Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced that Baltimore City, in collaboration with The Recycling Partnership and the Baltimore Civic Fund, will distribute free recycling carts to every eligible City household this spring, implementing a key recommendation in the City’s Less Waste, Better Baltimore Plan. This Initiative ensures that all City neighborhoods can participate in the City’s recycling program. This collaboration is being funded by a $9 million public-private partnership, including a $3 million grant from The Recycling Partnership.
The Recycling Partnership and the Baltimore Civic Fund estimate that providing recycling carts to each household at no cost has the potential to increase recycling in the City by an estimated 20,000 tons per year, or nearly 200 pounds per household. Expanding recycling capacity will ensure that more recyclables are diverted from Baltimore landfills.
“I am pleased to work and collaborate with The Recycling Partnership and the Baltimore Civic Fund to bring equitable opportunities to recycle to Baltimore,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “I am committed to moving Baltimore toward zero waste. The only way we can do that is if we increase the number of households that recycle. This investment will drastically increase recycling and reduce waste in our city.”
The Less Waste, Better Baltimore Plan identified options for improving solid waste diversion, recycling, and disposal in the City. Additionally, the City adopted a Climate Action Plan and the 2019 Baltimore Sustainability Plan, both of which present opportunities for diverting waste from landfills and increasing recycling.
It is known that providing recycling containers – particularly those with lids – to households encourages residents to participate in recycling. City-wide recycling initiatives can improve the environment by keeping waste out of local waterways such as the Harbor, providing for cleaner, healthier neighborhoods. “The Recycling Partnership is pleased to work with the City of Baltimore, with support from the American Beverage Association, Dow, Rehrig Pacific, and other partners to continue our work nationwide to bring expanded equitable access to curbside recycling. This grant to Baltimore is our largest cart grant to date and will build upon the City’s Less Waste, Better Baltimore operations plan,” said Rob Taylor, Director of Grants and Community Development at The Recycling Partnership. “Through this unique collaboration of stakeholders engaged by the Recycling Partnership and the success of our collective efforts, we are helping Baltimore City capture recyclables that can be transformed into new products, creating a more robust circular economy, a less wasteful planet, and stronger, healthier neighborhoods.”
The grant from The Recycling Partnership includes technical advice about the recycling program, educational collateral material, and outreach components to educate, promote, and inform Baltimore residents about the benefits of recycling. Recycling carts will start to be delivered to Baltimore households in the Spring of 2021.
Several years ago, the City adopted the use of wheeled, lidded carts for garbage collection to promote proper trash disposal etiquette. The distribution of similar-sized recycling carts is expected to deliver similar successful results to recycling collection efforts. These carts enable safer and more efficient collection, reducing the amount of manual labor needed, helping to prevent injury to collection staff while providing residents with increased storage capacity for their recyclables at the same time.
“The delivery of free recycling carts to Baltimore City households will enhance the City’s recycling program,” said DPW Acting Director Matthew W. Garbark. “During the COVID-19 health crisis, the use of recycling carts could potentially increase the amount of material diverted from disposal, and enable safe and efficient collections.”
“This partnership is an important step to the City’s Less Waste, Better Baltimore Plan, and ensuring equity and sustainability are at the forefront of the work we do in Baltimore.” said Mayor Brandon Scott. “I would like to thank our partners at The Recycling Partnership and the Baltimore Civic Fund for investing in Baltimore and making this a reality for our residents.”