OCMD FAQ

Go Green OC encourages you to do your own research and educate yourself. 

The Town Of Ocean City has been incredibly supportive and open to discussions with the #GoGreenOC campaign. We are excited to work with Mayor Rick Meehan who is passionate and dedicated to making Ocean City a better place to live. Let’s add to his positive legacy and work together to find solutions that bring a better balance.
— Go Green OC


What does Ocean City do to be "green"?
We could not be more proud of our resort town!  They do a lot and should be applauded for such incredible work:
• Storm Drain Cleaning, Beach Cleaning (cost of almost $1 million!), Street Sweeping - year round efforts
Beautification Committee
• Established a volunteer-based Dune Patrol, where residents clean and inspect their local dunes year-round and are part of bi-annual beach clean ups.
• Hosting volunteer beach cleanups
• Partners in Coastal Bays Program
• Developed a Homeowner’s Guide to the Coastal Bays, including topics such as Green Gardening and Native Planting, recycling rules, and healthy housekeeping practices.
• Citywide clean up in Spring and Fall (picked up for free!) - Cost $200K
• Pickup white goods (refrigerators, washing machines, etc)
• Installation of LED lighting throughout the town
• Conducted energy audits on a dozen town buildings in 2015.
• 20% of the town's electric power supply comes from renewable sources. (100% is renewable energy)
• Retrofit Program for existing stormwater infrastructure
• Member of the Maryland Green Registry
• Run a Green Team (see below) to focus on environmental issues
You can find more here and here.

What is the Green Team?
The Coastal Resources Legislative Committee (or Green Team) was established in 2001 as a forum to help keep the Mayor and City Council informed of issues and concerns that would impact the environmental and natural resources of the Town. Anyone can attend. We attend every meeting.

Does Ocean City Maryland currently participate in traditional recycling (cans, paper, glass, etc)?
No.  Recycling was discontinued in 2009 after the financial crisis.  It was

Is Ocean City's recycling website accurate? (Link Here)
Absolutely not.  The very first line of the website states "A unique means of landfill avoidance" - this is a lie.  Incinerating trash creates toxic ash landfills (worse than regular landfills).  They also state that they "chose to make beneficial reuse of the waste for electricity generation".  This is a misleading statement.  When they "generate electricity" they create tons of air pollution and hazardous ash.  That's only the beginning.  

How much did it cost to run a recycling program in Ocean City?
FY2009 actual cost = $1,493,394.73

Was the recycling program single or dual stream?
Dual

How did Ocean City collect recyclables (2009)?
Seven days a week for commercial bars/restaurants; residential/condos 5 days/week

If they don't participate in traditional recycling, where does the trash go?
Since 2010, nearly 90+% of their trash is sent off to be incinerated by a company called Covanta 4Recovery.  Read more about this particular Incinerator here. About 33,800 tons of solid waste was processed by Covanta from Ocean City in 2017 and less than one percent is landfilled.

Does Ocean City have any recycling equipment left over?
Yes, they have a $250,000 cardboard bailer in storage.

How much does Ocean City pay to incinerate trash?
$64.18/ton.  About 33,800 tons of solid waste was processed by Covanta from Ocean City in 2017 costing roughly $2,170,000.

When does the contract with Covanta expire?
12/31/2021

Tell me about the trash incinerator that Ocean City uses.
You can read more here. It’s the largest trash incinerator in the nation, and lacks two of the four main pollution control devices that most incinerators have, making it the largest air polluter in the City of Chester, PA and the third largest air polluting facility in the 5-county Philadelphia metropolitan region.  The waste is used to generate electricity (watch a video to learn more).

What do they do with the ash from incinerators?
Ash goes to the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority’s Rolling Hills Landfill in Berks County, PA. 10% by volume. 30% by weight. Learn more about ash here.

If incineration is bad and landfills are bad, what is the right way to discard waste?
It's right here.  We want to cut use of landfills by at least 90%!  Communities like San Francisco are well on their way.  Our solutions involve maximizing source reduction, reuse, recycling, composting and putting an end to trash incineration. But we can't do it without volunteers and support from town officials.  

If you haven't already, learn more about the trash incinerator that burns your waste.

Ocean City is a wonderful place...with wonderful caring locals and officials. A place that balances well so many old and new fashioned ideals. Now it’s time for more balance...on environmentally friendly programs like recycling, supporting ocean friendly restauranting, and learning about the much higher bars of zero waste initiatives (video).

We encourage you to do your own research. Start with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance or Energy Justice NetworkContact us with questions.