ELKTON, MD. — Historically, over 50% of recyclables collected in the U.S. are shipped overseas for processing. Most of those recyclables went to China, primarily for recycling into packaging materials, plastics and metal products. China has recently banned many recyclables from being imported into their country, and has also placed a ½% contamination rate limit on what materials they will accept. These changes have driven the value of recyclables dramatically lower, thus increasing the overall cost of recycling programs across the U.S. Despite the resulting higher program costs, Cecil County Solid Waste Management Division has thus far been able to keep fees at the same rates for recyclables and trash.
This means that if you self haul your own waste and recyclables to our facilities, you will see our fees have not changed. If you have trash service, and your provider delivers their trash and recyclables to the Cecil County Landfill and Recycling Center, their tipping fees also have not been increased.
Since July 1, 2018, recyclables collected at the Cecil County Central Landfill Recycling Center, and at Woodlawn and Stemmers Run transfer stations, are now transported to the Baltimore County-owned single stream recycling facility in Cockeysville, Maryland, where they are sorted and prepared for marketing and sale to end users. Since Baltimore County does not charge us a tipping fee where our prior vendor’s tipping fees were rising significantly, we are able to limit the overall program impact of China’s recent decisions. Our applicable fees have not increased in several years.
Also, keep in mind, all Cecil County Solid Waste Management Division recycling and waste disposal programs are operated as an Enterprise Fund, and are not subsidized by County tax dollars. Our operations are very similar to those of a private sector company, and are funded through recycling and disposal user fees assessed at the Central Landfill and our Woodlawn and Stemmers Run transfer stations.
The goal of the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund, and all Cecil County Enterprise Funds, is to be financially self-sufficient and sustainable long term. If you have any questions, please contact the Cecil County Solid Waste Management Division at 410-996-6275. We invite our customers to participate in our facility survey.