Howard County expands effort to collect food scraps for compost

It’s all about composting more and tossing less into the garbage.

“Even if you don’t produce a lot of food waste, every little bit counts,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball.

Ball said thousands of more households in the county will have access to three different sized bins to put their food scraps in for curbside collection.

This brings the total program, launched as a small group about a decade ago, to more than 34,000 households.

“It’s simple. Collect your food scraps, vegetable peels, apple cores, coffee grounds and more — and set out your green bin on your collection day,” Ball said.

Ball says the program was the first of its kind in the state. It also remains the biggest. He said last year 900 tons of food scraps from the landfill in Ellicott City had been diverted through the program and turned into compost.

“Howard County continues to lead the way in Maryland to create a clean and sustainable environment. Especially with straightforward, yet transformative programs like this one.”

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announces a major expansion of the food scrap program. (Courtesy Howard County Government)

With the addition of the Wilde Lake and Centennial Lane neighborhoods, the program will now reach more than 50% of the households in the county.

Those in eligible areas can sign up now through March 18 for a bin, which will start being delivered in April.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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