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Olszewski creates Solid Waste Work Group

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TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Friday signed an Executive Order to create the Solid Waste Work Group, which will examine the County’s current solid waste collection and disposal practices, and will make recommendations for implementing innovative industry practices and trash diversion strategies to reduce the overall volume of trash produced in Baltimore County.

“Our residents expect and deserve a Baltimore County that will remain vibrant and livable for generations to come, and that means we must find more sustainable practices that protect our planet and reduce the amount of garbage we create,” Olszewski said. “This group will help us map a path forward for the future.”

Baltimore County’s current solid waste collection system operates according to regulations, practices and policies that date as far back as 1949. The County’s landfill input increased from 304 tons per day to 1,840 tons per day in the last five years.

The work group will examine existing efforts as well as national best practices, and will make recommendations that will inform a five year plan for improving the county’s solid waste collection and disposal system. This will include recommendations related to improving the operations of waste collection and improving internal Department of Public Works (DPW) operations, as well as recommendations for reducing overall waste production by promoting improved recycling practices, composting and other innovative waste diversion strategies. The County will partner with the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority to facilitate the work group’s efforts and GBB Solid Waste Consultants to provide technical support.

The work group’s membership includes County leadership, community members, and industry representatives. The Solid Waste Work Group will include the following members:

  • Stacy L. Rodgers, County Administrative Officer (Chair)
  • D’Andrea Walker,  DPW Deputy Director for Transportation
  • Mike Beichler,  DPW Solid Waste Bureau Chief
  • James Benjamin, County Attorney
  • Steve Lafferty, Chief Sustainability Officer
  • Seth Blumen, Energy and Sustainability Program Coordinator
  • Matthew Carpenter, Office of Budget and Finance
  • Israel “Izzy” Patoka, County Councilman, 2nd District
  • Ed Adams, Vice President, JMT; Former Director of DPW
  • Lois Jacobs, Chair, Baltimore County Advisory Commission on Environmental Quality
  • Sara Bixby, Deputy Executive Director, Solid Waste Association of North America
  • Peter Houstle, Executive Director, Maryland Recycling Network
  • Shane Robinson, Executive Director, Trash Free Maryland
  • Willie Goode, President/CEO, Goode Companies, Inc.
  • Michele Grace, Owner, Shelz Sanitation
  • Robert Singleton, General Partner, Cockey’s Enterprises, Inc.
  • Cara Hill, Citizen Representative
  • Eric Addison, Citizen Representative

The first meeting of the Baltimore County Solid Waste Work Group will be scheduled for late October. A link to the Webex meeting will be provided on the work group’s webpage. Meeting minutes will be recorded from each meeting.

In addition to holding meetings that will be open to the public, the Work Group will conduct a survey of residents to gather public input that will inform their recommendations.

The Group will be charged with completing its work and submitting a report to the County Executive by March of 2021.

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