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Testimony on Recycling – Apartment Buildings and Condominiums

By Jenny Levin
Public Health Advocate

Testimony before the Environmental Matters Committee
HB 1 - Environment – Recycling – Apartment Buildings and Condominiums

Position: FAVORABLE

Position: The Maryland Public Interest Group supports the passage of HB 1, requiring owners or managers of apartment buildings or condominiums that contain 10 or more units to provide residents with the opportunity for recycling on or before October 1, 2013; requiring specified owners or managers, beginning on March 1, 2014, to report annually on recycling activities to the county in which the property is located; requiring that the recycling required under the Act be done in accordance with county recycling plans; specifying a civil penalty for a violation of the Act; etc.
Maryland Burns, Buries, and Ships Too Much Waste 
In 2007, Maryland burned 1,369,188 tons (17%) of its waste. Nearly half of all that trash (661,200 tons) was burned at the BRESCO incinerator next to Ravens Stadium in Baltimore . Another 2,503,610 tons of trash (30%) was buried in landfills. The remaining 2,844,102 tons of trash (34%) was shipped to out-of-State facilities, mostly in Virginia.

Maryland already has 21 landfills for household trash and 9 trash incinerators in the state. Landfills are being expanded in Baltimore City and Baltimore County and a new incinerator is being proposed in Frederick County.

Combining the previously stated figures, more than 80% of Maryland’s waste ends up either burned, buried, or shipped to other states—despite the fact that nearly ninety percent of that waste could be recycled.

Conclusion
Maryland should reduce wasteful packaging and then develop ambitious plans to reuse, recycle, and compost the rest of our waste. By enacting HB 1, Maryland would be taking an important step towards reducing the cost of waste on its environment, health, and economy.

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