MACo Seeks County Representation on Composting Bill

MACo Policy Analyst Natasha Mehu testified in support with amendments to HB 743, Yard Waste and Food Residuals Diversion and Infrastructure Task Force, to the House Environment and Transportation Committee on February 24, 2016. MACo requested stronger county-specific representation on the bill.

The bill establishes a Yard Waste and Food Residuals Diversion and Infrastructure Task Force that will study and recommend ways to increase Maryland’s composting rates and infrastructure. Among the specific issues the Task Force will consider is whether a county solid waste management plan should require an organic materials recycling program and address facility infrastructure needs for organic materials.

From the MACo testimony,

As counties are primarily responsible for operating residential recycling programs in Maryland, new composting requirements would have a significant operational and fiscal effect on county governments. However, despite the role counties play in recycling, the bill does not provide for a county-specific member; instead, it requires the Governor to appoint one representative of a local public works department.

MACo is proposing an amendment that would add a county member chosen by MACo and a municipal representative chosen by the Maryland Municipal League.

HB 743 will examine many of the substantial challenges that must be addressed before large scale composting can become practical in Maryland. Given the important role counties have in managing recycling programs and the considerable effect new composting policies will have on them, MACo believes it is reasonable to add a county-specific representative to the Task Force.

For more on 2016 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.