Special Events Recycling Permit

Understanding the Law

We all know recycling is good for the environment, it saves natural resources, conserves water and energy and can reduce costs associated with trash collection and disposal. To continue the recycling trend and the environmental benefits, the state of Maryland has enacted a new provision requiring recycling at special events that: 

  • Include temporary or periodic use of a public street, publicly owned facility or public park; and
  • Serve food or drink; and
  • Are expected to have 200 or more persons in attendance. A complete reading of the law's text can be found by online by searching for the MD Annotated Code, Environment Section 9-1712.

What Gets Recycled? 

The special event’s recycling plan must include collection of all basic recyclable materials present. If food will be served at the event, organizers must assess the availability of food waste recycling, and if available, provide it.

What you can and can't recycle image.

The Calvert County Recycling Guide (PDF) informs residents of the wide array of recyclable materials.

Event Organizers’ Responsibilities 

If the special event meets the above criteria, event organizers are required to apply for a Special Events Recycling Permit. The permit ensures that event organizers have appropriate plans in place to offer recycling at their special event. In addition to other conditions required as part of a special events or other permit, organizers need to: 

  • Provide for any labor or equipment necessary to carry out recycling at the event. 
  • Provide a recycle bin adjacent to each trash can at the event. • Ensure that recycling and trash containers are easily distinguished by color and/or signage. 
  • Ensure that the collected recyclable materials are processed for recycling.
  • Pay any costs associated with recycling at the event.

 What Steps to Take Before and After the Event

In order to successfully incorporate recycling into your event, be sure to follow these easy steps: 

  1. Be prepared. Determine the types of materials generated at your event and appoint a coordinator to train volunteers and work with vendors before, during and after the event. 
  2. Decide how recycling will be processed after the event. Will you transport recyclables to the Appeal Landfill for delivery to a processing facility? Or will you contract a recycling hauler to collect materials and deliver them for recycling? Check with the venue/site owner to determine if they offer recycling amenities. 
  3. Apply for the permit. Once a need is determined, apply for a Special Events Recycling Permit. As part of the application process, be prepared to pay a bond, which will be refunded after all event reporting is complete. 
  4. Properly organize recycling stations. Label all recycling containers to indicate the appropriate materials to be placed inside for recycling. Place recycling containers next to all trash containers to minimize contamination and maximize participation. 
  5. Process event close out. Within 30 days of the end of the event, organizers must report the weight/volume of trash and each recyclable material that was collected at the event using the county provided tonnage report form. After this report is received and reviewed, the bond that was paid prior to the issuance of the permit will be refunded to the event organizer. 

Quick Contact Numbers

Division Number
Solid Waste 410-326-0210
Public Works Main Line 410-535-2204 or 410-535-2205