To provide a cost-effective and environmentally sound way of managing office waste by reducing the amount of waste generated, maximizing the life of products by reusing whenever possible, recycling all acceptable materials, disposing only what is necessary and buying recycled products.

Carroll County Government is committed to the practices of this policy, which maximizes waste reduction, reuse, recycling and buying recycled products in its daily operations. Carroll County is also committed to being an example to its citizens and businesses in recycling and waste reduction efforts. Recycling is a key component of waste management and helps in the conservation of energy and natural resources while reducing waste.


It shall be the responsibility of each Carroll County employee and agency to actively participate in recycling and waste reduction programs and activities to reduce the amount of waste generated. This shall be achieved by:

Waste Prevention 

Waste prevention can be defined as an activity that prevents waste from being generated. Prevention of waste is the most cost-effective waste management strategy.
Employees are encouraged to follow the following guidelines for reducing waste, including but not limited to:
  • Purchase only the quantity of supplies needed, especially letterhead, envelopes, forms, and business cards.
  • Purchase durable products when applicable.
  • Use E-mail to send memos, messages, reports and other information.
  • Use routing slips to circulate memos, documents, announcements, journals, magazines, newsletters, etc.
  • Make double-sided copies.
  • Edit and proofread on the computer screen before printing. Use the special features provided by the computer before printing documents (i.e. Spelling, Grammar, Shrink to Fit, etc.).
  • Store files on computer disks or use disk management.
  • Use paper already used on one side for drafts and notes.
  • Keep mailing lists up-to-date.
  • Eliminate unnecessary forms, reports, and publications.
  • Share within Bureaus or Departments; journals, magazines, newspapers, and newsletters instead of ordering multiple copies.
  • Post announcements on common bulletin board.
  • Remove name from unwanted or duplicate mailing lists.
  • Work with vendors to ship materials in less, returnable, or recyclable packaging.

Purchase products that can be reused rather than those designed for one-time use. Whenever practical, exercise the following guidelines:

  • Use reusable cups or mugs instead of disposable.
  • Reuse envelopes, file folders, dividers and binders.
  • Reuse out-dated letterhead to print drafts or for notepaper.


Recycling is the process of re-manufacturing materials collected from the waste stream to make new products. Recycling offers a way to avoid disposing of waste that cannot be prevented. County Government can recycle all waste paper except for carbon paper, old blueprints, laminated paper, or any heavily soiled paper.

All County Agencies and employees are required to participate in the County’s Single Stream Recycling Program, which may change from time to time depending on markets and resources, without further amendment of this policy provided advance notice is given to County agencies and employees.

Acceptable for Recycling:

  • Computer, Copy and Fax Paper
  • Files and Folders, Dividers (no plastic index tabs)
  • Sticky Notes
  • Paperback Books
  • Chipboard (lightweight cardboard)
  • Magazines and Journals, Catalogs
  • Flyers, Brochures, Rack Cards
  • Ledger Paper
  • Colored Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Telephone Directories
  • Newspaper
  • All Paper Envelopes (including window)
  • Narrow Neck Plastic Bottles #1-#7
  • Wide mouth containers (yogurt, cottage cheese type)
  • Aseptic packaging (juice and soup boxes)
  • Gable top containers (milk and juice cartons)
  • All Glass Food and Beverage Containers
  • Aluminum and Bi-metal Cans

All of the above can be placed commingled in the recycling bin. Beverage and food containers must be emptied and lids and tops can be left on plastic containers.

In addition to the above list, County agencies are encouraged to reuse/recycle, office furniture, equipment, car/truck tires, car batteries, cell phones, toner cartridges, rechargeable batteries, scrap metal, motor oil, antifreeze, yard trimmings, etc.

Buy Recycled Products

Any successful program for recycling and waste reduction requires not only the collection of recyclable materials, but also must include the purchase of recycled and recyclable products in order to stimulate the markets, thereby, effectively closing the recycling loop.

Whenever practical and economical, County departments and agencies are encouraged to purchase recycled products. The Bureau of Purchasing will participate in regional and state programs for purchasing products made from recycled materials. 

The following agencies shall assist in the support and promotion of County’s recycling and waste reduction efforts as described below:

Recycling Operation - Provide promotional and educational information to be distributed via e-mail, Intranet reminders, employee newsletters, and paycheck inserts.

General Services – To provide proper receptacles for waste and recycling and to instruct custodial staff on proper recycling procedures.

Human Resources – Shall include recycling program literature in new employee information packets and shall refer to the County’s Recycling Policy during new employee orientation sessions.

Purchasing Office – Shall assist County agencies on specifications for recycled content products whenever practical and cost-effective. Purchasing will also assist in locating catalogs and information for recycled content products and supplier options.