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1. Collection and Marketing
In 2019, the Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 370, Environment-Recycling-Office Buildings, requiring the collection of recyclable materials from office buildings that have 150,000 square feet or greater of office space. Per Section 9-1714 of the Environment Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, each owner of the participating office building must provide, by October 1, 2021, recycling receptacles for the collection of paper and cardboard, metals, and plastic materials and for the removal for further recycling of recyclable materials deposited into the recycling receptacles.
Office building owners will be responsible for providing all containers necessary to fulfill recycling requirements throughout their buildings, as well as, determining the collection schedule directly with the collection contractor. Distinctive colors and /or markings of recycling containers should be provided to avoid contamination. Office building owners must ensure collection and transportation of recyclable materials from office building locations to markets. Owners and or tenants will be responsible for placing recyclables in building recycling bins prior to their removal on the scheduled pick up day.
Stakeholders include the owners and tenants of applicable office buildings within Wicomico County. Those buildings would have to total 150,000 square feet or greater of office space.
At the time of the implementation of this requirement, six applicable properties were identified through SDAT records. One of the properties is owned by Wicomico County Government and therefore is already participating in a County operated recycling program.
4. Schedule of Implementation
October 1, 2021 OBR plan implementation date. Wicomico County will notify the five remaining office building owners regarding recycling. Office building owners will begin to educate workers/tenants about the program and the law. Office buildings owners will coordinate with tenants to reach an agreement as to where to place receptacles and who will be hired to collect and recycle all recycling materials.
On or before October 1, 2021, office building owners must have recycling services in place and operational in order to meet the requirements of the office building recycling program.
5. Program Monitoring
Monitoring of recyclable materials bins will be carried out by office building owners and/or tenants. Office building owners will be required to report yearly recycling totals to the Wicomico County Recycling Coordinator.
The County is not required to manage or enforce the recycling activities of an office building. If necessary, the County office of law will be consulted on any enforcement action contemplated as provided in the State Law. In accordance with Section 9-507(a) of the Environment Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, the draft text of the OBR plan, with edits specified, is tentatively approved.