The state’s Department of the Environment said on its website that it exceeded its voluntary waste diversion goal of 40 percent for the sixth straight year. For the year 2010, the most recent year in which data is available, the state received a 3.6-percent source reduction credit in addition to the recycling rate.
Maryland recycled 2.73 million tons of waste in 2010 and reduced the amount of waste generated by more than 246,400 tons. State agencies had a recycling rate of 23.9 percent by recycling more than 19,000 tons.
Materials that Maryland counties focused on included mixed paper; glass, metal and plastic containers; white goods; yard trimmings; electronics; mercury; scrap tires; motor oil; antifreeze; construction and demolition materials; and household hazardous wastes.
Maryland’s General Assembly passed a law earlier this year increasing mandatory waste reduction through recycling to 35 percent for counties with more than 150,000 people and 20 percent for those under 150,000. The recycling rate for the state government increases to 30 percent.
The bill also establishes a voluntary waste diversion goal of 60 percent and a recycling goal of 55 percent by 2020. The law takes effect in October.