Millersville Landfill Cell 9 Volume Enhancements

The County’s General Development Plan (Plan2040) provides the framework to protect the natural environment, shape development, and ensure the planning efforts for essential public services are well reasoned and transparent to stakeholders. Plan2040 includes goals for various community services that are intended to address changing demographics and future development patterns. Among others, Plan2040 includes a very specific policy (HC9.2) to maximize the life expectancy of the Millersville Landfill and delay its replacement long into the future. This policy is reinforced by the County’s adopted 10 year Solid Waste Management Plan.

Since the Millersville Landfill and Resource Recovery Facility (MLFRRF) was opened in the mid-1970’s, it has operated under evolving local, state and federal regulatory requirements. It also operates in accordance with a Refuse Disposal Permit (RDP) issued by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) in five-year cycles.

Under the County’s current programs, the active Cell 9 disposal area at MLFRRF is expected to reach capacity in late 2048. To address the Plan2040 requirements, the County has studied ways to increase capacity using industry-accepted design standards, and without changing the overall 84 acre size of Cell 9. Additional capacity can safely be gained by increasing the landfill height, steepening the side slopes, modifying the methods used to construct stormwater controls and incorporating alternative materials into its final closure capping system.

The County hired an engineering consultant to assist in preparing a Permit Modification Application (Alteration), as required from the RDP Part IV.T, to pursue these volume-enhancing elements through MDE’s process. The current daily activities will not change at the landfill, however, this permit modification may extend the utility of Cell 9 beyond 2060. Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works (DPW) recently submitted Phase I of the Permit Modification Application to the RDP for the MLFRRF as issued by MDE.

The proposed Alteration will specifically include:

  • An increase of the final elevation from 244’ (msl) to 285’ (msl)
  • A steepening of the exterior side slopes from 3.5:1 to 3:1
  • A steepening of the interior slopes from 4:1 to 3:1
  • Changing the final stormwater benches from incised (cut in) to tack on benches
  • Utilizing an alternative closure cover (similar to synthetic turf) in lieu of a soil cap

The proposed Alteration does not include any change to the permitted footprint of Cell 9, and would provide an approximate increase of permitted capacity of 50% (from 8.5 million cubic yards to 12.8 million cubic yards). 

In conjunction with preparing the Alteration, the County’s engineering consultant will prepare engineering calculations to support the safety and feasibility of the volume enhancements and also provide visual representations (Line of Sight Renderings) of what may be expected from the proposed changes from vantage points surrounding the Landfill. The Line of Sight Renderings accounted for both summer and winter conditions (trees full of leaves and bare). The renderings also depict both the currently permitted grade (244 msl) and the proposed grade (285 msl) under this Alteration. Links to those renderings and a map indicating the vantage points depicted can be found below.

The increase in volume as proposed under this Alteration would save the County an estimated $78M as compared to potentially siting a new 40 acre landfill. The additional proposed volume will allow for longer term planning for the County to consider future options for disposal and potentially alternative waste disposal methods.

In Phase I of the permitting process MDE will host an initial public informational meeting locally. We expect that this meeting will be scheduled in early 2024. Notice of the meeting will be provided:

Via mail to all addresses within 1000’ of MLFRRF

To local elected legislative representatives

In a local newspaper once per week for two consecutive weeks prior to the meeting

Via the County website at least two weeks prior to the meeting

If MDE provides approval to proceed with the remainder of the application process (Phases II through V) a second public meeting will be scheduled as part of Phase V.

Community members are encouraged to provide feedback on the application through MDE’s permitting process, and can also provide written comments to the County directly by emailing All feedback and comments emailed to this address at least one week in advance of the Phase I public meeting will be shared with MDE.

Update April 5, 2024: In response to requests to provide additional renderings for the proposed changes from homes along Dicus Mill Road, we have prepared renderings from the public right of way along Dicus Mill Road available here.

Update May 14, 2024: Notice is given that MDE/SWP will hold an Informational Meeting regarding this application at the Arundel High School located at 1001 Annapolis Road, Gambrills, Maryland 21054 on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at 5:30 p.m. The purpose of the Informational Meeting is to provide an opportunity to the public to obtain information about the permit application and MDE/SWP's review process. Representatives for the applicant and MDE/SWP will be available to answer specific questions. The notice for this meeting can be found here.

Useful Links:

Maryland Department of the Environment Solid Waste Permitting Process Overview

Maryland Department of the Environment Solid Waste Management Page

Line of Sight Renderings (Large File - Allow Time to Download)

Anne Arundel County General Development Plan - Plan2040

MLFRRF current Refuse Disposal Permit