Recycling company sued for open dumping in Prince George’s County

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Maryland Attorney general sues World Recycling Company in Prince George’s, asking a judge to impose fines up $50,000 a day in fines.

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. — Editor’s note: The video above references illegal dumping occurring in D.C.

It’s called gorgeous Prince George’s, but the county has struggled for years with illegal dumping.

Now Maryland’s new attorney general has sued a local recycling company, asking a judge to order it to stop tossing garbage next to a stream and Columbia Park Road in Cheverly.

Attorney General Anthony Brown filed a complaint on Jan. 10 in Prince George’s County Circuit Court against World Recycling Company (WRC) requesting civil penalties and an injunction ordering WRC and three related entities to clean-up open dumps and piled up solid waste.

WRC began operating in 2014 as a recycling sorting and processing facility at locations in Cheverly and Baltimore City.

Brown says the dumping has been going on for years now, accusing World Recycling Company of defying the Department of Environment and dumping garbage without a permit, even after entering into a consent decree in 2018, when it promised to clean it up.

“World Recycling Company created an environmental hazard by operating open dumps of solid waste, violating Maryland’s environmental laws and, given the locations of the two facilities, disproportionately affecting overburdened communities and communities of color. It needs to be held accountable,” AG Brown said. “We are asking the Court to order WRC to cease violating the law, remedy the disaster they created, and make sure they are fully compliant with the law going forward.” 

The complaint requests the court to impose civil penalties on WRC for violation of Maryland’s environmental laws and regulations, permit conditions, and the terms of the original Consent Order, according to the attorney general. It also seeks an injunction to compel WRC to stop open dumping, clean-up both Maryland locations of all solid waste, and upgrade its operations to bring them into compliance with the State and Federal law.

On Tuesday afternoon, a driver was still using the site as a waste transfer station. 

“I’m just a driver,” the man responded, after locking the gate.

Brown said World Recycling is breaking state laws by operating an open dump; handling scrap tires without a license; running a waste transfer station without a permit; and polluting the waters of nearby Beaverdam Creek.

“I feel like, yeah, it’s bad,” said Leslie Chomaz, a babysitter who was waiting for a bus just outside the fence around the property. “It’s better to live in a nice environment.” 

World Recycling Company has also run a site in Baltimore since 2021, where state lawyers say it’s illegally accepting hazardous medical waste; polluting the water; and failing to control litter and rodents.

Given the two locations, Attorney General Brown says the company is “disproportionately affecting overburdened… communities of color.”

The AG’s office is asking a Prince George’s County judge to impose fines of as much as $50,000 a day until the company resolves the issues.

When WUSA9 called, someone who picked up the phone at World Recycling promised to pass along a message, but at the time of publication, we had yet to get any response from the company.

Watch Next: DC working to track down illegal dumpers

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Recycling company sued for open dumping in Prince George’s County

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