Alan Wilcom, Recycling Division Chief

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Hot off the Presses: Recycling Changes You Need to Know

Many of you have seen news stories and articles about the current challenges we are facing due to changes within the recyclables market. A recent CBS news story featured recycling sorting operators throwing out plastic-bagged material along with other non-recyclable items. As the recycling markets continue to tighten, recycling processors like Waste Management in Elkridge are under pressure to produce a cleaner contamination-free product for the marketplace.

Moving forward, we ask you to take a minute to evaluate which items you put in your recycling cart or bin and how you prepare them for collection. The desire to recycle as much as possible is strong in Howard County and unfortunately, it leads to “wishcycling.” Please keep in mind that items like straws, food contaminated paper and cardboard, candy wrappers and plastic bags, to name a few, may be recyclable elsewhere but are not acceptable in our curbside collection. Contaminated or improper materials cause problems at recycling processors and downgrades the end product.

We ask for your support to keep Howard County’s recycling clean and marketable. Please don't use plastic bags, but instead, keep those cans, bottles, paper and cardboard loose in your cart or bin.

Keep it loose, lose the bag! Learn more at


Good Friday Collections - REGULAR

There will be REGULAR curbside collections of recycling, yard trim and trash this Friday, April 19th, 2019. The Alpha Ridge Landfill will be OPEN from 8am to 4pm. County offices will be CLOSED.

HHW Drop-Off Saturdays at ARL

Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Days resumed April 6th at the Alpha Ridge Landfill. Drop-off is on SATURDAYS ONLY from April through November.

Compost & Rain Barrel Demos

The 2019 schedule for compost and rain barrel gardens is now posted on our News and Upcoming Events webpage. Check it out! These amazing sessions are offered in partnership with our local Master Gardeners. 

Yard Trim Collection Resumed April 1

Yard trim collection runs from the first week in April through the third week in January. Residents can recycle yard trim at the Alpha Ridge Landfill WoodWaste area, Monday-Saturday from 8am to 4pm.


Feed The Green Bin Expansion!

Check out details here

2 new areas will join in April 2019. Sign up to join the green cart club or see if you're in the new collection area. Check out details here.

Have Some Fun

11% of the stuff Howard County residents think is recyclable and put in their blue bin...doesn't belong and ends up as trash.

How fast can you sort?? Drag & drop items to the correct place to see how much you "KNOW" Before You Throw. Play it again for new items too!