New Maryland Recycling Law Aims to Change ‘Throw Culture’

In one county in Western Maryland, 350 tons of garbage, yard and construction debris roll across the scale in the landfill every day. In Annapolis, a new law is trying to reduce that number, while making sure recycling rates statewide are high and only what’s needed to begin with is produced.

While the legislation’s most significant effects may still be years away, the bill’s sponsor Sen. Malcolm Augustine, D-Prince Georges, is trying to get Marylanders to consider their statehood.

Think of the entire state as (you) would think of (your) living room or (your) family rooms, Harvard-educated Senate Speaker Pro Tem said in a telephone interview. Treat it the way (you) would like (your) family rooms, (your) backyard, (your) living rooms to be treated.

Maryland Senate Pro Tem Malcolm Augustine, D-Prince George's, speaks at a news conference in Annapolis April 7, 2023. Behind him from left to right are Senator Will Smith, D-Montgomery, Senate Chairman Bill Ferguson, D -Baltimore City, and Senator Brian Feldman, D-Montgomery, each holding leadership positions in the General Assembly.

The environmental law, Statewide Recycling Needs Assessment and Producer Responsibility for Packaging Materials, signed by Democratic Governor Wes Moore last month, requires a report and analysis of where Maryland stands as a state when it comes to waste and recycling. The law also creates an advisory council to recommend how packaging manufacturers should be held accountable.

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