Green Operations at DGS


DGS owns and manages 55 state facilities with 6.2 million square feet of space. Both the Jessup State Office Complex and Bel Air’s Mary Risteau District Court and Multi-Service Center, which are owned and managed by DGS, earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star certification in 2013. The designation means the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency.

DGS is competing in the ​EPA's 2014 Energy Star National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. The DGS Team will battle it out against other participants across the country to see who can reduce their energy and water use the most.​ For energy saving tips click here.​


Please ​see the DGS Printing Best Practices for a detailed list of settings and actions to conserve paper, toner and energy in the office. This document also contains instructions for secure printing of documents on shared printers. This presentation also includes an overview of print reduction and paper conservation efforts at DGS.

Recycling FAQs

What items can be placed in the recycle bin?


There are generally 5 materials that are accepted for recycling:


Plastic: Bottles and jugs (with lid attached)

Paper:  Copy paper, folders, notepads, mail, and newspaper

Cardboard: Food and beverage cartons, flattened cardboard boxes

Aluminum: Food and beverage cans

Glass:  Bottles and jars (without lid attached)


In order for these items to be accepted at the recycling facility, it must be clean and emptied of food and liquid before placing it in the recycle bin.  Check with your local county/municipality for specific guidance. ​

What items are not allowed in the recycle bin?


One of the greatest challenges to improving recycling rates is contamination.  This occurs when non-recyclables are placed in the recycle bin, or when recyclable items are not cleaned prior to disposing.  Contaminated loads slow the production at the Material Recovery Facility and may result in the landfill if it cannot be recovered.  It is important to know the accepted materials at your local MRF and check periodically if anything has changed.


 Keep these items out of your recycle bin and avoid contamination:


  • Food scraps or food wrappers
  • Plastic bags and film
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Paper towels, napkins, and tissue
  • Paper cups and plates
  • Shredded paper
  • Electronics, cables, and headphones
  • Hoses


    For more information about contamination, view Montgomery County's DEP page here.​

How do I recycle used electronics?


Some items cannot be thrown in the trash nor the recycle bin because they contain hazardous chemicals.  This requires a more cautious approach to prevent these chemicals coming into contact with the soil and groundwater in the local community. 


For State Agencies, state-owned electronics and other items for disposal must be issued to the Department of General Services for recycling.  A DGS-950-9 form for Excess Property Disposal must be completed before being shipped.  The form can be found on the DGS inventory page here.


For homeowners, here are the steps you can take to ensure your electronics are handled responsibly:


  • Contact the manufacturer of the product and ask if they have take-back recycling programs.
  • Look up registered manufacturers for electronics in Maryland.  Many of the manufacturers have approved take-back programs for their products and will recycle your electronics for free.  Take-back services vary by the manufacturer, so it is recommended to call first.
  • Refer to the list of common retail stores that offer take-back programs for their electronics:
    • Apple
    • Best Buy
    • Staples
    • Epson
    • IBM
  • Check with your county recycling coordinator for acceptable nearby drop-off locations.​

How do I recycle dead batteries?


Batteries have toxic chemicals that must be contained so that contaminants do not leach into the environment.  To find battery recyclers located in Maryland that will handle them responsibly, refer to the list here to find your nearest location.  Please contact the company in advance before delivering materials.


In addition, there are retail stores that accept dry cell batteries (AA, AAA, C, D) for recycling:

  • Lowes
  • Home Depot
  • Walmart
  • Advance Auto Parts (for car batteries)
  • Staples


    Lastly, check with your county landfill in Maryland if they accept batteries.  Refer to the contact list here

How do I recycle bulky items like furniture, appliances, and mattresses?


For State agencies, all excess property must be sent to the Department of General Services for reuse/recycling.  Submission of an Excess Property Disposal form is required, and can be found here


The accepted bulky items for curbside collection vary by county, as well as the scheduled pick-up dates.  To request a bulk pick-up, call your county's customer service number to confirm it can be collected for recycling.  Search your local recycling program to find out which bulk items are accepted/not accepted.​

Does the county or city I live in have its own curbside recycling program?


Most of the counties in Maryland have their own recycling program for curbside collection.  It is important to understand the recycling standards in your local community because  recycling programs in Maryland are not uniform.  Each recycling program may  vary in what is accepted/not accepted in curbside recycling, the dates and times of residential collection, and the processes to follow for bulk pickup and special handling.


To find your city or county's recycling program, follow this link here.



​More information on waste diversion and recycling in Maryland can be found at MDE's website.


DGS’ Sustainability Unit identifies and prioritizes focus areas for Department sustainability efforts. This includes engaging leadership and staff to inspire sustainable practices and foster sustainability broadly across the Department; establishing goals and objectives for measuring the Department's sustainability performance; proposing and coordinating the development and implementation of sustainability programs and policies both internal to the Department and statewide, as appropriate; and monitoring sustainability indicators, such as resource use, waste and emissions generation and reduction, operational efficiency and social responsibility.​


The Secretary of DGS chairs the Maryland Green Purchasing Committee which was created by Chapter 593 of the Acts of 2010.

State law requires the purchase of recycled content paper and the use of biodiesel fuel or other biofuel; provides a price preference for locally grown foods and products made from recycled materials; provides a preference for mercury-free products and equipment; restricts uplight luminaires; and requires specification statements for coal in heating systems as well as for low noise level and energy efficient equipment.

More information on The Maryland Green Purchasing Committee can be found here.


The Office of Energy Performance and Conservation is responsible for implementing a variety of strategies with the goals of conserving energy, saving money, and protecting the environment.​

More information on the DGS Energy Office can be found here.

Green Buildings

The Maryland Green Building Act requires fully State-funded new construction and major renovation projects larger than 7,500 gross square feet to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification. This results in energy and water savings as well as healthier indoor and outdoor environments.

The Maryland Green Building Council, which is staffed and administered by DGS, was created by Chapters 115 and 116 of the Laws of Maryland and includes private sector as well as State agency membership. The Council makes recommendations about implementing the State’s High Performance Building Program, assists the Governor and General Assembly on green building legislation and works to promote green building throughout the government and private sector.

More information on The Maryland Green Building Council can be found here.

Real Estate

In 2013, DGS revised the "General Performance Standards & Specifications for Leased Space.” The new high efficiency and energy performance document mandates Energy Star rated equipment, high efficiency HVAC equipment with stated efficiency levels, requirements for lighting systems that meet the latest industry standards, upgraded plumbing for water conservation and commissioning of major systems by an independent third party to ensure that major building systems meet the respective design considerations after occupancy.

More information on DGS Real Estate operations can be found here.​

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The Maryland General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Audits operates a toll-free fraud hotline to receive allegations of fraud and/or abuse of State government resources. Information reported to the hotline in the past has helped to eliminate certain fraudulent activities and protect State resources.

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