COVID-19 Updates: All Compost Bin Demonstrations & Giveaways, Rain Barrel Demonstrations & Giveaways have been suspended until further notice. For all COVID-19 updates, please visit our website.
Bag-It Days
Cancelled until further notice
bag-it days


Bag-It Days is a special promotion that the Bureau of Environmental Services conducts in September. Instead of the traditional bulk sales of our compost, mulch and blended topsoil, all of our products are sold by the bag/tub. This is to allow residents who want to use our Made Locally / Spread Locally products in smaller quantities than by the cubic yard.

When Bag-It Days are not being held, we still sell our products, including our HoCoGro Compost, by the cubic yard throughout the year. We even have a list of contractors who will deliver the product directly to your door. Autumn is a great time to prepare your beds for the spring, or to aerate and top-dress your lawn with compost. Remember that by adding diverse organic community to your lawn, you are encouraging the natural mineral-releasing biome in your soil. By top-dressing your lawn with compost instead of chemical fertilizers, you will strengthenand produce better and more disease resistant grass and garden plants. For best results, both existing and new topsoil should have 5% or more organic matter to promote healthy root structure and improve water retention.

Compost Bin Demonstrations
Cancelled until further notice

Attend a compost demo for how-to advice by Howard County Master Gardeners (starting in April). Feed your garden organically, recycle kitchen scraps and yard trimmings and improve your soil's health! FREE compost bins for Howard County residents. Download the 2020 schedule here! For even more resources and tutorials, visit the Master Gardeners' website.

To learn more about composting at home, visit our Backyard Composting page.

Rain Barrel Demonstrations
Cancelled until further notice

From April through September, Howard County residents can attend a rain barrel workshop and receive a free 55-gallon barrel with cut-outs for fittings to be used as a rain barrel (one barrel per address) compliments of the County. Workshops are typically held the first and third Saturdays of the month at Alpha Ridge Landfill. Howard County Master Gardeners and Master Watershed Stewards are available on site to answer any questions. For more information and additional workshop dates, please see our 2020 Flier.


Alpha Ridge Landfill Drone Tour

alpha ridge landfill drone video

Learn all about Howard County's third public landfill open to both commercial and residential customers. In this virtual tour of Alpha Ridge Landfill you get a behind the scenes look at our Transfer Station, Wood Waste Drop-off Area and our state-of-the-art Composting Facility. For more information about our operations, please visit our website.


Residents' Convenience Center

Schedule a tour of the Residents' Convenience Center. A Recycling Coordinator will guide your group and discuss what is collected and what happens to all those items. Many things are reused or recycled, but trash is collected too. The group may also tour the Composting Facility (see below). This tour is great for scout groups trying to earn badges/patches. Did you know most of Howard County's trash is exported to a landfill in VA?  Tours are typically scheduled Monday-Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Call 410-313-6444 to schedule.

Can't make the guided tour? Take a virtual tour from your couch! Learn all about the Residents' Convenience Center from the comfort of your home with our virtual tour.


Composting Facility at The Alpha Ridge Landfill

Howard County has constructed a state of the art facility to produce quality compost. More information about this new facility can be found on the Composting Facility webpage. Contact Jeff Dannis at 410-313-6419 to schedule or for more information.