Is that recyclable? Trash? Household Hazardous Waste?

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.

kbyt game

 

 

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).

 

 

 

 

 

Plastic Bags/Film - Not Accepted in Recycling

 

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.

Mark Kreis 

Curbside Collections Guide

Collections Division Chief 

410-313-6444

 

General Information

  • Recyclingyard 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. Check your collection days.
  • Contractors will not return to collect material set out after the truck has serviced the area.
  • Collections missed due to road closings will be made the next day if possible.
  • 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 collection.
  • The clean up of trash or recycling, especially in grouping locations, that is spilled and/or spread by animals or wind is the responsibility of the residents.
  • Property owners are charged a yearly REFUSE COLLECTION CHARGE of $325 per house (with yard trim collection) and $310 (without yard trim collection) on your tax bill for this service. 
  • The historic Ellicott City business district located on Main Street is also provided trash and recycling collection - please call 410-313-6444 for details on this specialized service

 

Trash Collection

Before disposal, explore our reuse, recycle and donation options first.

Collection Rules

  • Reusable containers must be made of metal or tough plastic, equipped with handles and watertight, well-fitting lids. County-provided recycling containers cannot be used.
  • Trash is collected once a week between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Pickup time may vary. Find your collection day here.
  • If the container is larger than 40 gallons, each bag inside is counted as one item.
  • Disposable trash bags must be heavy gauge plastic that can be picked up and carried without tearing. Securely tie the top to prevent spillage.
  • The clean-up of trash or recycling, especially in grouping areas, that is spilled and/or spread by animals or wind is the responsibility of the residents.
  • 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 collection.

 

NO we can't collect:

  • Car parts: tires, wheels, batteries, etc.
  • Construction debris: concrete, drywall, lumber, carpet, fencing, cabinets, appliances, etc.
  • Containers larger than 40-gallon containing loose trash will not be serviced
  • Electronics including laptops, computer monitors, TVs, motorized toys, chairs with electric plugs, etc.
  • Hazardous, toxic or flammable materials: asbestos, ammunition, explosives, compressed gas tanks, dead animals, firearms, medical waste, etc.
  • Landscape debris: dirt, rocks, stumps, sod, etc.
  • Liquids such as paint, cooking oil, chemicals and motor oil. Other liquids are prohibited.
  • Mirrors/plate glass
  • Paint cans (unless completely empty or dried with the lid off)
  • Rechargeable batteries

 

Yard Trim Collection

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 curbside food scrap collection through our Feed The Green Bin program. See if you're in our collection area and sign up today.


Collection Rules

  • Use reusable open-top containers or paper bags.
  • Yard Trim is collected once a week between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Pickup time may vary. Find your collection day here.
  • Tie brush and branches using string or twin. Bundles may not exceed 18" in diameter, 4' in length.
  • Yard trim will not be collected as trash during yard trim collection season in areas that receive curbside yard trim collections.
  • Cans, containers, paper bags and bundles must weigh less than 40 pounds.
  • Yard trim in plastic bags will not be collected.

 

YES we will collect: 

  • Bamboo
  • Brush/weeds
  • Grass
  • Hedge clippings/light brush
  • Leaves
  • Seed pods (pine cones, sour gum balls, etc.)
  • Small limbs or branches less than 4" in diameter and 4' in length

 

NO we can't collect:

  • Bushes with root bases attached
  • Logs over 4" in diameter or 4' in length
  • Stumps
  • Yard trim mixed with trash or other materials
  • Yard trim placed in plastic bags, recycling carts or wheelbarrows

Other Yard Trim Options

 

Grasscycling

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.

 

Backyard Composting

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.

 

Rake & Take Program

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 Gardener's website.

 

Drop-off at the Alpha Ridge Landfill

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.

 

 

 

Recycling Collection

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:

 

recycling cart dimensions

Cracked cart or missing wheel? Want to exchange for a larger/smaller size? Call or email our office for assistance.

410-313-6444 help@howardcountyrecycles.org

 

Additional Containers

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. 

Prices:
18 gallon - $10.00 each
35 gallon - $40.00 each
65 gallon - $50.00 each

 See more details on the following form.


Collection Rules

  • Use a County-provided blue recycling cart, bin or paper bag (do not use plastic bags for recyclables). Other reusable containers may be used as long as they are not also used as trash cans.
  • Recycling is collected once a week between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Pickup time may vary. Find your collection day here.
  • 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 collection.

 

general rules recycling banner

 

YES we will collect:

  • Paper-- newspaper, office paper, junk mail, milk cartons
  • Plastic-- bottles, tubs, jugs, jars, trays
  • Metal cans-- aluminum, steel cans and EMPTY aerosol cans
  • Glass-- any color bottles or jars
  • Cardboard-- clean and flattened

NO we can't collect:*

  • Acrylic plastic
  • Disposable plates and utensils (paper or plastic)
  • Food stained cardboard or paper
  • Napkins, paper towels, tissues
  • Plastic bags or plastic-bagged material
  • Plastic clamshell containers and packaging
  • Plastic film, wrap, bubble wrap, or air bags*
  • Styrofoam*
  • "Tanglers"-- hangers, wires, hoses, cords
  • Textiles or clothing*
  • Window glass, ceramics, mirrors

*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.

 

 

Bulk Item/Scrap Metal

 

Bulk Collection Postcard

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.

 

Collection Rules

  • Placed items at the curb within 5 feet of County roadway by 6am alongside trash containers
  • Do not block mailboxes, fire hydrants or cars
  • Maximum of 4 bulk trash items per pickup
  • Items too large to be lifted by two workers will be tagged and left for resident's disposal
  • 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 collection.

 

Plastic Items:

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.

 

Trash Items:

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!

 

Metal Items:

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)

 

Prohibited Items:

 

Aquarium tanks     Drum containers     Pallets*    
Carpet/rugs Fuel & oil tanks Picnic tables (wooden)    
Chairs with electric plugs Medical Waste Playhouses/swing sets (wooden)    
Compressed gas tanks* Mirrors/plate glass     Stumps and logs*
Computer monitors** Moon bounces Tires*
Construction & demolition debris     Motorized toys* TVs**

* 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.

Construction & Demolition Debris:

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.


Choose to Reuse:

 

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.  

FAQs

When is my collection day?

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.

Where do I place items for collection?

  • Single-family homeowners must set items to be collected within five (5) feet of the nearest public road fronting their home.
  • Place cans, bags, carts, etc. away from mailboxes on the opposite side of the driveway, if possible.
  • Residents of townhome communities without garages are required to "group" items in designated areas accessible to the collectors such as the curb end of grass islands or at the end of parking areas. Do not block mailboxes or fire hydrants.
  • After your items are collected, we recommend removing empty trash cans and recycling carts or bins from your curb (or grouping area) on your scheduled collection day to mitigate safety and aesthetic concerns.

Which holidays affect my collection?

No curbside collections on the following 6 holidays:

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

 

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.

Learn more.

How can I stay informed?

  • Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter
  • Follow us on Twitter @HoCoRecycles
  • Brochures and outreach material are available online to download. Printed materials are available at our office (9801 Broken Land Parkway).

 

Have specific questions? We can be reached by phone or email: 

410-313-6444, help@howardcountyrecycles.org

How should I place out materials for donation?

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.