What is Howard County's waste diversion rate?

In 2018, Howard County's waste diversion rate was 49.5%. The waste diversion goal is comprised of the recycling rate plus source reduction credits (maximum 5%) that Maryland Counties and Baltimore City earn through activities designed to reduce the amount of waste going to the waste stream.

How much is recycled in Howard County?

In 2018, Howard County recycled a total of 242,358 tons of material! This included 65,518 tons from residents and 176,840 tons from businesses. Business tons were generated by Howard County businesses who reported to us. These businesses are recognized as Work Green Howard businesses. Is your favorite business a Work Green Howard Business?

What’s in my blue recycling cart?

Paper and Cardboard – 59.7%
Glass Bottles – 15.5%
Aluminum Cans – 1.1%
Water & Soda Bottles – 4.1%
Metal Cans – 1.7%
Milk Containers - .8%
Liquid Detergent Containers – 1.2%
Other Plastic Containers (#3-7) – 2.5%
Rigid Plastics - 1.2%
Trash – 11.5%

Percentages based on average weights from recent audits. Trash includes items that are not recyclable, as well as items that do not belong in the blue cart, but can be recycled in our other programs (EX. Styrofoam, yard trim, scrap metal). These items placed in the blue recycling carts are sorted out as trash and will not be recycled. Help us achieve a cleaner stream. Check out our detailed list of acceptable material for curbside collections.


What's going on at the Alpha Ridge Landfill?

In 2019, we gave away about 350 compost bins!

We collected:

  • an average of 50 flags per month for retirement.
  • 1,600 bikes for Bikes for the World donated. 3,345 donated since program becan in 2016
  • 2,743 mattresses and/or box springs
  • 29.17 tons of car batteries
  • 16.82 tons of Styrofoam
  • 251.53 tons of tires
  • 401.29 tons of single stream
  • 218.56 tons of rigid plastics
  • 390.18 tons of cardboard
  • 684 items donated to The Loan Closet of Howard County
  • The Loading Dock received (among many other items):

    328 interior doors
    114 exterior doors
    102 windows
    328 toilets
    395 kitchen cabinets
    207 kitchen sinks
    580 light fixtures

Learn about acceptable recyclables, special events, our Composting Facility and more at our Alpha Ridge Landfill page.