The financial impact of Covid-19 will undoubtedly be felt through 2021 as state, county and municipal budgets feel the pinch of declining revenues. At the same time, our citizens will continue to expect to recycle via curbside or drop-off without interruption. Given this new abnormal, how can we make the math work for everyone?

On December 15, we checked in with a group of recycling professionals to see how they are handling the challenges brought about by the pandemic including reduced revenue, increases in residential waste and landfill traffic, shifting markets, budget cuts, and more.

Listen in below as we hear from recycling managers from Allegheny County, Carroll County, Washington County and the City of Laurel on what they are doing to get by and what they believe the future may hold. Then share with us what impact Covid-19 has had on your current budget and what you are predicting for next year.


Poll: We polled the participants on what impact Covid has had on their current budgets. Eighty-three percent answered that there have been some reductions with 17% answering not much change at all. None noted any major cuts across the board. However, as several panelists discussed, this will most likely change shortly as decreasing revenues coupled with increasing costs associated with the uptick in residential waste and landfill activity as well as falling markets has triggered the call for budget cuts.

This brought up the question that while the CARES Act did help with current budgets, going forward, how can we make the sustainable changes needed for 2022 and beyond? Share your thoughts with us.


Things to know …

  • MRN will be hosting a free webinar in January on EPR – stay tuned for details. There is also the potential for some EPR legislation introduced in 2021 and we should have an update included in the webinar.
  • House Environmental Matters and Transportation Committee will be reviewing the Maryland Recycling Act to see what’s working/not working and if we’re measuring the right things.
  • House Bill 1452 Department of the Environment – Office of Recycling – Recycling Market Development: Bill was passed by the house in 2020 but was stalled due to Covid-19. The Bill currently has a senate sponsor and will be revived in 2021.
  • *SWANA issued a report in late 2019 suggesting that 1x/week trash and 2x/month recycling collection is a way to reduce costs and preserve the service.

Visit our Legislative/Regulatory page for continuing updates.

Making the Math Work in 2021