Zero Waste

Getting to zero waste is a process that will take time. Today however, Baltimore City faces significant waste management challenges.

Baltimore City’s waste crisis

  • Baltimore City generates an estimated 1,481,522 tons of waste per year. That is 59,261 tractor trailers of waste. If you put them all together, they would be equivalent to the distance from Baltimore City to Jacksonville, Florida.
  • Despite aggressive efforts to promote recycling in Baltimore City, the Maryland Department of the Environment reports that our recycling rate remains stagnant at 20.01% – well below the national average – despite aggressive efforts to promote recycling citywide.
  • The U.S. EPA estimates 75% of the American waste stream is actually recyclable today. If Baltimore City quadrupled its recycling rate to achieve 75%, there would still remain some 375,000 tons of post- recycled waste every year that must be managed responsibly.
  • There is currently approximately 1.2 million tons of waste in Baltimore that is not recycled.

Zero Waste – A long-term goal, not a current reality.

  • The few cities across the U.S. touted as leaders in recycling efforts have spent decades and millions of dollars to make progress. None has yet to reach 70%. Only one has reached 60%.