Each year, the Maryland Department of the Environment requires Howard County to report recycling activities taking place within the county. We’ve made the reporting process simple! We thank you for helping make Howard County a greener place to live, work and visit! Your help is priceless.
Submit your nominations by February 16, 2024.
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.
Business Recycling and Waste Reduction Winners
The Loan Closet of Howard County
The Loan Closet of Howard County program collects new and gently used durable medical equipment, sanitizes, and refurbishes each item. To make the items available to Howard County residents who need equipment, free of charge. Last year fiscal, the Loan Closet of Howard County diverted 165,020 pounds and 91,001 cubic feet of waste from County landfills.
DTM Fitness host outdoor bootcamps Monday-Friday at parks and lakes in Howard County (and Baltimore County) to complete local park trash clean-ups. As part of our cooldown, they walk the entire lake picking up trash and plastics. Areas such as Lake Elkhorn, Centennial Park, and Long Gate Playground, as well as the assigned parking lots, are kept free of litter during the week most of the year thanks to their litter patrols.
Howard Community College
Howard Community College with the assistance of a Howard County PREP grant (plastic bag fee) the college developed a composting program in the James Ecker Cafe on the Quad kitchen and dining room. Forty-Six tons of food serving waste were collected and sent to local composting facilities. Students, faculty, staff, and contractors all participated in the effort which required changes in operations and disposable materials which all had to be compostable. Participation required education, signage, and hands on mentoring by students until folks caught on to disposing their waste responsibly. They will be expanding the program in 2023 to include their teaching kitchens.
Upcycled Inc collect plastics that most recycling plants cannot process and turn them into building materials. Their main program, Waste to Wonder, emphasizes community engagement by organizing clean-ups of local natural areas, setting up drop-off locations for recyclables, upcycling them into building materials, and donating built structures such as picnic tables and garden beds back to the community. The cleanup activities collected over 1,400 pounds of waste and litter from the Savage Mill Trail area. Upcycled has built partnerships with the Community Ecology Institute, the Savage Community Association, the Howard County Conservancy, and county schools.
Green Community Leadership
Howard County Library System, Enchanted Garden
Howard County Library System, Enchanted Garden collects waste from the library staff lunchroom then turn it into soil amendments that feed their soil and the community through donations. They created informative signs that explain the benefits of sustainable practices such as composting, rain gardens, bioswales, and native plants. Also, they partner with Howard County Master Gardeners and other environmental groups.
Savage Community Association (SCA)
Savage Community Association (SCA)a civic organization based in Savage, has made constant efforts to keep Savage residents informed and engaged for over four decades. In just one event, volunteers were able to collect and properly dispose over 1000lbs of waste from their parkland. Also, they have partnered with other environmentally friendly groups such as Upcycled and Ecoworks. Furthermore, the SCA has worked with government organizations such as Howard County Recreation and Parks and Live Green Howard to distribute and plant over 80 large trees and many more seedlings/saplings in the area.
The Community Ecology Institute (CEI)
The Community Ecology Institute (CEI) to cultivate communities where people and nature thrive together. Their work focuses on tangible, community-level change at the intersection of environment, education, equity, and health. In 2022, more than 20 trainees participated in the Nourishing Gardens. These trainees contributed more than 750 hours of combined installation support installing 23 gardens throughout Howard County, providing access to growing space to more than 50,000 community members who might not otherwise have land to grow on. More than 500 community members were directly involved in the planning, installing, and caring for Nourishing Gardens this year.