Recycling and Solid Waste Plan Aims for 'Less Waste, Better Baltimore'

Dept. of Public Works press release header

Public and private-sector stakeholders – including environmental advocates; representatives from city businesses, schools, and hospitals; and those who live and work across the city – are among those who will have a chance to weigh in on the “Less Waste, Better Baltimore” Recycling and Solid Waste Management Master Plan.

This plan is being prepared by Geosyntec Consultants, from Columbia, Md. The goal is to help the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) establish long-term policies and goals that provide sustainable, effective management of the City’s trash and recycling services. The report is expected to be complete by the end of 2019.

DPW Director Rudolph S. Chow, P.E., said he expects an independent analysis of the challenges and opportunities facing Baltimore, which creates guidelines that provide the best path forward for DPW and everyone who relies on the City’s sanitation services.

“Our customers, taxpayers, elected officials, and others deserve a recommendation that challenges us, leads us along the best path, and moves us efficiently and effectively,” said Director Chow.

The contractor will conduct two “waste and recycling sorts” to see first-hand what Baltimore residents throw out and recycle, as well as four community meetings to hear from residents and stakeholders. The meetings, and other ways for residents to weigh in with their ideas, will be promoted on the DPW website and social media.

A recycling and solid waste survey is available on the “Less Waste, Better Baltimore” webpage, at

Among the sanitation challenges facing the City that will be addressed in the report are:

  • Dwindling capacity at the lone remaining open landfill, on Quarantine Road
  • Current and future market impacts on single-stream recycling
  • Regulatory and political impacts on the Wheelabrator waste-to-energy facility
  • Strategies to enhance and support recycling, waste reduction, and waste diversion efforts

Recent Solid Waste achievements by DPW include:

  • Distributing Municipal Trash Cans to every residential address that gets trash pickup service from DPW
  • Expanding mechanical street sweeping to every neighborhood
  • Expanding mandatory sweeping throughout the Central District
  • Offering a plan for small commercial trash haulers to use Northwest Transfer Station in addition to Quarantine Road Landfill
  • Rolling out Smart Cans to better contain street trash and allow DPW to run more efficient collection routes

For more information about the plan, visit the Less Waste, Better Baltimore website at and sign up for email alerts for information about meetings, news updates, and more. You may also email [email protected] with specific questions or concerns

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Jeffrey Raymond
Kurt Kocher
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The Baltimore City Department of Public Works supports the health, environment, and economy of our City and region by cleaning our neighborhoods and waterways and providing its customers with safe drinking water and sustainable energy practices.