Event Recycling

In 2015, the State of Maryland enacted legislation that requires recycling services to be provided at special events that include temporary or periodic use of a public street, publicly owned site, facility, or park, serve food or drink, and are expected to have 200 or more persons in attendance. All events meeting these qualifications and occurring after October 1, 2015 must provide recycling services as detailed below. 

The Harford County Solid Waste Management Plan has been amended to reflect the new State requirements.

Requirements for recycling

Each special event organizer will need to address the following minimum requirements:

  1. At a minimum, collected recyclables must include acceptable plastic, metal, and glass containers and acceptable paper products.
  2. Recycling containers must be immediately adjacent to trash receptacles.
  3. Recycling containers must be clearly distinguished from trash containers by color and/or signs.
  4. Ensure that all recyclable materials deposited into recycling containers at the special event are collected for recycling.
  5. Event organizers must provide food scrap recycling if feasible.
  6. Upon request by the Harford County Office of Recycling, either before or after the event, each responsible party shall submit a report detailing the recycling plan, the quantity of recyclables removed, and the disposition of the material.


The county has the right to inspect any special event property subject to the event recycling requirements. Any person who violates the requirements may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $200 per day of each day that a violation continues.

Food scrap composting

Food scrap recycling, or composting, is an area of growing interest. Special event organizers are expected to consider the feasibility of including food scrap recycling at their event. The following links provide a summary of food scrap composting options in Harford County.

Commercial food waste composters in Harford County

Veterans Compost

Food waste composting resources

Compost Challenge Resources
US Composting Council
Please feel free to contact the Office of Recycling at 410-638-3417 or email for more assistance.