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Maryland’s Solid Waste Statutes and Regulations As They Bear on Composting. 5/21/2009 Edward M. Dexter, P.G., Administrator, Solid Waste Program Maryland Department of the Environment. Section 9-101 of the Environment Article, Annotated Code of Maryland:.

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maryland s solid waste statutes and regulations as they bear on composting

Maryland’s Solid Waste Statutes and Regulations As They Bear on Composting

5/21/2009

Edward M. Dexter, P.G.,

Administrator, Solid Waste Program

Maryland Department of the Environment

section 9 101 of the environment article annotated code of maryland
Section 9-101 of the Environment Article, Annotated Code of Maryland:

(j)    (1)   “Solid waste” means any garbage, refuse, sludge, or liquid from industrial, commercial, mining, or agricultural operations or from community activities.

(2)   “Solid waste” includes:

(i)   Scrap tires as defined in § 9-201 of this title; and

(ii)   Organic material capable of being composted in accordance with Subtitle 17, Part III of this title.

(3)   “Solid waste” does not include:

(i)   Solid or dissolved material in domestic sewage or in irrigation return flows; or

(ii)   Compost as defined in § 9-1701 of this title.

env art section 9 204 d
Env. Art., Section 9-204(d):

“(d)   A person shall have a permit issued by the Secretary under this section before the person installs, materially alters, or materially extends a water supply system, sewerage system, or refuse disposal system.”

That means, before you even build the thing, or start doing it.

other pertinent statutes
Other Pertinent Statutes:
  • Permits for composting and distribution of any compost containing sewage sludge are required under Environment Article Sections 9-204 and 233;
  • Permits for composting Natural Wood Waste are required under EA Section 9-1708.
env art 9 1701 l m
Env. Art. 9-1701 (l) & (m):

(l)   “Recyclable materials” means those materials that:

(1)   Would otherwise become solid waste for disposal in a refuse disposal system; and

(2)   May be collected, separated, or processed and returned to the marketplace in the form of raw materials or products.

(m)    (1)   “Recycling” means any process in which materials that would otherwise become solid waste are collected, separated, or processed and returned to the marketplace in the form of raw materials or products.

(2)   “Recycling” includes composting.

yard waste composting laws
Yard Waste & Composting Laws:

From the Environment Article:

  • §9–1701.  …

(b)   “Compost” means the product of composting in accordance with the standards established by the Secretary of Agriculture under § 6–221 of the Agriculture Article.

(c)   “Composting” means the controlled biological decomposition of organic waste material in accordance with the standards established by the Secretary under this title.

(s)    (1)   “Yard waste” means organic plant waste derived from gardening, landscaping, and tree trimming activities.

(2)   “Yard waste” includes leaves, garden waste, lawn cuttings, weeds, and prunings.

yard waste composting laws7
Yard Waste Composting Laws:

From the Environment Article:

  • §9–1721.  Nothing in this part is intended to regulate or otherwise to interfere with the conduct of composting by a consumer or farmer for the production of safe compost to be used by the consumer or farmer for personal, household, family, or agricultural purposes.
  • §9–1722.  Any State or local unit responsible for the maintenance of public lands in the State, to the maximum extent practicable, shall give consideration and preference to the use of compost in any land maintenance activity that is to be paid for with public funds.
  • §9–1723.  (a)   All yard waste collected separately from other solid waste may be transported to a composting facility.
  • (b)   The composting facility may be located at a refuse disposal system.
  • §9–1724. An owner or operator of a refuse disposal system may not accept truckloads of separately collected yard waste for final disposal unless the owner or operator provides for the composting or mulching of the yard waste.
which composters needs a solid waste permit
Which Composters Needs A Solid Waste Permit?
  • Sewage Sludge Composting requires a sewage sludge utilization permit: COMAR 26.04.06, Sewage Sludge Management.
  • Natural wood waste composting (NWW) = stumps, brush, limbs, logs, etc. ground into wood chips and composted into mulch – requires a natural wood waste recycling permit: COMAR 26.04.09, Natural Wood Waste.
  • Commercial or domestic refuse generally does require a refuse disposal permit under COMAR 26.04.07 - Solid Waste Management.
which don t need a solid waste permit
Which DON’T need A Solid Waste Permit?
  • Yard waste composting = leaves, twigs, grass clippings and garden waste generally does not need a refuse disposal permit as long as no large wood is included (that needs a NWW Permit), and you have a market for it.
  • Food waste and manure MAY not need a refuse disposal permit, depends on what else is in it (packaging, pallets, etc.) and whether you have a market for it.
  • Purely governmental Natural Wood Waste operations are exempt from the permit requirements, but should follow the requirements of the regs.
bottom line
Bottom Line:
  • IF you are composting materials that would otherwise be a solid waste, AND you are able to return them to the market place in the form of a raw material or product, THEN you are a recycling facility, and don’t need a refuse disposal permit (although you might need something from Water or Air Management, depending exactly what you are doing).
  • HOWEVER, if the waste stream contains material that are not compostable, like a lot of glass, plastic, wood, metal, bone, etc., and you have to remove these materials to make your product marketable before or after you compost it, then you need a refuse disposal permit before you do it.
  • There are loopholes for on-farm composting , IF it’s just waste from onsite only; but if you accept waste from offsite then these apply.
md dept of agriculture regs
Md. Dept of Agriculture Regs:
  • MDA regulates the quality of compost and soil amendments offered for sale or distribution.
  • Ag Regs are at COMAR 15.18.04 Compost:

- Sets limits on chemical concentrations for General Use, Limited Use, and Restricted Use for a variety of heavy metals, and other parameters;

- requires registration, labeling, record-keeping and reporting.

- apply to both things that need a solid waste permit, and things that don’t.

  • Contact the Office of the State Chemist at MDA – see their website at

http://www.mda.state.md.us/plants-pests/state_chemist/

slide12

For all of MDE’s permit application requirements,see the Permit Guide on our website at http://www.mde.state.md.us/Permits/busGuide.aspSolid Waste Questions: 410 537-3318ALL of Maryland regulations can be viewed at COMAR Online:http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/

1800 Washington Boulevard | Baltimore, MD 21230-1718410-537-3000 | TTY Users: 1-800-735-2258www.mde.state.md.us