County Executive Craig Announces
Mutually beneficial plan solves Harford’s solid waste disposal dilemma
From Harford County government:
Harford County Executive David R. Craig has announced a long-term agreement with Baltimore County that will allow the disposal of solid waste from Harford County customers at the Eastern Sanitary Landfill off Route 40 near White Marsh.
“I am pleased to announce that after nearly six years of careful study, analysis, and negotiation, Harford County has entered into an agreement with Baltimore County for the disposal of trash and solid waste. We believe the agreement is mutually beneficial to both Baltimore and Harford Counties, and I thank all parties involved for their diligence.”
Pursuant to the agreement with Baltimore County, private businesses that collect trash in Harford County will dispose of solid waste of the Eastern Landfill. The facility will not be open to drop-offs by Harford County residents, but rather only to private trash contractors. Harford County residents may continue to drop-off their trash and recyclables at the Harford Waste Disposal Center on Scarboro Road in Street after this arrangement commences.
Currently, Harford County disposes of solid waste at two disposal facilities: the Harford Waste Disposal Center on Scarboro Road in northern Harford County and the Waste-to-Energy plant off Magnolia Road in southern Harford County. The United States Army’s Steam Purchase Agreement for the Waste-to-Energy facility at the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground expires in March 2016. The Army previously notified Harford County officials of its intention not to renew the agreement and to cease operations at the facility in 2016.
Additionally, disposal of the county’s solid waste at the Harford Waste Disposal Center is not a sustainable solution, as there is insufficient capacity remaining at the landfill to meet future needs.
As a result of the pending shut-down of the Waste-to-Energy facility and limited life span of the Harford Waste Disposal Center, the Harford County Department of Public Works was tasked several years ago with developing a long-term plan and solution for the county’s solid waste management. The Department of Public Works explored various options and locations and the agreement with Baltimore County was chosen as the most cost effective and practical solution.
Commenting on the agreement, Tim Whittie, Director of the Harford County Department of Public Works said, “This agreement is the first step in moving toward a long-range plan for Harford County Solid Waste Management. Later this summer we will begin a Full Cost Accounting Study to help us determine our future needs and how to proceed from this point. The study will in essence help us in preparing a business plan for solid waste management for years to come.”
As currently planned, on or around March of 2016, the Harford Waste Disposal Center in Street will no longer accept solid waste from private trash companies. In the future the current landfill will be capped and closed. However, the homeowner convenience center and yard waste facility will continue to operate after the landfill closes. In addition, the county’s curbside single stream recycling program will continue, with that waste stream also being transported to Baltimore County for further processing.
The agreement with Baltimore County for use of the Eastern Sanitary Landfill in White Marsh means that the former Plecker Golf property located in the 800 block of Philadelphia Road in Joppa will not be used as a waste transfer station as had been proposed in the spring of 2012. The future use of the former Plecker property will be determined following an assessment of the future needs of the Department of Public Works and of the nearby community.
Commenting on the plan, Harford County Councilman Dion Guthrie (District A) said, “I fully support the decision that was reached by the Administration regarding our solid waste disposal. This option, as explained by the County Executive, alleviates a major concern for the residents of Joppa/Joppatowne and Edgewood.”
“This is an issue that we have been working on for a number of years and is definitely a win/win situation for all citizens,” Guthrie continued. “The eventual closing of the Waste-to-Energy facility in 2016 will be well received by all of the citizens along Route 152 and Fort Hoyle Roads. I would like to thank County Executive Craig, Public Works Director Tim Whittie, and all of the citizens in my district for their patience and assistance in getting us to this point.”
For more information, including answers to some frequently asked questions regarding this solid waste arrangement, visit the Harford County Government website at www.harfordcountymd.gov.