Every type of business, from offices to restaurants to car washes and sport complexes, create materials that can be recycled. The following information will help your business implement a successful recycling program.
By 2030, Howard County is targeting a 75% recycling rate as required by State law and must report our progress annually to the Maryland Department of the Environment. The reporting process is simple and we now call it "Work Green Howard".
Recycling Plans & Reports
Apartment & Condominiums
The State of Maryland mandated that weekly recycling services be provided by all apartment and condominium properties with 10 or more units. Managers or other responsible parties must submit a recycling plan as well as an annual recycling report.
The Maryland Department of the Environment requires Howard County to report commercial recycling activities. Howard County businesses are asked to complete an annual recycling report. Participating businesses will receive Work Green Howard certification.
The Business Recycling & Waste Reduction Award recognizes Howard County businesses for their efforts during the previous calendar year.
The Green Community Leadership Award recognizes a Howard County-based community group or organization that demonstrates efforts, projects or programs that help protect Howard County's natural environment and preserve its resources.
Greening Your Business
All businesses can benefit financially, socially and environmentally from a successful recycling program. Follow the steps below to start greening your business.
A quick online search pulled up these collection options for businesses. You may want to search on your own to find your best fit.
- Buy only what the business needs
- Shop for items with minimal packaging
- Buy quality items that will last
- Think before you print. If you must print, print double-sided
- Donate unwanted items
- Shred when REALLY needed Shredding paper cuts the paper fibers so that the paper cannot be recycled as many times. Only shred those documents that contain personal/confidential information and truly require shredding. This saves the paper fibers and saves you time at the shredder.
- Renovating? Expanding? Moving? There are many resources for reusing and recycling office furniture, office supplies and Construction & Demolition debris. Here's an article about the benefits! Buy used, get rid of and refurbish old items: ReForm, Gerstel Office Furniture, Omega Trading Company or Schoenbauer.
Close the Loop - Buy Recycled
All of those recyclables you put in the recycling container need a market. Encourage your purchasing department to buy supplies that are made from recycled materials. Prices for items made from recycled material are usually very close, if not cheaper, than items made from virgin materials.
Hazardous Waste in the Work Place
The EPA's Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR) announced the availability of an updated version of their targeted small business guide: “Managing Hazardous Waste: A Guide for Small Businesses.”
This handbook provides an overview of the federal hazardous waste regulations to give small business owners and operators a basic understanding of their hazardous waste management responsibilities. It answers questions like “Do hazardous waste regulations apply to me?” “How do I know which generator category I am?” and “What kinds of requirements do I have to follow?” This handbook will help small businesses get on the road to proper hazardous waste management, a critical step in protecting human health and the environment.
Food Scrap Recycling
Business Composting: Want to start a compost program at work? Visit The Natural Resources Defense Council to learn more about food waste collection. And, check out these food waste contractors:
Event Composting: Want to compost at an event? Check out the Northeast Recycling Council's Special Events Food Waste Diversion Guide.
EPA WasteWise Program Businesses, local governments, and non-profit organizations of all sizes and from all industry sectors can join WasteWise. WasteWise targets the reduction of municipal solid waste and select industrial wastes, including office paper, corrugated containers, yard trimmings and wood pallets. For more information, visit EPA's WasteWise website.
EPA Rethink: Sustainable materials management – the use and reuse of materials in the most productive and sustainable way across their entire life cycle. For more information, visit the EPA’s Rethink website.
MD Recycles: On MDRecycles, you'll discover the outlets available for business recycling as well as companies that will pick up your recyclable material. As a business you’ll learn how to reduce your waste management costs while helping to create a cleaner environment for all of us.
Maryland Green Registry: Join the more than 600 businesses and organizations throughout the state that have shared their sustainable practices through the Maryland Green Registry. Members receive recognition through their online member profile and are eligible for annual awards. There is no cost to join.