COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

Alpha Ridge Landfill Updates - 4/9/2020

At this time the Alpha Ridge Landfill remains open with normal operating hours (Mon-Sat, 8am-4pm) but should ONLY be used by residents who do not have curbside collection service (either provided by the County or a private hauler). Currently, the landfill services are experiencing non-essential visits from residents in direct violation of Governor Larry Hogan’s ‘Stay at Home’ Executive order and are creating a strain on the reduced staff levels and services.

Residents with Household Hazardous Waste (corrosive, flammable, reactive or toxic products as pesticides, herbicides, degreasers etc.) will be able to bring material to Alpha Ridge Landfill’s Residents Convenience Center on Saturdays and Tuesdays, from 8am-4pm. Tuesdays are an added service day and will continue through this State of Emergency period, however we ask those that can wait to dispose of these items or paint to do so. A 10-vehicle limit has been instituted in the Resident’s Convenience during operating hours, please be patient and plan accordingly. Wait times can be one hour or greater at peak times and on Saturdays.

Please see our statement for a complete list of modifications at Alpha Ridge Landfill.

Curbside Collections & Alpha Ridge Landfill Updates - 4/1/2020

Curbside Collections

Operating Normally

  • Residents can continue to use all curbside collection services, as these are operating normally (trash, recycling, yard trim and food scraps, bulk items and scrap metal). Please avoid unnecessary trips to the Alpha Ridge Landfill. 
  • To limit exposure and to abide by Governor Hogan's latest 'Stay at Home' Executive Order, we have limited the availability of field staff resources. Please be patient and limit calls and emails to service-related issues only. Our office remains closed to the public. 
  • 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.


Alpha Ridge Landfill

Operating with Modifications 

  • The Alpha Ridge Landfill remains open but are encouraging residents to stay home and wait until the COVID-19 emergency is over before bringing items for disposal, recycling, or donation to the landfill. Please choose curbside collections whenever possible to avoid visiting the landfill. 
  • A limit of 10 vehicles at a time will be allowed access to the Residents’ Convenience Center. Be patient and expect delays, especially during high volume times. (Mondays and Saturdays between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm are often high-volume times.) Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are typically lighter in volume. 
  • All residential organic material sales and giveaways (compost, mulch, topsoil, and shredded wood) will be suspended on April 3rd until further notice. 


Services will continue to be evaluated as needed. We will continue to update our website and inform our residents regularly through our e-newsletter.

Commercial Disposal Update - 3/23/2020

Residents and Contractors may experience delays.  To avoid delays, the best times are between 8:00 am – 11:00 am and 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Historically, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays have been the days with the lightest landfill traffic.​

All commercial vehicles delivering solid waste to the Alpha Ridge Landfill are required to purchase a nontransferable commercial landfill permit at an annual charge; no commercial vehicles will be permitted to use the landfill without a permit. All permits are valid for the period from July 1st through June 30th.

Since July 2017, businesses no longer need a free permit to drop-off recycling. Small businesses may only bring material that was generated within Howard County.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Businesses that currently do not have a landfill permit should complete the permit application and e-mail a PDF of the permit application to  The billing address must be included.  You will receive a call when the permit is active.  The permit fee of $30 will be added to your first load. 

NOTE: As of July 1, 2015 the Commercial Solid Waste tip fee will be $80 per ton.

State of Emergency Changes - 3/20/2020

Shredding events scheduled for Saturday April 4th and Saturday April 11th have been CANCELED. Please check our New & Events webpage for future shredding dates.

State of Emergency Changes - 3/18/2020

  • Cash, Check and Credit Card sales have been discontinued.
  • Businesses will be billed based material type and tonnage to the address associated with their landfill permit. 
  • Residents with Construction/Demolition (C&D) material will not be charged. 
  • Residents with trailers or box trucks of material should still proceed to the scales, but all other residents should proceed through the Residents’ Convenience Center.
  • Sales of Compost and Topsoil will be limited to contractors with permits. 
  • Free shredded wood and chips program has expanded to include mulch as well.
Know Before You Throw

We all have questions about what to do with certain items. 


Learn how to properly recycle, reuse, donate or dispose of various items. Is something missing from our list? Let us know as we continue to keep our page up to date. For specific curbside recycling questions, please visit our Curbside Collections Details page.


Call: 410-313-6444


Alpha Ridge Landfill Residents' Convenience Center Virtual Tour

Familiarize yourself with the Residents' Convenience Center before you visit! Use this virtual tour to learn more about the many recycling opportunities available to Howard County Residents. Each scene provides detailed information about what is acceptable. Click on the 3D polygon in the top left corner to view in full screenPlease use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view.

Interested in a guided tour? Learn more about scheduling tours of the Residents' Convenience Center and Composting Facility.

Is it 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 (1)


Print your certificate and bring it to our main office (9801 Broken Land Parkway) to receive a FREE indoor recycling collection container (Limit one per household, while supplies last).





COVID-19 Update: While offices remain closed to the public, we are unable to accept certificates or distribute indoor recycling containers at this time. 


Tanglers, Styrofoam and glass (other than bottles and jars) are some of the most frequent mistakes found in our curbside recycling. Remember--tanglers include plastic bags and film. 

Keep it Loose, Lose the Bag!



 For more videos, posters and other education material please visit our Brochures & Outreach page.


NOTE: Howard County does not sponsor or endorse any businesses or programs listed below. These options are provided as a resource to our residents.

Aluminum Foil/Bakeware

Aluminum foil and bakeware are no longer accepted in curbside recycling. However, you can take it to the Alpha Ridge Landfill scrap metal area for recycling.

Amazon Packaging

Before disposal, consider donating boxes, bags & bubble wrap to HorseSpirit Arts Gallery (8600 Foundry Street, Savage, MD). Packaging material must be in good condition. 

*Store Drop-off refers to retail and grocery stores that accept plastic bags and film for recycling.


Antifreeze should not be poured down the drain. Antifreeze (not mixed with oil or other substances) can be recycled at the Alpha Ridge Convenience Center Monday-Saturday 8am to 4pm. Please leave container for attendant to empty.


Have older items that you think may be valuable? Check out nearby consignment stores to resell those items such as Housewerks and online shopping communities like Also visit The New York Salvage for ideas about values.


Working appliances should be reused/donated. Check out BGE to earn cash, list them on Craigslist or FreeCycle, schedule a pick-up from Habitat ReStore in Columbia or The Loading Dock, or simply put them at the curb with a FREE sign. For non-working appliances, schedule a scrap metal collection (call 410-313-6444) or take appliances to the scrap metal area at Alpha Ridge Landfill. Refrigerators (doors removed), air conditioners and dehumidifiers must be placed next to the scrap metal drop-off so the Freon can be removed.

Small appliances (toasters, mixers, toaster ovens, coffee makers, etc) can be taken to The Alpha Ridge Landfill to be recycled with scrap metal. Or, if you have a large amount of scrap metal, call 410-313-6444 to schedule a curbside pickup.


Benefit charitable organizations by donating vehicles to groups such as Wheels for Wishes, Kars4Kids or Goodwill. Or, sell it to SellMax or Junk Car Medics for proper recycling and some cash!

Baby & Kid's Items

Donate usable items, such a strollers and high chairs to a local charity or second-hand store, or contact for a mail-in program. Check out Target's car seat trade-in program. Buy and sell kid's items using ThredUP. Have unused diapers? Donate them to Remove the padding from a car seat and recycle the plastic part at your curb or at Alpha Ridge Landfill.


Alkaline batteries after 1995 are OK to be disposed of in your regular trash. For other batteries, including rechargeable and button, see our Battery Recycling webpage. Many different types of batteries can also be dropped off at My Organic Market (MOM's) and REI Columbia.


Bring reusable bicycles to Alpha Ridge and give those bikes another life! Look for the Reusable Bicycle shed (please no tricycles or motorized bikes). This is a partnership with the Lions Club of Glenwood and Bikes for the World which has donated bikes to youth projects in Africa, Costa Rica, Barbados, El Salvador, DC and rural Kentucky.  Also consider Velocipede, located in Baltimore . If your bike isn't in good condition, contact your local bike store to see if they can use the parts or as a last resort, recycle it with scrap metal at Alpha Ridge Landfill.

Binders & Notebooks

Donate usable binders to your favorite charity. Prepare for Success has locations in Howard County. Spiral bound paper notebooks and notepads can be recycled in your curbside recycling bin. Broken binders belong in the trash.


Donate books to your local Howard County library. Check out MD Book Bank, and Second Edition Books for buy-back and donation, The Book Thing of Baltimore for donating and free book pick-up, Discover Books for local drop-off bins that support literacy in Howard County schools, or send books to overseas troops through Operation Paperback


Check out and to recycle and reuse used and unused bras. Bras can also be donated to Goodwill, Salvation Army, Purple Heart, Planet Aid, etc.

Brita Water Filters

Send filters to the My Brita program (they partner with Terracycle). Or, drop them off at My Organic Market (MOM's)


What's better than recycling? Reuse! Check out BoxCycle and ABCBoxes to donate boxes, or get reusable boxes.

If you can't reuse the boxes, clean cardboard can be recycled in your Curbside Recycling.


  • Clean, dry cardboard


  • food contaminated boxes such as greasy pizza boxes (these can be composted in the Feed The Green Bin program.)
  • furnace filters
  • StyrofoamTM pieces - please recycle at Alpha Ridge Landfill
  • Waxed cardboard (bulk/supplier produce boxes)

HOW TO prepare for collection:

  • remove plastic liners, waxed paper and styrofoamTM packaging material
  • flatten all boxes to conserve space
  • cut boxes to fit into the 2' x 4' x 6" opening in the recycling truck (i.e., the size of a large bath towel and thickness of a pillow)
  • If preferred, tie or bundle with string (stacked no higher than 6")

Cardboard can also be recycled at the Alpha Ridge Residents' Convenience Center.  


When shopping, ask contractors if they recycle used carpet. Visit the Carpet America Recovery Effort for details. Effective November 1, 2015, Alpha Ridge Landfill (ARL) will no longer accept carpet for recycling. Carpet taken to ARL will be disposed as trash and an $80 per ton fee will apply.

Car Seats

Donate car seats to the Baltimore Pregnancy Center. If they're old or ruined, please remove all fabric, padding and straps and take them to the ARL Residents' Convenience Center Rigid Plastics area for recycling. Target has a periodic trade-in program for used car seats. Visit their website for more details.

CDs & DVDs and cases

Usable CDs or DVDs should be donated to your local library, Goodwill or The Salvation Army. For kid's DVDs, contact your local pediatric hospital. Or, Murfie stores discs, recycles jewel cases and creates digital versions of your music for you to download. Visit for mail-in recycling programs.

Cell Phones

Bring them to the Alpha Ridge Landfill or take them back to your cell phone company. MOM's accepts them for recycling through Secure the Call. Also, visit or to get paid for recycling.

CFL Bulbs & Fluorescent Tubes

Please put incandescent and LED bulbs in your household trash and refer to the CFL recycling page for proper disposal of other bulbs and tubes.

Christmas & Holidays Lights

Working lights can be donated to Goodwill or Salvation Army. Broken/dead strands can be taken to Alpha Ridge Landfill and recycled with electronics (DO NOT put in your curbside recycling). Or, send them to or Christmas Light Source and receive a coupon for new lights. MOM's has a winter holiday light drop-off.

Christmas Trees

Undecorated artificial trees and wreaths can be recycled with scrap metal at the Alpha Ridge Convenience Area.

Undecorated live trees and wreaths can be recycled in the woodwaste area at Alpha Ridge Landfill. During the holiday season, visit our Merry Mulch webpage.

Clamshells (plastic)

At this time, Waste Management is unable to recycle plastic clamshells due to the way they are manufactured. While we wait for technology and markets, avoid purchasing items in clamshells and consider these reuse ideas to keep those clamshells out of the trash.



Donate clothing to local shelters or charities, such as Linwood Center, GreenDrop, Goodwill and Salvation Army. Or, bring gently used clothing to the Alpha Ridge Landfill for donation. Have items that aren't wearable? Donate them! Many donation organization partner with rag manufacturers. Also check out The North Face's ClothesTheLoop program.

Dress Clothes

Success in Style in Savage Mill collects new or gently worn business clothing and accessories. Dress for Success accepts women's interview attire via mail-in or drop-off. To donate men's interview attire, visit Career Gear.


During the spring, MOM's Organic Market hosts a Denim Drive for all types of denim including colored, embellished, and printed. Denim is recycled into insulation for charitable organizations to use in community housing projects. Clean, dry denim may be brought to MOM's only during the published dates. The rest of the year, denim can be taken to stores like Madewell, H&M, and Levi's.


Coffee Pods

At this time, coffee pods are not recyclable in Howard County. However, the coffee inside the pods can be composted in your backyard compost pile. Keurig offers Grounds to Grow On boxes to mail-in coffee pods. Nespresso provides free mail-in recycling bags. Terracycle offers a Coffee Capsules zero waste box.


Compost can be taken to Alpha Ridge Landfill for recycling in our Feed The Green Bin compost area, or to MOM's who uses private haulers for collection (varies by store). 

Compressed Gas Tanks

Propane, helium & oxygen tanks and fire extinguishers are accepted at Alpha Ridge Landfill. Or, return tanks to the seller.

Construction & Demolition Debris

Whether it's a huge renovation or small home project, please visit our Construction & Demolition webpage for what to do with debris material you no longer need.

Cooking Oil

Used cooking oil can be recycled at the Alpha Ridge Landfill Residents' Convenience Center Monday-Saturday, 8am to 4pm. Check out our cooking oil website.


Recycle wine corks in the lobby of the Roger Carter Center in Ellicott City (corks are sent to Sole). You can also take corks to Whole Foods, My Organic Market (MOM's) or visit for additional drop-off locations. Or, check out 11 ways to reuse corks.

Craft Supplies

Certain arts & craft supplies can be taken to Scrap B-more, a donation-based creative reuse and donation store in Baltimore. Their list of acceptable and unacceptable items changes occasionally, so please check their website for up-to-date information.


Make new crayons by microwaving old crayon stubs in a paper cup for 15-second intervals. The melted crayon blob will harden into a new crazy and colorful crayon! Crayola also has some neat crayon crafts. Crayons are not recyclable in your blue bin, but you can visit or The Crayon Initiative to learn about a mail-in program for old crayons. Also see "Markers" below.</