Yard Waste Closes

Jorge Martinez pulls a load of yard trimmings off his truck at the yard waste center on Devilbiss Bridge Road in Walkersville. The site was closed in November.

If an Eastern Shore delegate’s bill passes the General Assembly this year, dumping yard waste outside of designated locations or curbside pickup would be outlawed in Maryland.

The goal of Del. Steven Arentz’s (R-Queen Anne’s, Kent, Cecil and Caroline) bill, which he pre-filed in the General Assembly, is to add yard waste to the definition of litter in the state’s Illegal Dumping and Litter Control Law.

Yard waste is defined as plant waste from landscaping, gardening or tree trimming.

Under the current Illegal Dumping and Litter Control Law, litter includes all “rubbish, waste matter, refuse, garbage, trash, debris, dead animals, or other discarded materials of every kind and description.”

According to the text of the bill, the General Assembly intends the bill to make rules about disposing of litter improperly the same across the state while helping maintain “the beauty of the State.”

The bill is also meant to limit any harm to the “health, welfare and safety” of Marylanders that may be caused by litter being disposed of incorrectly.

Illegally disposing of yard waste would be a misdemeanor. According to the bill, the first time someone gets rid of yard waste illegally they can be fined between $50 and $300. Every other time, the person can be fined between $50 and $1,000.

The bill states that a court can order the person to remove the yard waste or to reimburse the state, the county, the municipal corporation, the Maryland–National Capital Park and Planning Commission or the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.

In Frederick County, curbside yard waste pickup is available in some municipalities.

Where it is not available, residents can use yard waste drop-off locations.

Dave Ennis, department head of highway and facility maintenance, said the county doesn’t have major issues with people dumping yard waste outside designated areas.

But that was before the Walkersville yard waste site closed in November. Now Frederick County has only one site, on Reichs Ford Road.

The county has yet to see an increase in yard waste being dumped in undesignated areas since the site closed, Ennis said.

Follow Hannah Himes on Twitter: @hannah_himes.

(15) comments


If a tree falls in the forest and no one sees it, is it still litter?


First Frederick's mayor, then a councilman, now a delegate...who's next wasting taxpayer money?


I figured it was already considered littering; niceund, if someone dumped their yard waste onto your property wouldn't you consider it littering?


You’re right nice person. It’s time for a sweeping roll back of all anti-pollution laws. Let’s free the people to litter as they see fit. No one should ever have their right to pollute infringed upon. Throw a bigulp cup out of your car window - heck yeah. Dump your trash in the woods - dang skippy. Burn your own trash in a subdivision - well, duh! Dump motor oil in the sewer - what else you gonna do with it? Brilliant nice, just brilliant.




I imagine the critics of the balloon release ordinance will be all over this one too. Yard waste as “litter”. Ridiculous. Unlike balloons, yard waste does decompose.


Here’s the difference:

Republican sponsor - must be ok.

Democrat sponsor - deep state conspiracy to over regulate our lives and steal our personal liberties and infringe upon our god given and constitutional right to pollute.

That’s where we are these days.


That presumes that those complaining about the balloon ban were Republicans matt. They weren't, as some who opposed it self-identified as Democrats, while there were some Republican supporters. This Libertarian supported it.


This republican supported it at as well.


Don't laugh. Read WaPo's article on midwest farmers literally going hungry, begging for food from churches, their children malnourished because those same communities believe Democrats conspire to over-regulate their creeks and streams.


Can you share a link?


I hope it wouldn't apply to dumping yard waste in one's own yard. The way the rule reads now, the language would have to change to allow disposal of one's own yard waste in one's own yard.


My yard waste (along with horse manure) is my compost pile, used to enhance the soil of my vegetable garden. No fertilizers (or pesticides) needed.


That may be, but read the language of the law as it currently exists. If they only add yard waste to the list of what's covered, you'd probably be in violation. I know I just drag large branches (whether they have fallen or I cut them off of trees) to one portion of my property and they degrade over time. If they don't change the language, you'd have to apply to Maryland to allow disposal of your yard waste on your own property.


It's not "dumping" if the yard waste is on your own property. Put it on someone else's property and its dumping.

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