Montgomery County has Highest Recycling Rate in Maryland

Montgomery County’s solid waste recycling rate of 58.94% is the highest among other counties in the state, a report by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) found. 

In 2020 — the most recent year for which the data is available — Montgomery County recycled 764,375 tons of materials, including glass, metals, paper, plastic and compostable items, according to a press release. 

Cecil County came in second with a recycling rate of 58.69%. Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot — or the Mid-Shore Counties — came in third with a rate of 49.37%. 

Montgomery County also leads in the state by preventing waste before it occurs. According to the MDE report, the county’s waste diversion rate is 63.94%. The County Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) backyard food scraps composting project and the commercial food scraps recycling partnership program assist in these efforts, the county said. 

“I am proud of what Montgomery County has achieved by recycling, reducing and preventing waste,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a statement. “The goal of the County’s Climate Action Plan is reducing communitywide greenhouse gas emissions by 80% over the next five years and 100 percent by 2035.  All of us—residents, businesses and our County government—are working together toward achieving zero waste over the next 13 years. Fighting climate change takes a village and this news is a testament that we are moving in the right direction.”  

Officials say recycling and waste prevention programs are crucial to reaching zero waste in Montgomery County. To learn more about these programs click here.

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