coming and it has to happen," Stephen Tindall testified on
behalf of Fox Point Association.
recorded at the hearing conducted by the Recycling Public
Advisory Council were the first formal expression of public
reaction in northern New Castle County. Coming as they did from
only about 30 attenders at the session, however, they are far
from predictive of what will happen when the issue goes before
the General Assembly soon after it convenes in January.
"Everything we hear said we can make this thing go," said Paul
Wilkinson, chairman of the gubernatorial council.
the panel will meet soon to touch up the draft report by
incorporating comments presented at the hearing in Wilmington on
Nov. 16 and other sessions in Dover, Newark and Rehoboth Beach.
The report, accompanied by draft legislation, is scheduled to be
presented to Governor Ruth Ann Minner before the turn of the
raised issue with proposed financing of the proposal, suggesting
that it might be unrealistic to expect the program to pay for
itself. "This thing has to be subsidized," he said. "The county
(New Castle) may need to get involved."
for initial grants from the state to help municipalities acquire
additional equipment, the draft report proposes that collection
of recyclables be financed by rates set by private trash-hauling
firms. To the extent that the Delaware Solid Waste Authority
cannot cover the cost of operating a processing facility by
selling the recovered material, that would be made up by revenue
from an increase in the state license fee that everyone who
transport waste material pay. There would be no charge to the
hauling firms or individuals who take recyclables to the
noted that the area of southeastern Brandywine Hundred for which
the Fox Point Association speaks and northeastern Wilmington
provided the impetus for the effort to raise recycling above its
current limited voluntary status. "Only after the public got
angry about odors coming from the [Cherry Island Marsh] landfill
[did] anybody take recycling seriously," he said.
upon the council, waste authority and the Department of Natural
Resources & Environmental Control, which are collaborating to
produce the report and draft legislation, to avoid creating new
odor problems in dealing with yard waste, a major component in
the effort to reach a goal of diverting 30% of residential waste
and 40% of all waste from landfills. In proposing a ban against
dumping such material in the landfills, the report will advocate
composting or mulching it.
endorsing the recycling plan was Wallace Kremer on behalf of the
Council of Civic Organizations of Brandywine Hundred. He
suggested possible inclusion of "monetary concessions," which he
did not specify, as an inducement to participate. But, he added,
"With our population we should be able to high number [of
mandatory in the sense that trash haulers will be required to
collect recyclable material and not accept other trash if such
items are mixed in with it, the draft report acknowledges that
success in reaching the stated goals will require a large
measure of voluntary cooperation from the public.
told the hearing that he does not "visualize a great deal of
enforcement [action]." It probably will be limited to flagrant
and repetitive violations with most offenders, at least in the
early years of the program, being "reminded" of their obligation
by notices left at their doors.
the comments voiced at the hearing were directed toward
questioning why glass is not to be included among recyclable
items to be collected. The waste authority maintains that glass
is relatively valueless when it comes to being able to sell
recovered material and that its presence in recovered paper
greatly reduces the value of that material at resale.
is to have paper, plastic, steel and aluminum gathered into a
single container for collection. It would be sorted
automatically and by workers at the processing plant. Doing it
that way, rather than having householders do the sorting before
putting the material out for collection, has a lower net cost in
the balance between collection and processing costs, according
to the waste authority.
Farrell, of Wilmington, said that mandatory recycling will work
only if properly enforced. "Politics is the main driver," he
said. "It could end up [like] the bottle bill, which is not
requires that retailers collect a deposit on glass bottles and
refund that money when the emptied bottles are returned.
Relatively few people, however, bother to return them, which
largely negates the environmental effect to which the law is
addressed. Several people at the hearing said that is because
major supermarkets and many liquor stores will not return the
Short, of the natural resources department, told the hearing
that, contrary to widespread public belief, "there is no fund"
of unreimbursed deposits because the law as it now stands does
not require retailers to segregate or account for that money. He
said, however, that the department will respond to any
complaints about specific establishments not obeying the law by
Jenner, a landscaper, questioned the council's assumption that
there will be a market for yard waste banned from landfills.
"The mushroom industry generates a volume of organic matter" and
that is enough to meet the demand in the region, he said. "It is
unrealistic to expect private enterprise to do that recycling."