Wilkinson, chairman of the gubernatorial council, agreed with
other members that the bill, sponsored by Senator David McBride
and Representative Joseph Miro, is a relatively weak first start
toward having Delaware join other jurisdictions around the
nation which mandate recycling. However, he said, it is
something the council should support "until we see something
better or until we see this going down."
could be other legislation. This is just an opening ... in order
to get the program going and working," said Pat Todd, the
council member tracking the legislation.
enacted, it would set progressive annual goals to divert 30% of
residential solid waste from landfills by July 1, 2007. The
waste authority would have responsibility for setting the course
to attain the goals.
letter to McBride, N.C. Vasuki, the authority's chief executive
officer, said legislation should await the results of and
recommendations coming out of a study the authority is currently
conducting under terms of an agreement with the Department of
Natural Resources & Environmental Control and the recycling
Canzano, the authority's chief operating officer and a member of
the council, revealed at a council meeting on Apr. 28 that the
study will not be completed by the early-May deadline set in the
agreement. A consultant has yet to be hired to work on one phase
of it and another awaits the outcome of field trips to
out-of-state recycling facilities.
he was unable to project a new target date for completion of the
study, adding that he did not want to 'release' results of the
two of its seven phases which have been completed "because the
figures are likely to change and that (making it public) would
only confuse people."
said Vasuki's objections centered on the proposed legislation
being "an unfunded mandate" and lacking provisions for enforcing
compliance with whatever project the authority devises. "Those
are real issues; they are issues that need to be addressed," he
said. "You have to know to some extent how you are going to get
there (achieve the goals)."
letter Vasuki called the study part of "a deliberative approach"
to instituting a mandatory curbside recycling program. "Setting
an unrealistic requirement without analysis, a mechanism for
satisfying the requirement and no funding (financing) is a
meaningless exercise," he wrote.
noting that the McBride-Miro bill requires involvement of the
advisory council and the natural resources department in the
process of establishing the program, the waste authority "alone
would bear the responsibility of putting the necessary programs
in place and making them work," Vasuki wrote.
authority is an autonomous self-supporting public agency.
told the council that Vasuki's letter was not meant to imply
that the waste authority does not support mandatory recycling
nor that it believes a 30% diversion rate is not attainable.
Those are objectives "we wholeheartedly support," he said.
that McBride did not seek the authority's views before
introducing the bill, Canzano called for a "cooperative effort
to develop proposed legislation for an effective statewide
"Ultimately we have to decide what gets the job done in the way
we want it done and [does it] in a cost-effective way," he said.
said that the term 'mandatory' is likely to prove a major
problem. "When we talk about mandating, we're scaring people,"
he said. There is a big difference, he added, between mandating
establishment of a system in which residents would be encouraged
and educated to participate and requiring people to separate
recyclables from other trash for collection.
are some who want to do it, other who'll never be willing to do
it and others who won't do it if the guy next door doesn't have
to do it," Canzano said.
disclosed at the meeting that some trash collection firms have
agreed to provide rebates to customers who participate in the
waste authority's voluntary recyclables collection program. For
$6 a month, it will collect the material. The program is
presently underway in Brandywine Hundred and the Newark area and
is expected to be further expanded.
of the rebates vary among the companies, but are in the range of
$1 to 10% of the monthly cost of their service. Collection firms
pay to dump trash at the waste authority's landfills based on
weight and the rebates reflect the reduced cost resulting from
diversion of the recyclables from what they pick up and haul