Toole said he doesn't "understand what the difference is" between food scraps and the yard waste, and that composting shouldn't be lumped into the same category as waste disposal under state permitting.
Toole said the regulations are too complex and overbearing, and believes the company was already doing many things right.
"We're trying not to just open our arms and accept any and all food waste, by any stretch," he said.
Toole said that while losing the food scrap business did not have a major financial impact on the company, the company does see food scrap collection as having large potential moving forward — especially if more institutions and jurisdictions follow in the footsteps of its former food scrap clients like Howard County.
"We recognize the opportunity for growth in our business shows its greatest potential in food waste," Toole said.
Data from Howard County's pilot program show household waste dropped by about 25 percent among participating homes, county officials said.
Since Recycled Green had to stop accepting its scraps, Howard has had to divert thousands of pounds of materials collected through its program, which had been sending food scraps to the Woodbine facility since September, to a facility in Delaware, officials said.
Recycled Green's other food scrap clients — including the University of Maryland, College Park, the National Institutes of Health in Montgomery County, and American University and National Geographic in the District of Columbia — also had to find other facilities to deal with their scraps, Toole said.
Apperson said MDE is supportive of recycling food waste into compost — if it's done in the proper way.
But Toole is not the only one that thinks its regulations are confusing.
In fact, based on a bill introduced by Del. Heather Mizeur of Montgomery County and passed by the General Assembly last year, MDE is required this year to study composting in the state, and the laws and regulations that govern it, and report back to the General Assembly by Jan. 1, 2013.
Apperson said MDE is currently in the process of reviewing and updating its standards for composting.