannis
Operations Division Chief

        Hours of Operation

            Monday - Saturday, 8 am to 4:00 pm (residential)
            Monday - Saturday, 8 am to 3:30 pm (commercial)
            Sundays - Closed



The landfill will be closed on the following holidays:

New Year's Day Memorial Day Independence Day
Labor Day Thanksgiving Day Christmas Day


NEW! Plastic Bags/Film No Longer Accepted in Recycling Compactors


The Alpha Ridge Landfill Residents' Convenience Center will no longer accept items for recycling bagged in plastic. If you choose to transport your items in a plastic bag, please empty your items into the recycling compactor and take the bag with you.


Howard County Waste Only


Alpha Ridge Landfill accepts both residential and commercial waste, including recyclables, generated in Howard County ONLY. There are many signs located throughout the landfill and Residents' Convenience Center that tell you where to place materials. Please don't hesitate to ask one of our landfill staff members.


Residential Disposal

Howard County residents may dispose of household trash, household hazardous waste (Saturdays ONLY, April-November) and unlimited recyclable materials. Residents using the landfill are required to show their driver's licenses as proof of residence each time they enter the landfill. The new Maryland Driver's Licenses no longer indicate the county of residence and staff may need to use an address checker to confirm residency.

Residents may be required to apply for a Special Exception Permit if they are:

(1) using vehicles that exceed 3/4 ton capacity, or
(2) using commercially marked vehicles, or
(3) using rental vehicles, or
(4) disposing of unusually large quantities of household trash

Residents disposing of construction, demolition and home improvement waste will be charged the commercial tip fee ($4 per 100 pounds or $80/ton); items include carpet, treated lumber, drywall etc. Fees will be charged for deliveries mixed with household waste.


Commercial Disposal

All commercial vehicles delivering solid waste to the landfill are required to purchase a nontransferable commercial landfill permit at an annual charge; no commercial vehicles will be permitted to use the landfill without a permit. All permits are valid for the period from July 1st through June 30th.

Since July 2017, businesses no longer need a free permit to drop-off recycling. Small businesses may only bring material that was generated within Howard County.

NOTE: As of July 1, 2015 the Commercial Solid Waste tip fee will be $80 per ton.


Prohibited Items

What you may NOT bring or dispose of at the Landfill.


Landfill Gas to Energy Project

Details about the Alpha Ridge Landfill Gas to Energy project.


Landfill Fees through June 30, 2020 (Fiscal Year 2020)




Effective July 1, 2019, the Howard County Alpha Ridge Landfill will implement the rate structure below. These rates are pursuant to Howard County Council Resolution No. 74 adopted on May 29, 2019 and are subject to change.

NOTE: No solid waste generated out-of-County will be accepted at the Howard County Alpha Ridge Landfill.

**Printable FY20 Alpha Ridge Landfill Fees **


Annual Permit Charge

Commercial Trash Permit (renewable each June) $30.00
Commercial Recycling Permit NO CHARGE


User Charges

(1) RESIDENTIAL SOLID WASTE - No charge for Howard County residents bringing household waste to the landfill in: No Charge
(a) Vehicles up to 3/4 ton GVW registered in Howard County; or
(b) Vehicles registered as farm vehicles with the Motor Vehicle Administration hauling qualifying waste. Residents bringing in household waste must apply for a special exception permit if vehicle is not registered as a farm vehicle, is over 3/4 ton GVW, is not registered to residents or displays commercial signage. A maximum of 2 tons of household waste will be accepted from a County resident at no charge during a 1-year period from July through June. Commercial user chargers shall be charged for quantities exceeding 2 tons per fiscal year.
(3) CLEAN DIRT free of trash and rubble (volume may be limited by the Department of Public Works). Call Bureau office (410-313-6444) to determine if clean soil is being accepted and if fee is being charged. $100.00/ton
(4) CLEAN WOOD/YARD TRIM - clean wood waste includes brush, tree branches, unpainted and untreated lumber, grass, leaves and barn cleanings.
(a) Residential No Charge
(b) Commercial (After verification that wood waste is clean) $30.00/ton
(5) COMMERCIAL SOLID WASTE (Tires must be delivered separately) $80.00/ton
(1) Auto Tires $160.00/ton
(2) Truck (oversized) Tires $220.00/ton
(7) COMMERCIAL MATTRESSES AND BOX SPRINGS (Mixed with Trash -  Disposed) $100.00/ton
(8) COMMERCIAL MATTRESSES AND BOX SPRINGS (Clean Loads - Recycled) $50.00/ton
(9) COMMERCIAL CARDBOARD (Mixed with Trash - Disposed) $100.00/ton
(12) BOATS, HOUSE TRAILERS AND CAMPERS - All Boats, House Trailers and Campers not to exceed 30 feet in length. Acceptance may be limited by the Department of Public Works. $80.00/ton


Size of Vehicle Solid Waste Clean Yard/Wood Waste
(A) Pickup trucks & leisure vans 1/2 ton to 3/4 ton
(B) Pickup trucks with side rails, caps or dump bed
(C) Dump trucks (2 axle)
(D) Dump trucks (3 axle)
(E) Closed vans (2 axle)
(F) Closed vans (3 axle)
(G) Stake body/open body trucks or trailer dump (2 axle)
(H) Stake body/open body trucks or trailer dump (3 axle)
(I) Front, Rear and Side Load compactor:
under 16 cubic yards
16 - 23 cubic yards
24 cubic yards and over
(J) Semi-trailer
(K) Roll-off Bed
under 25 cubic yards
25 - 34 cubic yards
35 cubic yards and over

Tire Fees (when scales are inoperative)

Auto Tires
Up to 30 tires $60.00 flat rate
Over 30 tires $2.00 per tire
Truck (oversized) tires
Up to 10 tires $60.00 flat rate
Over 10 tires $4.00 per tire

NOTE: A maximum of five (5) auto tires may be delivered to the Residents' Convenience Area by residents at no charge. Farm vehicles are also limited to five (5) auto tires. Deliveries of greater than 5 tires will be charged the per ton commercial user charge.


Penalty and Special Charges (In addition to other applicable landfill charges)

(A) Credit account deposit (amount to be paid before credit is initially extended) $200.00 minimum
Credit account deposit - maintenance surety (amount for maintaining extension of credit; reviewed and adjusted every 6 months) 1.5 times average monthly statement
(B) Late payment penalty assessed on the last County work day of the month following the month on which charges are billed. All statements will indicate the penalty date. 10% of unpaid balance - every 30 days balance is overdue
(C) Service charge for failure to weigh out $25.00, plus rate per ton calculated using waste type and vehicle's tare weight
(D) Service charge for each returned check $35.00
(E) Commercial vehicles remaining after closing time $100.00 per 30 minutes
(F) Commercial vehicles unloading past 30 minute time limit $100.00 per 30 minutes 
Residents' Convenience Center

Remember, one person does make a difference!

Take a few minutes to SORT your waste. Much of the household waste can be recycled or reused by placing it in one of the many recycling containers or trailers at the Center. Before you visit in person, use our virtual tour to learn more about the many recycling opportunities available here. Each scene provides detailed information about what is acceptable. Click on the 3D polygon in the top left corner to view in full screen Please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view.


What's Accepted


American Flags

Representatives from the American Legion Adams, Hanna, Moore Memorial Post 156, retrieve the flags and dispose of them in a dignified fashion as required by the U.S. Flag Code. Ceremonies are conducted in coordination with local Scout troops.




Uncontaminated antifreeze only (not mixed with oil or other substances). Please leave container for attendant to empty. DO NOT EMPTY YOURSELF.

Did you know? Each year thousands of dogs and cats are poisoned by improperly discarded or leaking antifreeze? The sweet taste attracts pets.


Air Conditioners

Air conditioners and refrigerators contain Freon and must be placed in a designated area. Small metal appliances, such as toasters, toaster ovens, mixers, etc, and other appliances, such as dishwashers, ovens and microwaves can be placed in the scrap metal dumpster for recycling.



Acceptable batteries include lead-acid batteries for automobiles, boats and motorcycles as well as those commonly found in ATVs and kid's powered vehicles.

Rechargeable batteries - see Household Hazardous Waste below. Visit the Battery webpage for more information.



Bring you reusable bicycles (with at least 16" wheels) to Alpha Ridge and give those bikes another life! Look for the Reusable Bicycle shed (please no tricycles or motorized bikes). Bikes are collected with help from the Glenwood Lions Club and donated to Bikes for the World. If your bike isn't in good condition, contact your local bike store to see if they can use the parts or as a last resort, recycle it with scrap metal at Alpha Ridge Landfill.


Building Materials and Supplies (Reusable)

The Loading Dock, a nonprofit organization collects new and reusable building materials for revitalizing low-income housing projects.

Items Accepted: Banisters, bathtubs, cabinets, countertops, doors, hardware, lighting fixtures, lumber, molding, plumbing fixtures, shelving, stairs, toilets, windows and other building materials. Please donate reusable materials only. For a tax receipt, please bring material the 1st Saturday of each month 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

NOTE: The materials that are collected are for REUSE. Howard County and the Loading Dock reserve the right to refuse any materials deemed unfit. If you have any questions about what is acceptable, please call THE LOADING DOCK at (410) 558-3625.



Items Accepted: Moving boxes, appliance boxes, storage boxes, and shipping boxes, etc. Please flatten.

Items Not Accepted: Pizza boxes (with grease) or waxed cardboard.



Carpet is no longer accepted for recycling at the Convenience Area. Carpet is considered trash and will be charged $80 per ton for disposal. 


Christmas Trees

Artificial: Undecorated artificial trees and wreaths can be recycled in the scrap metal container at the Convenience Area year-round.

Live: Undecorated live Christmas trees, wreaths and garland can be recycled at the Alpha Ridge Landfill Woodwaste area or curbside with your yard trim from December 25 through the third week in January.


Clothing & Accessories

Items Accepted: Clothing, curtains/drapes, sheets, blankets, towels, tablecloths, handbags, hats, belts, and paired shoes and socks. Must be clean and dry. Have items that aren't wearable? Donate them! Many donation organizations partner with rag manufacturers.


Compressed Gas Tanks

Fire extinguishers, propane, helium, & oxygen tanks are accepted. Also consider returning tanks to the seller.


Construction & Demolition Debris

Residents disposing of construction, demolition and home improvement material (C&D waste) will be directed to weigh in at the scalehouse and will be charged $80/ton ($4 per 100 pounds) of waste. This includes deliveries mixed with household waste. For additional reuse and recycling options, please visit the Construction & Demolition Debris webpage.


Cooking Oil

Any type of liquid vegetable oil (peanut, corn, canola, olive etc.) is accepted. Please make sure that the cooking oil is not mixed with other fluids (water, petroleum products, soaps, etc.). Place the cooking oil in a container with a tight-fitting lid, metal or plastic containers are preferred. Vegetable oil that is mixed with small amounts of animal fats can be recycled as long as the amount of added animal fat has not caused the liquid to solidify. Visit the Used Cooking Oil webpage for more information.



Items Accepted: Computer monitors, CPUs, televisions, mice, keyboards, computer wires/cords/cables, cell phones, printers, small electronic appliances, laptops, scanners; miscellaneous circuit boards, chips, and cards, radios, VCRs, and other computer and electronic related accessories. Businesses may bring a max of 10 electronics per day (2 CRT devices). Visit the Electronics webpage for more information.


Food Scraps

Residents can drop-off food scraps for composting at the Alpha Ridge Landfill Composting Facility. Learn more about what is accepted and how the composting process works.


Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)

HHW material is collected only on SATURDAYS ONLY from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm from April through November. Visit the Household Hazardous Waste webpage for more information.


Mattresses & Box Springs

Items Accepted: Mattresses and box springs of all sizes. Please load vertically in trailer. No wet mattresses due to mold possibilities.


Medical Equipment (NEW!)


In coordination with the Loan Closet of Howard County residents can drop-off durable, reusable medical equipment. 

Items Accepted: Bathing Aids (shower & bath), Canes, Ramps (modular/portable), Therapy Aids, Toilet Aids, Walkers and Manual Wheelchairs. 

Items Not Accepted: Hospital Beds, Items missing pieces, Broken Items, Oxygen Tanks, Prescription medications, Expired medical supplies, Mattresses, Items containing mercury or Items requiring calibration. 


Metal Items


Items Accepted: Appliances, furnaces, air conditioners*, dehumidifiers*, auto parts, bicycles, swing sets, mowers, window frames, copper piping, brass fixtures, aluminum siding, tire chains, light fixtures, microwaves, refrigerators*, sheet metal, tire rims, fencing, cable, aluminum foil/bakeware. NOTE: Drain motors of oil and fuel.

*Please place refrigerators, air conditioners and dehumidifiers in designated area, not in scrap metal container. These items contain coolants that must be removed. Once coolants are properly removed by our licensed contractor, the items are recycled with scrap metal.


Motor Oil & Filters

Items Accepted: Motor oil, oil filters and hydraulic oils (brake, transmission or power steering).



Paint is accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Area from April-November on Saturdays only. Solidified paint of any kind may be disposed with your household trash.

Did You Know? Paint can be solidified in the can at home by adding an absorbent material such as cat litter, shredded newspaper, leaves, sawdust or dirt. Or, if there isn't much paint left in the can, leave the lid off to air dry the paint. Once solidified, the paint can be disposed with your normal household trash, but remember the 40 pound limit for trash containers.


Recycling (household bottles, cans and paper)

The following items can be mixed together in the blue recycling compactors. Items must be empty. Lids, caps and labels can stay on containers. Visit Recycling Collection Details for what is accepted. NEW! The Alpha Ridge Landfill Residents' Convenience Center will no longer accept items for recycling bagged in plastic. If you choose to transport your items in a plastic bag, please empty your items into the recycling compactor and take the bag with you.


Rigid Plastic Items

Visit the Rigid Plastics webpage for a list of accepted items.


Roofing Shingles

Recycling drop-off of shingles at ARL is no longer available. The charge for asphalt shingle disposal is the commercial tip fee of $80 per ton.


Styrofoam #6

Items Accepted: White foam packaging, clean cups, trays, food containers and egg cartons (all colors). Items must be marked with the number “6” in the recycling symbol. Foam items that have been in contact with food or drinks should be rinsed. More Details

Items Not Accepted: Foam packing peanuts (accepted at many retail shipping centers); straws, lids, tape or stickers; foam insulation materials; clamshell or non-foam #6 containers.



Items Accepted: Automobile and truck tires only. (Commercial haulers see Landfill Fee Schedule)

Items Not Accepted: Tires on rims, tires over 4' in diameter or over 15" in width.

NOTE: Rims can be recycled in the scrap metal container. 


Trash (household)

Residents disposing of trash are required to show their driver's licenses as proof of residence each time they enter the landfill. The new Maryland Driver's Licenses no longer indicate the county of residence and staff may need to use an address checker to confirm residency.

Items Accepted: Upholstered furniture, non-recyclable paper, heavy metal cable, pizza boxes, broken toys.

Items Not Accepted: Recyclable materials such as rechargeable batteries, bottles, cans, paper, cardboard, Styrofoam, yard trim, reusable building supplies, etc.

Residents disposing of unusually large quantities of household trash using a greater than 3/4 ton vehicle, or disposing of waste for someone else, may be required to obtain a Special Exception Permit.


Residents disposing of construction, demolition and home improvement waste will be charged the commercial tip fee ($80/ton). This includes deliveries mixed with household waste.


WoodWaste & Yard Trim 

Items Accepted: Brush, small tree branches, pine cones, grass, leaves, untreated construction lumber (no nails), pallets, crates and Christmas trees.

A landfill employee will direct residents to the Wood Waste Area. Items must be debagged unless yard trim is contained in paper bags. Compost, topsoil and mulch is also available for purchase.

Treated wood/lumber and railroad ties should be taken to the Alpha Ridge Landfill and will be considered Construction & Demolition Debris. Residents disposing of construction, demolition and home improvement material as trash will be directed to weigh in at the scalehouse and will be charged $80/ton ($4 per 100 pounds) of waste.



Alpha Ridge Landfill is Howard County's third public landfill, and the only public landfill open to accept waste. Alpha Ridge landfill was opened in 1980, and is located on a 550 acre site, of which 190 acres is permitted for landfilling.

Although all household trash collected from Howard County homes is currently being exported to a private landfill located in King George County, Virginia, residential and commercial trash is still being accepted at Alpha Ridge Landfill. A small portion of Howard County trash continues to be buried at the Alpha Ridge Landfill.

  • Howard County's existing landfill opened in May 1980 at a cost of $5.25 million, including 590 acres of land costing $1.2 million.
  • From 1980-1993, the initial unlined area of 68 acres received 2.3 million tons of waste.
  • In January 1993, a 38 acre lined cell (4-10 acre sub-cells) was finished at a cost of $7.6 million, including a leachate handling system. Current landfilling averages less than 30 tons per day.
  • Peak year for filling was 1989 at 287,000 tons.
  • Another 80 acres can be used to construct lined landfill cells in addition to the 110 acres currently developed.
  • The 68 acre unlined cell has been capped, which includes landfill gas extraction and groundwater remediation systems.
  • Current annual operating cost is $10.0 million (not including debt service). This includes groundwater monitoring and treatment.
  • From Alpha Ridge Landfill, 48,289 tons of waste were exported to King George County Landfill in Virginia in 2018.
  • From Alpha Ridge Landfill, outgoing recyclables totaled 21,414 tons in 2018.
  • In addition, residential curbside single-stream recycling totaled 28,974 tons in 2018.
  • In 2018, Howard County achieved a 49.5% diversion rate. 

** Printable Landfill Usage Rules **


Hours of Operation:

Monday thru Saturday ..............       8:00 am to 4:00 pm (closed 3:30 pm for commercial)
Sunday ........................................ Closed
Holiday Closings New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day,
Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day


Usage Rules

1. All commercial vehicles delivering solid waste to the Howard County Sanitary Landfill are required to purchase a nontransferable commercial landfill permit at an annual charge; no commercial vehicles will be permitted to use the landfill facilities without a permit. All permits are valid for the period July 1st through June 30. All permitted commercial vehicles are required to display their permit on the driver's side of the vehicle, so that the permit may be easily read by Howard County landfill personnel when the vehicle approaches truck scales at the landfill. Commercial permits may be purchased at the landfill.

2. Howard County residents disposing of household trash are required to show a valid driver's license, with their Howard County address, as proof that they are Howard County residents.

3. Tractor trailers are not allowed in the transfer station.

4. Howard County residents disposing of construction debris or mixed loads of construction debris and other waste will be charged at the commercial solid waste rate or appropriate waste rate, whichever is higher, as this material is not personal residential household waste; these vehicles must be weighed before and after disposal. Only personal residential household waste is exempt from payment of tipping fees.

5. The following types of refuse will not be accepted for disposal in the landfill or transfer station: hot ashes, poisons, acids, caustics, explosives, chemical waste, petroleum, pathological, infectious and surgical hospital waste; radiological or radioactive waste; controlled hazardous substances, liquid waste, septic waste, dead animals, liquid paint, detergents (bulk), automobiles or engine blocks (over 2'). Any questions concerning disposal of specific waste types, shall be directed to the Landfill Superintendent. The County reserves the right to inspect any load or portion of a load arriving at the facility.

6. Barrels, drums, and 5-gallon or greater cans will be accepted if unused (or washed), and tops/ bottoms are removed and flattened. Drums previously holding hazardous waste must be emptied in accordance with COMAR

7. Residents are limited to 5 tires per visit. Commercial customers hauling tires must have a valid Maryland Scrap Tire Hauler License. No motor vehicle tires will be accepted at the designated tire drop-off location if they are mounted on rims, over 4' in diameter, or are over 15" wide.

8. Electronics recycling is limited to 10 items per day.

9. Cardboard is not to be disposed as trash at the landfill.

10. Howard County residents disposing of large quantities of household waste or using vehicles larger than 3/4 ton capacity will be subject to an evaluation process and may be granted a “Special Exception” to dispose of waste without charge up to 2 tons per fiscal year.

11. Residential Household Hazardous Waste shall be left at the designated acceptance facility only during posted operating hours for that facility. No commercial hazardous waste is accepted at the landfill or transfer station.

12. Any vehicle arriving at the landfill after the closing time will not be admitted. Commercial vehicles remaining within the landfill after 4 p.m. will be charged $100.00 per 30 minutes or fraction thereof.

13. All commercial vehicles are to be weighed on the landfill scales, before and after disposal of any refuse.

14. All vehicles transporting refuse are to keep the refuse in their vehicles suitably covered or enclosed at all times to prevent littering of streets and highways. Refuse shall not protrude from the sides of any vehicle body. All vehicles entering the landfill are responsible for the removal of refuse dropped by their vehicles while en route to the assigned disposal area. Tarps shall be removed in designated areas only.

15. All vehicles are to observe and obey posted speed limits, direction signs, and other posted notices.

16. All landfill users must adhere to all posted and verbal instructions given by landfill personnel related to the disposal and placement of all types of refuse and recyclables. Harassment of any landfill personnel, in any manner, will not be tolerated and may result in revoking of landfill user privileges.

17. Firearms at the landfill are prohibited at all times.

18. Loitering at the landfill is strictly prohibited. There is 30-minute time limit for discharge of cargo.

19. Scavenging at the convenience center, on the landfill face, at the transfer station, or in containers is strictly prohibited.

20. Children under the age of 16 must be closely supervised by an adult at all times. Children under the age of 16 are not permitted inside the transfer station and must remain in the vehicle. Pets must stay in vehicles at all times.

21. Reflective safety vests must be worn on the transfer station floor. Hard hats, type I or II, are required by contractors, residents, employees or visitors on the tipping station floor or below the walls in the residential drop-off area. Contractors and businesses must provide hard hats for their workers. Persons in designated hard hat zones without proper protective gear will be asked to leave the area. Repeat offenders may have their permit privileges revoked.

22. Truck cleaning, if necessary, shall be performed at the transfer station when truck is emptied. All doors, gates, etc. must be secured before leaving the transfer station. The 30-minute unloading time limit includes truck cleaning.

23. Consumption of any alcoholic beverages or legally restricted substances is strictly prohibited on landfill property.

24. Motorbike or off-road vehicle riding is prohibited on landfill property.

25. Unauthorized parking of vehicles is prohibited. Vehicles not removed from the landfill by the closing time may be towed at the owner’s expense.

26. Sold products will be loaded onto purchaser’s trucks or trailers using standard industry loading recommendations or the best judgment of the landfill staff.

27. Howard County is not responsible for and shall not render assistance to any vehicle developing mechanical difficulty. Emergency towing will be provided entirely at vehicle owner's risk.

28. All laws, regulations and resolutions applicable to the landfill shall be strictly adhered to by all landfill users, including, but not limited to:

  • Howard County Code, Title 18, Subtitle 6, Sanitary Landfill Regulations, which prohibits solid waste generated from out-of-County sources;
  • Howard County Code, Title 14, Subtitle 6, Permit & Disposal Fees for use of Sanitary Landfill, establishing landfill disposal fees.
  • Code of Maryland Regulations, Title 26, Subtitle 4, Chapter 7, Regulation of Water Supply, Sewage Disposal, and Solid Waste, specifying landfill operating requirements and restrictions.

29. Howard County is not responsible for any injuries to persons or damage to vehicles at the landfill.