New law mandates curbside recycling availability
Against the backdrop of the growing Cherry Island landfill, Gov. Jack Markell signed legislation on June 8 that aims to make statewide universal recycling a reality.
“Making recycling convenient and available to every household in the state now has the ability to become reality,” Markell said. “This plan, which had bipartisan support, is comprehensive, cost-effective and practical. It’s designed to dramatically increase recycling while reducing burdens on businesses and restraining the cost of waste.”
DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara joined the governor in thanking the broad statewide coalition that help make the bill a reality.
“Because of the work of so many advocates over the years, Delaware will emerge in the coming years as a leader in recycling and not just a follower of the pack. We have the potential to reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill by more than 300,000 tons per year,” O’Mara said.
State Sen. Dave McBride was the prime sponsor of the bill.
“You know, quitters never win and winners never quit, and we didn’t quit. Many legislators worked very hard over the years to make to make this day come true, and it is very much appreciated that today it is reality,” McBride said on Tuesday.
State Rep. Mike Mulrooney said the law will serve well the state’s long-term interests.
“This is going to be a good process for Delaware. It is going to save us land, save us millions of dollars in the long term. For Delaware’s future, this needed to get done, and we did it,” Mulrooney said.
Aspects of the new plan include:
· Citizens determine if they want to participate - recycling remains optional, not mandatory, for residents.
· Municipalities and waste-removal companies will provide the containers and collection.
· Haulers that pick up trash at a single-family home, or at restaurants and bars, will be required to offer curbside recycling to those customers, beginning in September of 2011.
· Haulers that serve those who live in an apartment, condo or other multi-family residence will be required to offer curbside recycling to those customers beginning in 2013.
· For businesses other than bars or restaurants, haulers must offer curbside recycling to them starting in 2014.