Garbage & Recycling

Trash
Household trash pickup is subcontracted by the City to Ecology Services, which is responsible for regular household trash and recycling removal.  Ecology Services can be reached at 866-427-8389. 

Please note: This does not include bulk trash or yard waste removal. Bulk trash is collected by the city.

Waste prevention
Or source reduction is a term that means consuming and throwing away less. It includes purchasing more durable, long-lasting goods, seeking products and packaging that are free of toxic material (as much as possible), and redesigning products to use fewer raw materials in production, or have a longer life, or that are used again after their original use. Source reduction actually prevents the generation of waste in the first place, and so it is the most preferred method of waste management and goes a long way toward protecting the environment.

Recycling
Recycling turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources. In addition, it generates a host of environmental, financial, and social benefits. Materials like glass, metal, plastic, and paper are collected, separated and sent to facilities that can process them into new materials or products. Recycling conserves resources for our children’s future, prevents emissions of many types of greenhouse gases and water pollutants, saves energy all around, supplies valuable raw materials to industry, creates jobs, stimulates the development of greener technologies, and reduces the need for new landfills and incinerators.
 
Where It's Taken
Recycling is taken to the Northern Landfill, which can be reached at 410-386-4550. Northern Landfill uses the single stream recycling process. This means all recyclables can go into the same container. To have a container dropped off by Ecology Services, please call 866-427-8389 (allow up to 3 days for delivery).

You can use your own lidless, bushel-sized containers as long as they are marked "recycling" on all sides. If recycling is placed in trash bags, it will be taken as trash during the next scheduled pickup time. The list of acceptable recyclables can be downloaded from the county landfill website or you can call for a brochure.

Re-use Items
Reusing items by repairing them, donating them to charity and community groups, or selling them also reduces waste. Reusing products, when possible, is even better than recycling because the item does not need to be reprocessed before it can be used again. Some easy ways to reuse are:
  • Using durable coffee mugs instead of paper or Styrofoam
  • Using cloth napkins or towels (or washable)
  • Refilling bottles instead of buying new ones
  • Donating old magazines or surplus equipment
  • Turning empty jars into containers for leftover food
  • Purchasing refillable pens and pencils
Yard Waste
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that yard trim accounts for 18% of refuse. A 1/2 acre lawn produces more than three tons and an estimated 260 bags of grass clippings per year. Grass clippings do not cause thatch. Thatch is a matted layer of dead roots and stem, usually caused by too much water and fertilizer. Grass clippings are 75% to 85% water. Nitrogen contained in grass clippings can generate up to 25% of the lawn's yearly fertilizer needs.

Leaf Removal
For fiscal year 2012, there were 609 tons of yard waste collected. For fiscal year 2013, there were 621 tons of yard waste collected. Projected for fiscal year 2014, yard waste collection is 716 tons. A truck load is between 1.5 and 3 tons, so it takes multiple trips to the landfill for recycling each year. Each trip to the landfill takes about an hour round trip. Therefore, instead of sending your yard waste to be collected by the city, think about composting them for your own use. Composting tips and guidelines can be found online.