Calling on Community Stewards to Keep Worcester Clean

Worcester County Government is calling on all community stewards to partner with us, as we embark on a Keep Worcester Clean campaign. Our overall goal is to beautify Worcester County by keeping our county byways and unmanned recycling stations clean and litter free. Therefore, we are reaching out countywide to establish public and private partnerships to encourage community stewardship, to increase awareness about options available to the public for properly disposing of trash and recyclables, and to discourage illegal dumping by both residents and visitors.

Incidences of individuals who illegally dump trash, household furniture, and other debris at the unmanned recycling centers, along county roadways, and in other public places have increased in recent years. Cleanup efforts require substantial time, manpower, and resources, resulting in hefty costs. Ultimately, taxpayers must shoulder these costs. Litter dumped illegally on our roads, recycling centers, or anywhere in society other than designated sites, isn’t just an eyesore, it’s a hazard to the environment, the economy, and human health. Those who dump litter in recycling bins spoil recycling efforts, as the aluminum cans, newspapers, cardboard, and plastics, once contaminated by litter, are no longer recyclable and must instead be landfilled. Thus, the efforts of the county and all community stewards to limit waste through responsible reuse are thwarted. So we’re asking you, our friends, our neighbors, our visitors to help us keep our communities clean.
 Here are a few quick tips you can implement to help keep your community and all of Worcester County clean. 

  • Dispose of only approved recyclable items – plastics, cardboard, glass, metal cans, and papers/newspapers – at any of the county’s five unmanned recycling stations, which are located in Bishopville, Whaleyville, Ocean Pines, Walmart in Berlin, and Public Landing. 
  • Hire a private trash hauler to pick up your trash or purchase a homeowner convenience center (HOCC) permit. For the HOCC permit cost of $100, which is for the first two vehicles in the same household, residents and property owners may dispose of household trash at any of the HOCCs, which are located in Berlin, the Central Landfill in Newark, Pocomoke, and Snow Hill. 
  • Properly secure truck or cargo loads containing trash and debris. 
  • Report the illegal dumping of trash, household furnishings, and other debris at recycling stations and littering along county roadways to the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office or your local law enforcement agency.

A 2009 “Littering behavior in America” report conducted by Keep America Beautiful found that “The vast majority of people properly dispose of trash in receptacles.” What is startling is the finding that one in five trash disposals, or 17%, ended up as litter that was dumped intentionally. Worcester County Government is working to increase public awareness about littering and its damaging effects and to reduce or eliminate instances of illegal dumping and littering.To learn more about recycling and solid waste operations in Worcester County, visit http://www.co.worcester.md.us/departments/publicworks/waste.