Baltimore County is switching exclusively to paper bags for garbage collection

Courtesy of Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash

The county’s plastic-free policy will take effect in April 2022.

Plastic bags will no longer be used for garbage collection in Baltimore County, according to new changes made by the Department of Public Works and Transportation.

In a press release Friday, the county announced that paper bags will be required for yard waste collection to increase and improve composting capabilities. The Office of Solid Waste Management provides compost for community use, and since many residents use it for gardening projects, the policy cites net gains for environmental sustainability and efficiency.

The policy takes effect in April 2022, and to accommodate the change, the county is providing free paper bags to all residents. Bags can be found at local recycling centers, public libraries and senior centers and will be limited to 5 per person. Quantities are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, the press release says.

The county also outlined other additional changes coming to waste collection protocols, including:

  • Increased weight capacities for waste. There will now be an accepted maximum of 45-pound or 45-gallon canisters, as well as the use of canisters suitable for mechanical cart tippers.
  • Sliding hours for the holidays. Trash collection will start one day after a public holiday instead of resuming the following week and applies to trash, recycling and garden materials.
  • A bulk waste collection program.
  • Updated information on current practices at county drop-off centers.

According to the county, residents will receive mailings providing more information about the upcoming changes in December. In the meantime, you can also visit the Baltimore County website.

Baltimore residents, what do you think? Do you find these changes helpful or long overdue? Let us know in the comments!

Ethel J. Montes