Baltimore County’s New Single Stream Recycling Facility Reduces Trash Disposal, Profits Thousands

Baltimore County announced last week that since their new single stream recycling sorting facility opened in Cockeysville on November 19, 2013, it has generated net operating revenues of nearly $750,000, hoping to clear $2 million in the first year.

From Baltimore County’s news release,

“We are delighted with the success of this facility, and at this pace, we anticipate breaking a million dollars by April and depending on market conditions, we could easily reach two million dollars in the first year,” Kamenetz said. “Not only are we retaining the market value of the recyclables ourselves, but this facility maximizes the benefits of our easy, single-stream residential recycling collection program for residents.”

“With this facility, we really invested in ourselves and it is clearly paying off in a big way,” said Baltimore County Council Chair Cathy Bevins. “The single-stream recycling program makes it so easy to recycle almost everything. My family hardly sets out a full bag of trash each week – it’s mostly recyclables.”

Kamenetz also announced that Baltimore County residents have once again broken their all-time recycling record, setting out 53,714 tons of material for recycling in 2013. This is a 49 percent increase since 2009, the last full year before the County’s single-stream recycling program started in February 2010. With trash disposal costs in 2013 at $60 per ton, this amount of recycling led to $3.2 million in annual avoided disposal costs in addition to the revenues mentioned above.

The facility uses a series of belts, machinery and people and sorts 35 tons of recyclable material every hour.  From The Baltimore Sun coverage,

The new machinery was installed to create efficiency for the county, Kamenetz said.

“We decided we could start managing the process ourselves rather than paying other companies to do it,” Kamenetz said. “We decided we could sort our recyclables ourselves, as opposed to sending that and shipping that out. … The best part is, by doing so, we retain the full economic benefit for the taxpayers.

In 2009, the year before Baltimore County instituted single-stream recycling, the county collected 36,167 tons of recycling and 385,553 tons of trash. Since then, the recycling collection rose to 53,714 tons and trash fell to 316,523 tons.

Baltimore County has a goal of collecting a 50-50 ratio of garbage to recyclables.

To read more about Baltimore County’s single stream recycling sorting facility, visit Baltimore County’s website or The Baltimore Sun.