Multiple Maryland counties have funds set aside for the scheduled closure costs of public landfills. State law authorizes these funds to be invested like long-term assets — similar to pension funds or retiree health care obligations.
MACo contacted county leaders today, beginning the process to form a pooled investment trust for counties, or other entities, managing landfills and seeking such a vehicle. Overall, the concept is to share overhead, legal, and advisory costs among multiple participants, and at the same time use the pooled resources to attract top-level advisors for the group.
From MACo’s memo, sent to each county today:
Currently the vast majority, if not all, of the reserves set aside for post-closure landfill care are being invested as regular public funds, subject to the typical safeguards and limitations of the investment of such assets, prioritizing safety and liquidity over investment return. The enactment of Chapter 568 allows political subdivisions significant ability to better match the investment of Landfill Post-Closure Reserves to the expected timeframe of their usage; a longer time horizon for use of these funds is consistent with funds set aside for other long-term obligations such as pensions and OPEB. This allows for reserves to be invested in a diversified portfolio of equities and fixed income with an expected longterm investment return in excess of a shorter duration public funds portfolio.
MACo already supports an OPEB Investment Trust, and the new Landfill Closure Trust may be able to build upon those successes, and even share some of the related infrastructure.
Counties with an interest are invited to contact Michael Sanderson, MACo Executive Director, to express interest in a formative meeting in the weeks ahead.