Baltimore - Transforming Recycling for Good

4 out of 10 Americans cannot recycle as easily as they can throw something away.


We can and must do better.

$10 Million

public-private partnership

200k Recycling Carts

being delivered

609k Residents

in Baltimore

80% More Recyclables

per household

Through a groundbreaking $10 million public-private partnership, brought together by The Recycling Partnership with the City of Baltimore, Closed Loop Partners, the Baltimore Civic Fund, the American Beverage Associations’ Every Bottle Back Initiative, Dow, and Rehrig Pacific, we have launched the nation’s largest project to modernize recycling collection in the City of Baltimore.

The delivery of curbside recycling carts, an effort to bring equitable curbside recycling access – where people can recycle as easily as they can throw something away – to the City’s 609,000 residents will provide safer, more effective recycling and improved collection infrastructure, increasing recycling output per household by 80%, and generate more than 40 million pounds of new recyclables each year.


Find out how your community can transform recycling for good.

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On September 30, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott kicked off the delivery of curbside recycling carts for nearly 200,000 households.

Leveling Up the U.S. Recycling System

In its recent Paying It Forward report, The Recycling Partnership estimates that 40% of Americans or 40 million American households cannot recycle as easily as they can throw something away. By delivering a recycling cart to every eligible household, this project’s collaborative solution accelerates closing that gap for the eighth-largest city in the United States without universal cart recycling access.

“This unique public-private partnership has culminated in The Recycling Partnership’s largest recycling grant to date, providing an innovative solution that will meaningfully increase recycling rates and serve as a model for other cities,” said Cody Marshall, Chief Community Strategy Officer at The Recycling Partnership. “Cart-based recycling collection is a foundational element to any community’s recycling and sustainability program. Providing curbside recycling carts to all households makes waste diversion convenient for all while streamlining program operations – the definition of resiliency and sustainability.”

Today, Americans view recycling as a valuable and essential public service. When people are educated about how to recycle the right things the right way and follow through, it supports local jobs, creates a valuable supply of materials for new products and packaging, and protects our environment, including supporting clean air and water. The Partnership estimates that leveling up the residential recycling system to provide equitable recycling access and education for all can deliver more than $30 billion in economic benefits over 10 years, including nearly 200,000 additional jobs. 

Baltimore is just one example of how The Recycling Partnership continues to support equitable recycling access nationwide. This first-of-its-kind public-private partnership is an innovative solution that will serve as a model for other communities.

Explore Available Recycling Grants

Find out how to transform recycling for good in your community by exploring our available grants.

The Partnership has worked with communities nationwide through its Residential Curbside Recycling Cart Grants. These grants help transform community recycling programs by offering financial and technical assistance to support the implementation of cart-based curbside recycling.

Meeting a Key Recommendation in the City’s Plan

The delivery of free recycling carts was one of the key recommendations in the city’s Less Waste, Better Baltimore Plan, which identified options for improving solid waste diversion, recycling, and disposal. The City’s transition to automated recycling collection, a process that does not require collection staff to leave the truck’s cab, with larger recycling carts enables safer and more efficient collection, reduces the amount of manual labor needed, helps to prevent injury to collection staff, and ensures continuity of service during labor shortages, while minimizing waste in waterways.

“Making Baltimore more sustainable through diverting waste from our landfills and incineration is key as we lay the groundwork for future generations,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “By providing our residents with the proper resources and education thanks to this partnership, I know that more Baltimore households will do their part to reduce waste and recycle.”

“The Department of Public Works is excited to support this new initiative to increase recycling and waste diversion in Baltimore City,” said Baltimore City Department of Public Works Director Jason W. Mitchell. “We are grateful for the Mayor’s vision of a cleaner and more equitable Baltimore and the collaboration between Baltimore Civic Fund, The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners to make this a reality for the residents of our city. Essential to this critical partnership is the education component, which provides residents with helpful tips on proper recycling.”

Through the transformation of its recycling program, the City of Baltimore will divert millions of pounds of valuable materials from landfills and incinerators, supporting greater environmental justice and the City’s long-term plans to achieve zero waste.