The Clean Water Blog

MOM's Organic Market Testifies why Burning Trash is Not Recycling

A huge thank you to Alexandra DySard of MOM's Organic Market who testified in support of SB304, which removes trash incineration from Maryland's recycling code, and shared their story.

RE: Support for SB0304 Maryland Recycling Act - Recyclable Materials and Resource Recovery Facilities - Alterations

January 21, 2021

Greetings, On behalf of MOM’s Organic Market I would like to urge a favorable vote on SB0304 the Maryland Recycling Act - Recyclable Materials and Resource Recovery Facilities - Alterations.

Until 2020, MOM's allowed customers to drop off plastic bags from other retailers for recycling. We paid a premium price to a private broker to recycle these bags on our customer’s behalf. It was in good faith that MOM’s and our customers believed that these bags were being recycled into other goods and products, thus completing the three arrow loop that is the meaning behind the recycling symbol.

After Operation National Sword became public knowledge in 2019 we pushed back on our waste broker asking specifically where our customer’s plastic bags were going for recycling. After much back and forth, we were told they were being burned at BRESCO for the entire length of our contract, and that Maryland’s recycling laws allowed them to do so. Currently, burning plastic bags in Maryland is considered a form of recycling.

We immediately broke ties with the broker and were forced to stop accepting plastic bags from customers. Had we known that the bags were getting incinerated, we would never have offered this service to customers and we would have used a different broker. Burning plastic is not how we at MOM’s define recycling.

As a local business I wanted to share how this bill and the needed alteration directly impacted us. We were purposefully misled because the way the current law is written allows for it.

Please stand with us and vote in favor for SB0304 the Maryland Recycling Act - Recyclable Materials and Resource Recovery Facilities - Alterations.

Sincerely,

Alexandra (Ali) DySard

Environmental & Partnership Manager

MOM's Organic Market