As advocates for the Maryland recycling community, we strive to work closely with the Maryland Legislature to ensure our state’s laws and regulations not only promote the sustainable reduction, reuse and recycling of materials otherwise destined for the landfill, but also make sense to those most affected by these laws and regulations.
This year, our Legislative Committee and Board of Directors have reviewed current bills under consideration that will have major impact on the recycling community. MRN has taken a stance on the following bills. Please go to Legislative / Regulatory page for full details and current status of each bill as well as a list of other pending legislation.
We support the spirit of this legislation with two recommendations as follows:
- That any authorized substitutes for polystyrene should be reusable, compostable or recyclable and, if compostable or recyclable that there is a feasible market for this material; and
- That the state should expand the availability of composting facilities as needed to accommodate the increased demand generated by this requirement.
Support: HB0502 Environment – Office of Recycling – Mattresses and Box Springs
While we support the spirit of HB0502, we are concerned that the bill will have little impact without the allocation of more resources to its implementation and enforcement. We believe the Office of Recycling within the Department of the Environment does not have adequate staff or funding to carry out the activities mandated by the bill as written.
Support with Recommendations: HB0510 Composting – Food Waste – Acceptance for Final Disposal
We support the spirit of this legislation with the following recommendations/questions:
- Add anaerobic digestion (“AD”) as an additional alternative for food waste processing.
- Add a provision if the food waste or yard waste is contaminated and not acceptable at a compost or AD facility, that the material can be delivered to a refuse disposal system.
- Reconcile the discrepancy in the 9-1724 provision, which is laid out for yard waste, but not food waste. The provision is that yard waste “may” rather than “shall” be taken to a compost facility. “May” would appear to open the option that the material could go to a refuse disposal system.
- Is the issue around which this bill been designed to address, i.e. haulers taking compostable materials to a landfill rather than the appropriate composting or AD facility, already covered under Title 7, subtitle 1, section 7-104 – General Theft Provisions (f) Inference of intention or knowledge?
- Should the entity or individual who purchased the service be responsible for ensuring the service is rendered as promised?
Support with Recommendations: SB0370 Environment – Recycling – Commercial Properties
We support the spirit of the legislation; however, we would like to meet with authors to address the practical problems in the bill as written and offer recommendations for a more effective commercial recycling bill. Specifically,
- It is unnecessary and expensive to amend a county’s solid waste management plan to accommodate the specific requirements of the legislation regarding recycling by commercial entities. We recommend this provision be struck from the bill.
- The definition and identification of “Commercial Properties that are occupied by one or more Commercial Entities with a total of at Least 200 Full–Time Employees” is unclear and open to misinterpretation. There is also some concern with potential ambiguity in the execution of the requirement in the specific text “each owner of a commercial property shall provide for recycling for the employees on the property…”
We suggest the law could be written to more effectively address commercial recycling but needs additional improvements to achieve that goal. We would be happy to meet with the authors to discuss this legislation further.
Support: HB0257 Civil Actions – Immunities – Donated Food.
We support for this legislation as written and applaud all efforts to reduce food waste.