Report: Baltimore’s Fair Development Plan for Zero Waste

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance worked with Zero Waste Associates to prepare Baltimore’s Fair Development Plan for Zero Waste for United Workers of Baltimore. The plan was released by United Workers, based in the Curtis Bay section of south Baltimore on February 22, 2020. An enthusiastic audience made up of hundreds of community, health, and environmental activists from across the city attended the launch event, along with five members of the Baltimore City Council: Council President Brandon Scott, Vice President Sharon Middleton, and members Ed Reisinger, Mary Pat Clarke, Kristerfer Burnett and Shannon Sneed. 

Read the full report here. 

The presentation of the report and videos was led by United Workers’ young activists, who were also essential in stopping a planned 4,000 ton-per-day garbage incinerator in Curtis Bay in 2016. That extraordinary victory lead to the mobilization of the entire city to focus on shutting down the existing garbage incinerator in downtown Baltimore; a city that is among the highest rates of breathing related diseases in the country. The Baltimore incinerator causes $55 million annually in health problems.  

The plan provides a step by step guide to transitioning the city away from incineration and toward recycling, composting and reuse, which will expand the economy by 1,800 jobs within two years. The United Workers Fair Development Plan is a Zero Waste Plan based on community goals and aspirations. 

ILSR has been working with many agencies and organizations in Baltimore for the past decade, including close partnerships with United Workers, the Baltimore Office of Sustainability, the Baltimore Compost Collective and Filbert Street Garden, located in Curtis Bay. 

Download the Report


The data and materials management analysis in the report were prepared by Zero Waste Associates and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Follow the ILSR on Twitter and Facebook and, for monthly updates on our work, sign-up for our ILSR general newsletter.

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Neil Seldman

Neil Seldman, Ph.D, directs the Waste to Wealth Initiative. He specializes in helping cities and businesses recover increasing amounts of materials from the waste stream and add value to the local economy through new processing and manufacturing facilities. He is a co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.