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2013 MD Legislative Recap

2013 Legislative Update: Composting Bill Passes, Bottle Bill Falls, Landfill  Diversion "Rereferred"

The 2013 Maryland General Assembly session closed on Monday April 8 with results generally in line with positions supported by MRN.

The MRN Board of Directors expressed unanimous support for the 2013 Composting Bill (HB1440) because it reflects the central recommendation of the study group convened by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) in 2012. House Bill 1440 provides legislative authorization to MDE to create a predictable regulatory framework for establishing more composting facilities in Maryland, especially facilities involving the processing of food residuals (MRN Response re HB1440). This bill passed both houses with strong support.

On other recycling legislation, the MRN Board also indicated significant concerns with Senate Bill 799/House Bill 1266 - Landfill Diversion - Municipal Solid Waste Portfolio Standard and Senate Bill 1049 - Recycling - Apartment Buildings and Condominiums.The Landfill Diversion bill creates a set of goals that in several cases contradict those established by legislation passed in 2012, which followed a comprehensive study of recycling and source reduction convened by MDE in 2011 at the behest of the State legislature (MRN Response re SB799/HB1266).The Landfill Diversion Bill was "rereferred" to Economic Matters and Environmental Matters Committees.

Similarly, the Recycling - Apartment Buildings and Condominiums bill undermines the multi-family recycling legislation passed in 2012 (MRN Response re SB1049). While MRN always applauds legislative initiatives to improve our environment through reasonable waste reduction, reuse and recycling, we also recognize the need to do so in a time-effective and cost-effective manner that does not undercut existing programs. This bill passed with an exception for Ocean City.

MRN also took a formal position on Statewide Container Recycling Incentive Program Legislation (Bottle Bill). The Maryland Recycling Network Board of Directors expressed positive support for the intent of the Statewide Container Recycling Incentive Program (HB 1085 and SB 641); however, serious reservations regarding the negative economic impact of the legislation on existing curbside recycling programs and significant number of unaddressed questions regarding the funding and operation of the program resulted in a unanimous decison to oppose the legislation as drafted. Click here for a full copy of the MRN response. This bill received an unfavorable report by the Environmental Matters Committee.

Look below to see a list of final status of all recycling related legislation considered by the 2013 Maryland General Assembly.

MRN Legislative Team Co-Chair, Charlie Reighart (2nd from left) and Executive Director, Peter Houstle (far right) met with Delegate Steve Lafferty (far left) and Delegate Dana Stein (2nd from right) to discuss pending legislation.

MRN Needs Your Support! Over the course of its 90 day session, the Maryland General Assembly considers as many as 2,500 pieces of legislation and often 700 or more become law! Monitoring and responding to this legislative flood requires an enormous volunteer effort and a great deal of staff time. Please don't stand by thinking "That's someone else's problem." As Benjamin Franklin noted, "We all hang together, or we'll all hang separately." If you're not an MRN member, please step up and support the network by joining today - click here to get started. If you are already an MRN member, Thank You!

Click the bill number for a summary and additional details. Click the second link for a pdf of the actual bill.

SB 576 – Community Greening Act (Disposable Bags) -

HB 184 – Oyster Recycling - Cross-filed with: SB0484

SB 799 - Landfill Diversion – Municipal Solid Waste Portfolio Standard -

HB 197 - Illegal Dumping and Litter Control Law – Penalties - Cross-filed with: SB0271

SB 641 - Statewide Container Recycling Incentive Program -

HB135 - Motor Vehicle Batteries – Recycling -

HB1085 - Statewide Container Recycling Incentive Program -

HB1087 - Recycling - Bars and Restaurants - Beverage Containers -

HB1088 - Business Regulation - Returnable Containers and Returnable Textiles - Revisions -