Alpha Ridge Landfill - Facts & Figures

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 and Annapolis Junction Transfer station, 102,730 tons of waste were exported to King George County Landfill in Virginia in 2015.
  • From Alpha Ridge Landfill, outgoing recyclables totaled 18,952 tons in 2015.
  • In addition, residential curbside single-stream recycling totaled 30,622 tons in 2015.
  • In 2014, Howard County achieved a 49.5% diversion rate.