Major Recycling Bill Hits House Floor

HB 982, a bill sponsored by Delegate Doyle Niemann, was passed out by the House Environmental Matters Committee late Friday afternoon on March 26.  The bill would make significant changes to how recycling is done in Maryland.  The bill would move counties away from a single-stream model and back to a commodities-based model, with separate reduction goals for aluminum (70%), paper (60%), glass (50%), and plastic (50%).  Counties failing to meet these goals by 2020 could have their landfill permits withheld by the Maryland Department of the Environment.   
 
The bill also established a bar and restaurant recycling program and created a mandatory tipping fee that was supposed to cover the costs to the State and locals.  However, the committee amended these provisions out of the bill, leaving counties with a challenging and significant unfunded mandate.
 
MACo opposed the bill.  There were no workgroup meetings or stakeholder discussions concerning the bill prior to its passage by the Committee. 

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