Maryland’s Zero Waste Goals “Far Off”

Coverage by Tim Wheeler in the Baltimore Sun of the recently-released “Zero Waste” plan suggests that the far-reaching notions therein are far from being reachable across the state.

Read MACo’s earlier coverage of the released plan in this earlier Conduit Street article.

From the Sun article, appearing as part of its B’More Green blog:

In a bid to ease pollution problems associated with waste disposal, state officials recently released a “zero waste” plan calling for reducing, reusing and recycling nearly all the waste produced in Maryland by 2040. Landfills produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas that’s contributing to climate change, they note, while polluted water leaching out of the waste mountains must be collected and treated. And though modern landfills have thick plastic liners to prevent groundwater contamination, leaks occur.

The state plan shoots for something short of zero, however — aiming to divert 85 percent of what’s now being buried in landfills or burned in incinerators, and to recycle 80 percent of it by 2040.

“We’d love to zero it out, but zero is probably, quite frankly, impossible,” said David Costello, deputy secretary of the environment, who notes that statewide, Marylanders generate more than 12 million tons of trash and waste annually.

Read the full Sun article online.

Zero Waste is a featured topic at MACo’s upcoming Winter Conference — for more details see this article on Conduit Street, or click here for registration information. Registrations will be accepted on-site at the Chesapeake Hyatt, where the conference is centered later this week.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties