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Management Plans

Historical Overview

In the April 16, 1963 Commissioners of St. Mary's County minutes, eight (8) Public Trash Disposal Areas were identified. Historically, contracts with private landowners were negotiated on an annual basis with built in renewal options as a means for handling solid waste in the County. Eventually, the Mechanicsville (Half Way House), Old Sand Gates, Maddox and Compton (off of MD Route 243) Public Trash Disposal Areas were closed on March 1, 1971 as a result of the opening of the Oakville Sanitary Landfill. The current St. Andrews Area B opened in 1981, and Oakville sites remained the primary State permitted areas with an estimated refuse disposal rate of between 30-50 tons per day each. The St. Andrews Convenience Center was added by the County in the Summer of 1981. The Ridge (4.5 acres leased since July 1976) and Valley Lee (165.17 acres) County “Dump Sites” were finally closed and converted into convenience centers and equipped with compaction trailers in 1986. The Oakville Sanitary Landfill was closed in April 1983 and also converted into a convenience center. With the addition of the Clements Convenience Center in September 1988, the Clements Landfill Closure plans were began and ultimately completed in October, 1992; fifteen (15) acres of which was privately leased for grain and hay crop production. The illegal open dumping problems on Lockes Hill Road were addressed in the April 7, 1981 Solid Waste Management Plan via recommendation to build a 5th Election District (Charlotte Hall) convenience center which was eventually accomplished in 1992 on the current 118.65 acre site. The ultimate planned use of the Oakville (275.75 acres), Clements (47.13 acres) and St. Andrews (265.09 acres) sites is to provide expanded recreation and park facilities.

St. Mary’s County Buy Recycled Policy

The Buy Recycled Policy represents a philosophical and fiscal commitment to the acquisition and use of recycled content products purchased while in the service of citizens. It recognizes a continuing need to be environmentally responsible for the current generation and generations of the future. The County has an obligation to serve as a positive example, a model, and a leader in this interest for other private and public institutions to follow.

All County Departments shall maximize opportunities to reduce the amount of solid waste they generate, to recover as many materials for recycling from their operations as possible, and to maximize the procurement of recycled products.

The benefits of recycling are proven to:

  • Reduce the need for new/additional solid waste disposal facilities
  • Prevent emissions of many air and water pollutants
  • Save energy
  • Supply valuable raw materials to industry
  • Create jobs
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emission
  • Stimulate the development of greener technologies
  • Conserve resources for our children’s future


The County will seek to buy and use products, needed for the service of its citizens, made with recycled materials if the items are reasonably competitive with non-recycled products, and meet or exceed the quality specifications expected of comparable products. Product performance including; ease of use, durability, maintenance and performance level should be taken into consideration.

Departments who purchase goods are required to make every effort to identify recycled products and communicate to their distributors the desire to purchase, first and foremost, recycled materials when they fall within the required cost and quality specification.


Environmentally responsible – buying products and using products that have minimal impact on the environment through their composition and recyclability.

Fiscally responsible – the cost factor or purchaser price for recycled products, or more environmentally responsible items, should be consistent with suggested variance of 10-15% above the market expense for similar non-recycled items.

Recycled materials – products made with an identifiable percentage (1-100%) of post-consumer material or of discarded virgin material salvaged from the solid waste stream. High post-consumer content products – those with a minimum of 30% post-consumer content, are considered better environmental purchases than their virgin counterparts.

Waste reduction – the act of avoiding, eliminating and reducing the amount of solid waste generated at the source.

Comprehensive Solid Waste Management & Recycling Plan.

Environmental Article, Title 9, Subtitle 5, of the Annotated Code of Maryland and Title 26, Subtitle 03, Chapter 03, of the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), requires that counties in Maryland maintain current, comprehensive solid waste management plans that cover at least the succeeding ten-year period. The County's first plan was prepared by a consultant in response to the State's requirement to have a formal plan in place by January 1, 1974. The resulting Plan was intended to cover the ten-year planning period between 1974 and 1985. The previous plan was adopted by the Commissioners of St. Mary's County on May 9, 1995 and approved by the Maryland Department of the Environment on June 1, 1995. A Public Hearing was held on September 26, 2006 for the required update to the plan, which was adopted by the Commissioners of St. Mary's County on October 24, 2006 and approved by the State on December 11, 2006. The approved Solid Waste Management & Recycling Plan can be reviewed on-line.

The plan is divided into chapters which discuss the following solid waste management issues; citizen input, legislative and governmental considerations, demographic and geographic considerations, existing processing and disposal systems, solid waste collection/processing and disposal in the next ten years, zoning requirements and the siting of new facilities, and needed changes in County plans and programs. Copies of the Plan area available at the Department of Public Works & Transportation or by viewing the Comprehensive Solid Waste Management and Recycling Plan. All proposed solid waste and recycling facilities must apply for an amendment to the Plan by completing the Application Form.

Recycling Plan

In 1988, the Maryland State Legislature passed the Maryland Recycling Act (House Bill 714) in an effort to address the State’s diminishing landfill capacity and the need for a comprehensive recycling strategy. The Act required that St. Mary’s County adopt a Recycling Plan by July 1, 1990 to reduce its solid waste stream by 15% through recycling and reuse. In addition, the Act required that the Recycling Plan be implemented by January 1, 1994. The current plan was adopted and amended by the Commissioners of St. Mary's County and subsequently approved by the Maryland Department of the Environment on November 18,1991. The plan is divided into chapters, which discuss the following recycling issues; current collection and processing systems, marketing of recyclable materials, regional planning and implementation, the need for public informational programs and various financing alternatives. The Plan has been incorporated into the Solid Waste Management & Recycling Plan.

Rules and Regulations

Under Article 25 of the Annotated Code of Maryland the County Commissioners are empowered to prescribe and enforce Solid Waste Rules and Regulations concerning the operation and manner of use of their solid waste disposal areas and facilities. The first set of rules and regulations became effective on March 1, 1971 and were subsequently amended on August 1, 1991; August 12, 1996; March 9, 1998; May 25, 2004; and May 23, 2006. The resulting Resolution describes operations, permitting, acceptable and non-acceptable waste and establishes the formal fee schedule for the disposal of material at all the County operated facilities. No scavenging or loitering is permitted. Copies of the original documents are available at the Department of Public Works & Transportation. Call us at (301) 863-8400, email us, or fax your questions to (301) 863-8810.