Alpha Ridge Landfill Special Exception

Howard County residents may use the Alpha Ridge Landfill Convenience Center. Residents using the landfill are required to show their drivers licenses as proof of residence in Howard County each time they enter the landfill. On occasion, residents may be required to apply for a SPECIAL EXCEPTION, which includes a trash screening process. This would apply when a resident is:

  • using a vehicle that exceeds 3/4 ton capacity, or
  • using commercially marked vehicles, (i.e., borrowed from a place of business, etc.), or
  • using rental vehicles, or
  • disposing of unusually large quantities of household trash.

In the above instances, Howard County residents may dispose of household/yard trim under the following restrictions:

    (1) Driver must show proof that he/she is a Howard County resident, via a valid Maryland Driver's license with Howard County address.
    (2) A special exception application must be completed and signed by the driver of the vehicle (and approved by the landfill staff) before any waste will be accepted into the landfill, which includes:
      1) the names, addresses and phone numbers of both the driver and resident
      2) vehicle registration number and registered owner
      3) type of vehicle
      4) source of waste being disposed
      5) the driver's license number

NOTE: The landfill staff reserves the right to screen all loads and reject any that are questionable. Additionally, a follow up visit to the residence may be conducted by County inspectors verifying information on the application.

    (3) The vehicle will be weighed in and out on the landfill scales to confirm the total waste tonnage disposed so that the County can track total tonnage and number of times waste is disposed. The weighmaster will direct the resident where to dispose the waste.
    (4) Residents will have a three (3) ton maximum per person per fiscal year (July 1st through June 30th) before the resident is charged the commercial rates.
    (5) Roll-off vehicles will not be exempt from paying commercial rates.
    (6) NO out-of-County waste will be accepted.

Types of Waste Accepted:

  • Household waste
  • Yard trim (grass, leaves, brush, small trees)
  • Automotive parts (except engine blocks over 2')

Types of Waste Not Accepted:

  • Waste generated as a result of contractors performing home improvements, landscaping, or hauling/clearing services for residents do not qualify for a special exception. Commercial tipping fees must be paid.
  • Paid employees of a business owned by the resident or resident's family will not be allowed to dispose of waste for the resident under this process.
  • Construction debris will not be accepted under this process.

Abuse of an approved special exception will result in commercial billing at the current authorized tipping fee for total tonnage brought to the landfill; and user may be permanently banned from using the landfill.

The Special Exception was created to differentiate residential from commercial waste being brought into the landfill, ensuring that businesses pay for commercial waste.


    Bureau of Environmental Services
    6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 514
    Columbia, MD 21046
    (410) 313-6444

Call the Bureau of Environmental Services to determine eligibility for participation in this program.