Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced plans to explore potential vertical expansion of the Eastern Sanitary Landfill in White Marsh —which fulfills a key recommendation of the Baltimore County Solid Waste Work Group.
In combination with other ongoing waste diversion and sustainability efforts, the longevity of the only active County-owned landfill is now expected to be extended by decades—potentially past 2060.
“We have an ongoing commitment to environmental health in Baltimore County, and identifying a solution to appropriately dispose of waste without expanding the footprint of the landfill is ideal,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski.
“Reducing the amount of waste going into our landfills is a priority, and we encourage all residents to become strong stewards of our shared environment by taking advantage of our recycling services and to help keep our communities clean and green.”
The County currently operates three facilities where County residents can take residential trash and recyclables; Eastern Sanitary Landfill (ESL), the Central Acceptance Facility (CAF) in Cockeysville and the Western Acceptance Facility (WAF) in Halethorpe.
In 2021, the Olszewski administration’s Solid Waste Work Group released their final report outlining recommendations for improving the County’s solid waste collection and disposal system and reducing the overall volume of trash produced in Baltimore County.
Previous County estimates anticipated that ESL would reach capacity by 2027.
After an updated review of recent tonnage, and as a result of ongoing waste diversion efforts, including the ongoing transfer of materials, Baltimore County now anticipates that ESL is currently on track to reach capacity by approximately 2040.
A key recommendation of the Solid Waste Work Group’s report encouraged the County to explore potential vertical expansion of the Eastern Sanitary Landfill to enhance the landfill’s longevity with minimal environmental or community impact.
The proposed potential vertical expansion announced today would change the current permitted height of the landfill from 192 feet to 230 feet — adding over three million tons of additional capacity — without changing the landfill’s physical footprint at the site.
“At the Department of Public Works & Transportation, we recognize the pivotal role of efficient waste management in safeguarding public health and preserving the environment,” said Baltimore County Department of Public Works and Transportation Director D’Andrea Walker.
“With the expansion of the Eastern Sanitary Landfill, we are not only undertaking a significant infrastructure initiative but also making a long-term commitment to our community. This expansion ensures that we will continue to focus on sustainable waste management, effectively addressing the needs of our community for the next several decades.”
The proposed potential vertical expansion aligns with the County’s continued commitment to long-term efficient and environmentally responsible waste management practices and is the latest effort from the Olszewski administration to modernize practices and improve waste diversion in recent years, including:
- Expanded Baltimore County’s electronics recycling program;
- Launched a new textile recycling program
- Signed bipartisan legislation to prohibit the distribution of single-use plastic checkout bags at the point of sale;
- Required all separate yard material collection set-outs to be placed in paper bags
- Restarted glass recycling after the practice was discontinued by a prior administration; and
- Piloted a new program to distribute high-quality trash carts for neighborhoods that currently receive bi-weekly trash pick-ups.
As part of the permitting approval process for this vital update, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) will host a series of public meetings regarding the planned expansion.
Those dates are expected to be announced later this year following MDE review of the County’s proposed expansion.
For questions about the program, please contact Baltimore County Department of Public Works and Transportation officials at firstname.lastname@example.org.