Curbside collection services for trash, recycling, yard trim (resumes the week of March 30), food scraps, bulk items, and scrap metal are all operating normally. Be careful about how you bag your trash. Make sure that all trash bags are securely tied at the top and double bag any bags that have torn while filling. These measures will help us to reduce the spread of Covid-19 by protecting the health of our collection crews.
Please avoid unnecessary trips to Alpha Ridge Landfill.
Visit our website for updates and information regarding operations at Alpha Ridge Landfill.
Milk cartons? Plastic bags? Cooking oil?
Do you Know Before You Throw? Test your skills! Click and move the items to the correct place in our updated game to see what actually goes in your recycling bin. Learn about the other outlets we have to reduce, reuse and recycle your stuff.
Print your certificate and bring it to our office (9801 Broken Land Parkway) to receive a FREE indoor recycling collection container (Limit one per household, while supplies last).
Effective Saturday, June 15, 2019, all types of plastic bags/film are no longer accepted in recycling. Residents with County-provided service received a postcard in the mail alerting them of this change. Click here for more information and FAQs.
Before disposal, explore our reuse, recycle and donation options first.
Starting the week of March 30, curbside yard trim collection will resume for residents in yard trim collection areas. During curbside yard trim season, Howard County will collect yard trim items ONLY on scheduled yard trim collection days.
Curbside yard trim collection is provided to most homes in Howard County and runs from April 1 through mid-January. Check to see if you receive yard trim collection.
During curbside yard trim season, Howard County will collect yard trim items ONLY on your schedule yard trim collection day. These items will not be picked up on your trash collection day. Curbside recycling and yard trim collection occur on the same day, however, there are separate trucks that can come anytime between 6:00am to 7:00pm.
Do your neighbors have green bin? Certain areas receive year-round curbside food scrap and yard trim collection through our Feed The Green Bin program. See if you're in our collection area and sign up today.
Leave grass clippings on your lawn to return nutrients to the soil and improve lawn quality. Grasscycling will not cause thatch, damage your lawn or spread disease; in fact, lawn care professionals recommend grasscycling for a greener, healthier lawn! Grasscycling also helps our streams and even the Chesapeake Bay! See GrassCycling for more information.
Mix leaves, grass clippings and vegetable refuse together and watch the natural decomposition process turn waste into black gold. Call 410-313-6444 for a free composting instruction kit (compost bins available while supplies last). Compost demonstrations are offered April - October. Visit our Backyard Composting webpage for more information.
Rakers (residents who rake and bag their leaves/grass) are matched with TAKERS (people who want leaves/grass for compost piles). Leaves provide a carbon amendment to compost piles and if left on your gardens, will break down to give you a rich, healthy soil. For more, see the Rake and Take Flier or visit the Master Gardeners' website.
You can recycle grass, leaves and brush at the Alpha Ridge Wood Waste Drop-off Area, Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Proof of Howard County residency required. Plastic bags are NOT accepted at the Wood Waste Drop-off Area.
Howard County provides residents with one free recycling container. Containers are assigned to each address and must remain at the house, even if the resident moves. Residents may put their street name and number on the container which will help it stay where it belongs.
There are three options for containers:
Cracked cart or missing wheel? Want to exchange for a larger/smaller size? Call or email our office for assistance.
Please be sure to include name, address and phone number for all requests by email.
Howard County residents who receive County trash and recycling curbside collection service are eligible to purchase additional recycling containers for their homes. Residents must be paying the Howard County residential refuse fee to purchase containers. We are no longer able to sell carts and bins to residents who receive private collection.
18 gallon - $10.00 each
35 gallon - $40.00 each
65 gallon - $50.00 each
See more details on the following form.
*Know Before You Throw! Find out how to recycle these items.
Download our detailed list of acceptable recyclables.
For videos, posters, brochures and other education material please visit our Brochures & Outreach page.
Pickup or bulk trash and scrap metal must be scheduled by calling 410-313-6444. Residents in private areas that do not receive County collection are not eligible for bulk pickup. Please note that all Howard County residents can take bulk material to the Alpha Ridge Landfill (2350 Marriottsville Rd) for recycling or disposal. Bulk trash is not recycled.
Bulk plastic items such as playhouses & play sets (disassembled), totes, sheds (disassembled), lawn furniture and coolers can be recycled at the curb on your regular recycling day. Unlimited amounts of recycling will be accepted.
Remember: Bulk trash items collected by the County will be sent to a landfill. Please consider donating before disposal. One person's trash is another's treasure!
Pickup of bulk scrap metal items must be scheduled by calling 410-313-6444. After scheduling, you will be given your collection day. Bulk metal items include metal swing sets, file cabinets, appliances, lawn mowers, exercise equipment, etc. Please remove doors from refrigerators, and drain oil and gas from lawn mowers. Restrictions may apply.
NOTE: It is illegal for anyone except Howard County's contractors to pick-up scrap metal at the curb (Howard County Code 18.610)
* These items can be recycled at Alpha Ridge Landfill (2350 Marriottsville Road). ** Electronics can be recycled at Alpha Ridge Landfill or through customer take-back programs. Visit our electronics webpage for specific locations.
For details, please visit our Construction & Demolition Debris webpage or consider The Bagster, a flexible 'dumpster' service provided by Waste Management. Purchase a Bagster from your local home improvement store, fill the bag with material and contact Waste Management for pick-up.
Want more donation options? See our Donation Directory Note: This information is provided as a service to residents. Howard County does not endorse products, services or vendors.
Recycling, yard trim and trash is collected once a week between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Pickup time may vary. Items must be placed out after 6 p.m. the day before collection or before 6 a.m. the day of collection.
Call 410-313-6444 or check our online tool to find your collection days.
Trash, recycling and yard trim collections scheduled on or after these 6 holidays ONLY will 'slide' and be made one day later that week. No other holidays will be affected. Please remember, all items to be collected must be out by 6 a.m. on the day of collection.
Have specific questions? We can be reached by phone or email:
Residents putting out items for donation (Purple Heart, Freecycle, etc.) should be sure to clearly mark those items and keep them close to the house to avoid accidental trash collection.