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Cecil County Department of Public Works
Solid Waste Division


Requirement for Trash Haulers to Provide Curbside Recycling Pickup 

  • On June 15, 2010, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) of Cecil County adopted Ordinance 2010-02 which repealed and replaced two chapters of the Code of Cecil County pertaining to the disposal of solid waste:
    • Chapter 134, Commercial Refuse Haulers (Chapter 134 was subsequently renumbered as Chapter 239 in order to be consistent with the legislative organization of the County Code.).
    • Chapter 228, Solid Waste Disposal.
  • Section 239-4 (Prohibited acts; requirements for licensure) outlines, among other things, the requirements that Commercial Refuse Haulers must meet in order to acquire and maintain a Commercial Refuse Hauler's License.
  •  One of those requirements is that each Licensed Commercial Refuse Hauler must provide to its Cecil County residential customers curbside pickup of Source-Separated Recyclable Materials at least once per month.
  •  This requirement goes into effect on January 1, 2011 in the unincorporated areas of Cecil County and on July 1, 2011 within the incorporated municipalities of Cecil County. (The reason the effective date within the towns was delayed until July 1, 2011 was to afford towns sufficient time to renegotiate or rebid their refuse collection contracts if necessary.)
  • Chapter 239 requires that the haulers provide monthly curbside pickup of recyclables, not just offer it. Provide means that the hauler must develop a regular recyclables collection schedule and stop at each customer's residence at least once per month to pick up whatever recyclable materials the customer sets out for pickup. While most haulers are expected to provide their customers with separate carts or bins for recyclables, there is no requirement that they do so.  
  • Customers cannot opt out of the service. In other words, customers with residential trash service do not have a choice as to whether or not to accept or receive the curbside recycling service; the hauler is required to provide it.  Customers do not have to avail themselves of the service, however.  The decision to recycle or not recycle is the customer's to make.  No one from the County is going to "inspect" their trash to see whether they recycle or not, nor is the County going to issue any citations or penalties for failure to recycle.
  • The belief is that if the hauler has to provide the service and the customer is paying for it as part of the fee for their trash service, then most people will "do the right thing" and recycle.   
  • The BOCC's objective in implementing this requirement is to facilitate recycling and maximize the amount of material which is recycled and thereby diverted from the County's landfill.  Besides helping to conserve natural resources, recycling conserves landfill capacity which, in turn, helps to control solid waste disposal costs. 
  • Trash haulers have an incentive to maximize recycling by their customers in that if the recyclable material is disposed of as trash, the hauler pays the refuse tipping fee at the Cecil County Central Landfill which is currently $57.20/ton.  If the material is separated out for recycling, the haulers pay the Market Rate Tipping Fee for recyclable materials which for January 2011 will be $24/ton, a difference of $33.20/ton.
  • Solid Waste Management Division (SWMD) of the Cecil County Department of Public Works is charged with enforcing the requirements of Chapter 239.  SWMD will spot check hauler's trucks, monitor the tonnages of trash and recyclables that individual haulers report or bring to SWMD facilities, survey customers and take other measures as necessary to ensure that haulers are complying with the requirements of the County Code.
  • Haulers who do not comply with the requirements of Chapter 239 or any other sections of the County Code are subject to having their Commercial Refuse Hauler's License revoked.


Staff Contact: Pete Bieniek
Chief, Solid Waste Management Division
(410) 996-6275 (Office)
(410) 287-4608 (Fax)


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