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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsOctober 2015

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1 DE Admin. Code 502
502 Statewide Solid Waste Management Plan
Pursuant to 7 Delaware Code, Sections 6403, 6404, 6406 and other pertinent provisions of 7 Delaware Code, Chapter 64; the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (“DSWA”) is proposing amendments to the Statewide Solid Waste Management Plan (the “Plan”) to modify the Plan adopted effective May 10, 2010 and amended effective on May 10, 2013.
***Notice of Hearing: A public hearing will be held on November 2, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. in the Corporate Training Center, Education and Technology Meeting Room, Delaware Technical and Community College Terry Campus, 100 Campus Drive, Dover, DE 19904. The hearing is to provide an opportunity for public comment on the proposed amendments.
Written Comments: The DSWA will receive written comments, suggestions briefs or other written material until the close of business, November 17, 2015. Written comments, suggestions, compilations of data or other written material shall be submitted to Michael D. Parkowski, Chief of Business Services and Government Relations, Delaware Solid Waste Authority, 1128 South Bradford Street, Dover, Delaware 19904. Anyone wishing to obtain a copy of the proposed amendments may obtain a copy from the Delaware Solid Waste Authority, 1128 South Bradford Street, Dover, Delaware 19904, (302) 739-5361.
Summary of Proposed Changes: Pursuant to 7 Delaware Code, Chapter 64, the DSWA is charged with developing the Plan and amending the Plan as necessary. The proposed amendments will address the purposes and impact of changes to DSWA regulations, proposed contemporaneously herewith, that will have the effect of requiring most solid waste generated in the State of Delaware to be delivered to a DSWA facility. The proposed amendments will also briefly update certain matters addressed in the Plan.
Background and Purpose: The Delaware Solid Waste Authority (“DSWA”) was established by the Delaware General Assembly in 1975 as a statewide solid waste authority, a body politic and corporate constituting a public instrumentality of the State created to perform essential public and governmental functions. The findings, policies and purposes of the enabling legislation recognized among other things the need for the people of the state to have a clean and wholesome environment through the statewide management of solid waste generated in Delaware. Such statewide management includes the establishment of programs for collection and disposal of solid waste and the recovery of and reuse of discarded materials through recycling and beneficial use.
Section 6403 (7 Del.C. §6403)
Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.”1
(Source: Center for Applied Demography and Survey Research, University of Delaware)
These high growth rates have significantly impacted DSWA’s facility planning. For example, DSWA’s 1994 Plan reported that residential tonnage had increased at an annual compounded rate of 5.7 percent per year between 1985 and 1990, and industrial and commercial waste had increased at a rate of approximately 11.5 percent per year.3
More importantly, population and economic growth in Delaware resulted in significant increases in construction of new housing and commercial buildings to accommodate the increased population. As illustrated by Figures 1-4 almost one-half of the increase in total tonnage managed by DSWA over the past 5 years has been the result of increasing construction and demolition (C&D) tonnage.4
It should be noted that the private Delaware Recycled Products, Inc. (DRPI) landfill located in New Castle County also received C&D from Delaware generators. Total tonnage delivered to DRPI for disposal last year was 253,000 tons (rounded); of which roughly one-half was generated in Delaware.5
Delaware experienced a total loss of 142,712 agricultural acres in 33 years6; 55 percent of that loss from 1997 to 2007. The rapid growth of developed land and loss of agricultural land in Delaware can be largely attributed to the increase of residential and commercial / industrial land use. From 1974 to 1997, residential land use increased by 81,156 acres and commercial / industrial land use increased by 28,585 acres, for a combined increase in developed acreage of 109,740 acres. In that same time span, Delaware lost 137,671 acres of agriculture and forest land, or nearly 11% of total acreage.
Figure 1-6 graphically represents current generation, recovery and disposal of all Delaware solid wastes.7 As illustrated by Figure 1-6, roughly 3.15 million tons (rounded) of solid wastes were estimated to be generated in 2008, with 2.05 million tons (rounded) estimated to be diverted for recovery and 1.1 million tons (rounded) disposed at DSWA landfills and the Delaware Recycled Products Incorporated landfill.
This represents a 65 percent diversion rate for all solid wastes and a 29 percent recycling rate for Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW).8 Achieving the high diversion rates required to meet zero waste principles will require diversion of significantly greater quantities of waste from landfill. Because most of what is still going to landfill is MSW, this is where the bulk of new recovery must come from (as discussed in Chapter 4).
According to the Center for Applied Demography & Survey Research at the University Of Delaware,9 Delaware will add roughly 42,000 new households between 2010 and 2020. Assuming an average of 2.6 persons per household, Delaware’s population will grow by roughly 109,200 over this ten year period.
A comparison might be made to energy use in the United States. According to the Energy Information Administration, greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy production in the United States has fallen 9 percent over the past two years,10 and are not expected to reach 2007 levels again until 2019. It is certainly possible that similar projections for waste generation are reasonable over the same time frame for Delaware.
A severe outbreak of disease in the poultry industry11.
Residential Refuse
There are roughly 347,300 households in Delaware.13 Approximately 47,350 households receive curbside refuse collection from public works departments in the nine communities listed below, using approximately 77 licensed garbage trucks.
An estimated 20,000 households are in multi-family dwellings which receive collection by private haulers as part of commercial collection routes. An additional number (unknown, but expected to be under 5,000) of mobile home parks and planned communities provide their own collection service using another 18 licensed garbage trucks. In addition, an estimated 15,000 to 25,000 households bring their waste to one of the five DSWA collection centers, or to the self-haul areas at the transfer stations and landfills.14
Residential Recycling
Residential Yard Waste Collection
Most of the municipalities that collect refuse also separately collect leaves and yard waste seasonally.15 Leaves are often collected in urban areas in the fall to avoid clogging storm drains, and yard waste is collected in the spring growing season and fall leaf raking season.
Commercial Refuse and Recycling Collection
There are an estimated 61,700 businesses16 located in Delaware. Most of them contract with a licensed waste hauler for refuse collection, and many contract for separate collection of recyclables – especially old corrugated containers and office paper. About 90 waste hauling companies operate 300 roll-off trucks and 150 front-end loading trucks to service these commercial refuse and recycling accounts.17
Special Wastes
Waste Oil and Waste Oil Filters
Household Hazardous Wastes
Electronic Goods Recycling
Yard Wastes
DSWA composts yard waste delivered to the Cherry Island and Jones Crossroads landfills. Gore Technology is used tm to produce quality compost over a period of approximately eight weeks, compared to a minimum of six months with conventional windrow technology.
Used Textiles
“That the Authority established pursuant to this chapter shall have responsibility for implementing solid waste disposal and resources recovery systems and facilities and solid waste management services where necessary (emphasis added) and desirable throughout the State in accordance with a state solid waste management plan and applicable statutes and regulations”.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Source Reduction “refers to any change in the design, manufacture, purchase or use of materials or products (including packaging) to reduce their amount or toxicity before they become municipal solid waste. Source reduction also refers to the reuse of products or materials.” Because source reduction reduces the quantity of waste generated, it also reduces the need to manage that waste, either by recycling or disposal.
Source reduction (also referred to as waste reduction) is a key component of Delaware’s Climate Change Action Plan18 and was recently recognized by the US EPA as providing a much greater opportunity for greenhouse gas emission reductions than originally calculated.19
In spite of these declines, economic growth continues to be the overarching economic policy objective followed in the United States and in most other nations.20 In addition, as outlined in Chapter 1, population growth is expected to continue in Delaware over the next decade.
Delaware already has a partial EPR for carbonated beverage packaging (glass and PET), and for retail plastic bags.22 However carbonated beverage containers and retail plastic bags represent a relatively small fraction of total packaging disposed at Delaware landfills.
The Recycling Public Advisory Council (RPAC) reports the MSW recycling rate on an annual basis. The RPAC report is based on voluntary reporting of recycling from hundreds of generators, brokers and recyclables processors in Delaware.23
Excluded from the MSW recycling rate, however, are C&D materials as well as other waste streams generated in Delaware but not managed at DSWA facilities. These materials are discussed in Chapter 1 Current Waste Generation and Recovery and depicted in Figure 1-6. If only MSW materials are accounted for, a recycling rate of 29% is measured for CY 2008.24 If beneficial reuse of all waste streams is included, the diversion rate (recycling plus beneficial reuse) is estimated to be 65% as shown in Table 4-1.
Appendix Table A-1 provides a detailed breakdown of all materials included in the all waste diversion estimate of 2,052,000 tons used in Figure 4-1. The Eighth Annual Report of the RPAC (November 2009) provides a breakdown of all materials included in MSW recycling rate estimate for CY 2008, and was incorporated in the estimates used for this Plan and shown in Table A-1.
A comprehensive assessment of all of these waste streams was performed in 200625. The results from this assessment are incorporated in Appendix Table A-1, A-2 and A-3 to this Plan, and provide a detailed profile of all waste generated and recovered in Delaware.
Recycling Collection
Delaware has one of the most extensive drop-off recycling programs in the United States. However, despite 180 drop-offs, and careful placement, participation in drop-off recycling is still limited to an estimated 16 percent of households. 26 This low participation rate is most likely because almost all of these households have curbside collection of refuse, requiring separate handling of recyclables and special trips to recycle at drop-off facilities.27
To increase recycling, DSWA began to offer subscription curbside recycling collection in 2005, first in New Castle County and later statewide. Households subscribe for service, just as they do for curbside refuse from private haulers, and pay a monthly fee, currently set at $6 per month.28 Subscription rates have grown substantially since the offer began with roughly 12 percent of Delaware households now provided with this service, some through their municipality.29 The collection service offered is single stream with each household provided with a 65 gallon cart which is collected every other week.
Universal Curbside Recycling
The most efficient way to greatly expand participation in residential recycling is to move to universal recycling, where all municipal and private residential refuse collection haulers provide curbside recycling along with refuse collection service, and include both services in a single refuse collection price. This will require legislation mandating that all residential refuse haulers operating in Delaware provide curbside recycling as part of a bundled refuse collection service.30 This universal recycling requirement will have a significant impact on increasing residential recycling.
On October 18, 2005 Governor Minner issued a directive to the DNREC Secretary to convene a Working Group of technical experts to evaluate the suitability of alternative technological systems for processing Delaware’s municipal solid waste. The Working Group issued their Solid Waste Management Alternatives for Delaware report on May 15, 2006. DSWA participated in the Working Group and concurs with the two pronged recommendations contained in the Report.31.
According to the Working Group, “the first, and most important, prong is to divert as much valuable material from being disposed in the state’s landfills as possible…requiring that Delaware adopt aggressive and effective source reduction and materials recovery programs...that yard wastes be banned from all three of the state’s landfills” and “(that) DSWA complete its projects as quickly as possible to use the methane produced at the Kent and Sussex landfills to generate electricity, and continue to operate those landfills as bioreactor landfills.”
DSWA, if directed by the Legislature, will also work toward the second prong of the Working Groups recommendation: “(that) the State should build a MSW processing facility serving New Castle County to further reduce the amount of material that is disposed of at the Cherry Island Landfill.”
The Working Group evaluated si32x potential alternative technologies currently in use or under development in the United States and around the world. These technologies included, in no particular order:
Readiness and Reliability: How confident can the State be that if a full size facility were built, it would operate effectively – technologies that are incorporated in multiple commercial facilities that have operated reasonably successfully over a reasonable period of time received the highest rankings.
Inputs and Pre-processing: Technologies that had demonstrated the ability to process wastes critical to reducing Cherry Island landfill demand received the highest rankings. Critical waste streams were: residential, commercial and industrial MSW; sewage sludge; tires; and, yard wastes. These technologies were also ranked with respect to how much pre-processing was necessary to process each of these waste streams, with technologies requiring less pre-processing ranked higher.
Potential Public Health and Nuisance, Environmental, and Worker Safety Risks: The fewer potential health risks that could result from a facilities operation, the higher the ranking. Higher rankings were also given to facilities with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions, and with low discharge of contaminated waste water. Finally, facilities with lowest potential risk to workers were ranked highest.
Energy Balance: Facilities that had the highest net energy output – the comparison between the amount of energy required to operate the process to the amount of usable energy that is obtained from the process - ranked the highest.
Materials Balance: Facilities that had the lowest ratio of residuals when compared to the input feedstock ranked highest.
Economics: Facilities that had the lowest net cost, after accounting for capital and operating costs and projected revenues ranked highest.
Legal and Policy Issues: The Working Group’s primary concerns included the Coastal Zone Act which restricts heavy industry but not a “recycling plant”; the specific prohibition on construction of an incinerator within 3 miles of a school, church or residence; and, the need to implement flow control to guarantee sufficient waste to finance the facility.
Based on the ranking using the seven criteria the Working Group recommended two processes for further consideration. The first was anaerobic digestion, and second was waste-to-energy using a mass burn process33. A summary of the two technologies recommended by the Working Group, as well as aerobic composting, which is already in use in Delaware, is presented below, together with a discussion on how these technologies might, or might not be compatible with zero waste concepts. Details on other alternatives are available in the Working Group report34.
Waste-to-energy development in Delaware would require legislative action to repeal the S.B. 280, An Act to Amend Title 7 of the Delaware Code Relating to Incinerators, which “prohibits construction of incinerators with any area that is within 3 miles of a school, church or residence”. This restriction makes it practically impossible to site a waste-to-energy facility in Delaware.
DSWA has calculated the carbon equivalent emissions from the three landfills using the U.S. Department of Energy, “Technical Guidelines, Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases (1605(b)) Program”. According to the Technical Guidelines, landfill emissions are addressed in the following ways:
As stated in the 2006 Working Group report, Solid Waste Management Alternatives for Delaware, “the primary solid waste issue facing Delaware, is how the state can most effectively and economically preserve the valuable landfill capacity it has”. Delaware’s landfill capacity is a legacy that DSWA can be proud of, providing sufficient design capacity for the next thirty years. This Plan represents DSWA’s commitment to an integrated solid waste management system for Delaware that maximizes diversion of materials and organics for beneficial reuse, and prolongs the lifetime of the existing landfill capacity by as much as an additional 25 years.35 The value of extending DSWA landfill lifetimes by as much as 25 years are both quantifiable (in terms of avoided closure costs for existing landfills and siting and development costs for new landfills) as well as unquantifiable in terms of Delaware maintaining control of their waste management destiny, and avoiding the difficulties of siting a new landfill.
Chapters 3 and 4 establish the framework for the waste reduction and diversion action plans summarized below. The action plans presented in this Chapter are data driven, based on current disposal quantities by material type, which is available from the Statewide Waste Characterization Study, 2006 – 2007, adjusted for declining tonnages in 2008 and 2009, as well as current materials recovery by material type, as reported in the Annual RPAC recycling rate reports. When combined, these two reports establish both where the potential lies for significantly increasing recovery as well as realistic maximum diversion under aggressive diversion programs.
Finally, Appendix Table A-3 presents potential future recovery by material type, by sector (e.g. residential, commercial or other), applying aggressive recovery rate goals for each material type that could be recycled or composted.36
Implementation of the Yard Waste Disposal Ban at Sandtown and Jones Crossroads Landfills - Permit conditions can be imposed by DNREC, with DSWA enforcing the ban through its existing enforcement with cooperation with DNREC, and DSWA and the private sector developing yard waste composting facilities as an alternative to disposal. This has been proven to work successfully in New Castle County, and should be successful in Kent and Sussex County.
Backyard Composting and Grasscycling Education and Technical Assistance – This measure should be implemented immediately as the benefits are large, at a relatively low cost. DSWA, DNREC and private haulers can all play a role in promotion and education of the importance of leaving grass clippings on the lawn, and composting of food wastes and yard wastes in backyard composters wherever feasible.
Commercial Waste Reduction Technical Assistance - Waste audits, workshops and assistance with hauling contract modifications are all necessary to help businesses maximize the economic advantages of diversion and waste reduction. A number of State agencies that already work with businesses can also be involved in this effort.
School Waste Reduction Education Programs – The DSWA, State Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s, Northeast Recycling Council) can increase outreach to schools as part of its efforts to reduce generation and increase recycling.
Extended Producer Responsibility for Special Wastes – While DSWA will continue to offer programs for special wastes, significant reductions in waste generation and disposal will require the Legislature to adopt product stewardship (EPR) framework legislation requiring take back programs for specific wastes, like electronic goods and pharmaceuticals. A number of states have already enacted framework legislation and/or are working on EPR legislation for specific materials.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Packaging – As discussed above, new funding sources will be necessary to develop the infrastructure, and fund the higher operating costs, associated with aggressive increases in materials recovery rates. EPR for product packaging is already in place throughout Europe, parts of Asia, and the majority of Canadian provinces, and could provide necessary revenues for financing recycling infrastructure investments and market development for new materials. This EPR should be as broadly based as possible to assure involvement by all product packagers, and will require Legislative action. Legislation enacting EPR for packaging and paper can be structured to reduce future packaging wastes and increase the recovery of packaging through the provision of incentives for packaging producers to reduce packaging and to increase the recyclability of the remaining packaging. The German Packaging Ordinance has demonstrated that a properly structured packaging law can significantly reduce packaging waste even in the face of economic growth.37
Residential Leaf and Yard Waste Collection – While much of the yard waste currently disposed of at landfills can be properly managed by homeowners on-site, there will still be households who require an off-site management option. DSWA currently offers yard waste collection on a PAYT basis, and private haulers are more likely to choose to bundle this service with refuse and recycling collection with the implementation of universal recycling.
Universal Recycling Collection – To achieve the high diversion rates necessary to meet zero waste goals it will be necessary to move from the current estimate of roughly 22 percent of Delaware households with curbside recycling to 90 percent with parallel collection of refuse and recycling. This could potentially have a large impact on residential recycling. Because the private sector collects refuse from the majority of households in Delaware, the logical way to achieve parallel collection is through a universal recycling requirement. This can only be achieved by legislation requiring that all private haulers collecting refuse from households also be required to provide curbside collection of recyclables, with the cost embedded in the refuse collection charge. DSWA is prepared to provide the processing and/or transfer capability to accept single stream recyclables at its designated facilities if the private sector can not. However, because DSWA will not be requiring that all residential recyclables be delivered to DSWA facilities, it will become even more important that the Legislature enact mandatory reporting requirements from all businesses collecting recyclables to ensure that RPAC can continue to measure success toward meeting the recycling rate goals laid out in this Plan.
Drop-off Recycling – Implementation of universal curbside recycling should allow DSWA to cut back on the number of drop-off centers available throughout Delaware. However, key drop-off centers with high user counts should be maintained to accommodate those households without curbside collection, and to provide a location to drop off special wastes not collected curbside (e.g., waste oil and filters and used textiles). These drop-off centers would continue to be funded primarily through DSWA revenues generated by landfill tipping fees.
Permanent Collection Sites for HHW – DSWA is currently investigating the potential to develop permanent HHW collection sites at existing manned facilities to augment HHW collection in Delaware.
Mandatory Recycling for Multifamily Buildings - Private haulers servicing multifamily buildings will need to offer containers for single stream recycling as part of their service contract. This will also require Legislative action.
Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) Pricing - Residential refuse collection funded by PAYT is the proven method for increasing recycling, having been implemented in over 7000 communities throughout the United States, resulting in an average 25 percent reduction in materials going to landfill. Implementation of universal PAYT would require Legislative action, although most private haulers currently charge a monthly fee, which could be modified to a variable rate if mandated by the Legislature38.
Mandate on Commercial Cardboard Recycling – Cardboard remains one of the largest single waste streams entering DSWA facilities despite RPAC’s annual recycling surveys consistently show that most commercial establishments already have separate cardboard collection. Because the infrastructure is already in place, and because good markets exist for cardboard, this action should not be a significant hardship to most businesses in Delaware. The mandate would require either specific legislation.
Provision of Single Stream Collection to the Commercial Sector – Private waste haulers could provide this service, with DSWA providing the processing/transfer capacity for the single stream materials.
Mandate Glass and Aluminum Recycling at Bars and Restaurants - North Carolina has successfully implemented a mandatory recycling requirement for all bars and restaurants with a liquor license. This would require Legislative action.
Implementation of Cost Competitive Food Waste Collection and Processing - It is clear from an analysis of the waste stream that moving toward zero waste goals will require a significant emphasis on increased organics diversion. The recent opening of the Wilmington Organics Recycling Center with 120,000 annual tons of food waste processing capacity and an additional 40,000 annual tons of yard waste processing capacity provides privately financed and operated capacity for much of Delaware’s organics, especially when combined with the Blessing composting facility in southern Delaware. The key will be separate collection and processing at a cost that is competitive with disposal.
Collection of food wastes from large commercial generators – Collection of food waste from generators such as supermarkets and large restaurants and institutions will be the most cost effective way to divert significant quantities of food wastes. This might be accomplished through waste audits that assist generators in setting up on-site procedures to separate and store food waste, and to restructure hauling contacts that minimize added collection costs and allow any disposal savings to be realized. DSWA and DNREC can work with collection and processing stakeholders to provide technical assistance under existing programs.
Separate Collection of Residential Food Waste - To meet the zero waste goals it will eventually be necessary to require diversion of residential food waste as well. Municipalities and the private sector will have to take the lead in organizing separate collection of residential food waste, adding collection in densely populated areas, particularly if the collection can be organized to allow for weekly food waste and every other week residuals and other recyclables
Continue Grinding of C&D Waste for Landfill Cover -.DSWA should continue to grind mixed C&D wastes for landfill cover and working face road construction.
Support and development of markets for clean gypsum - Clean gypsum is estimated to represent 11 percent of C&D disposal and can be recovered for recycling to new gypsum wallboard, land application as a soil amendment, and as an additive to a number of materials. Given the potential for gypsum to contribute to hydrogen sulfide emissions at landfills, DNREC should consider mandatory recycling by contractors of clean gypsum, with DSWA developing alternative uses for the separated material.
Support and development of markets for clean wood – Continued development of processing capacity to separate clean wood from painted and treated wood is necessary to move this material to its highest and best use. Given the location of the DRPI landfill near the Cherry Island landfill, it may be feasible for Delaware to attract a C&D processor interested in recovering clean wood from C&D loads for use as mulch or fuel.
Universal Recycling Requirement – In order to assure a level playing field for all waste haulers it will be necessary for the Legislature to enact a universal recycling requirement. DSWA budget projections assume Legislative action on this critical requirement in 2010.
Reporting Requirement - One key legislative initiative critical to this Plan is enactment of mandatory reporting of recycling quantities by all generators and brokers in Delaware. With enactment of universal recycling DSWA will lose the ability to track residential recycling quantities because DSWA will not be collecting these recyclables and may or may not handle the material that is collected. In addition, this Plan relies on significant increases in organics diversion, much of which will not go through DSWA facilities. Only a mandatory reporting requirement (with appropriate confidentiality restrictions) will allow RPAC to accurately report on progress toward achieving the goals outlined in this Plan.
PAYT System – As with universal recycling, a PAYT system will require Legislative action to assure that all private haulers provide the same services to their customers at free market prices.
The U.S. EPA WARM Model was used to estimate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from recycling of different materials and from different waste management scenarios for each material type.39
As illustrated by Tables 7-5 and 7-6, achieving a 55 percent recycling rate for MSW would result in a net reduction in annual GHG emissions of 143,000 metric tonnes, carbon equivalent emissions.40 This is the same as taking 93,225 cars off the road in Delaware each year, or conserving 57.8 million gallons of gasoline per year.
Recovery of materials and organics from Delaware provides the potential to increase jobs in Delaware, both as a result of separate collection and processing of these materials, and potentially from production of new materials from the reclaimed materials. The 2009 Northeast Recycling Council (Recycling Economic Information) Study indicated that the current recycling, reuse and remanufacturing industry in Delaware employs 1,330 people with an annual payroll of $32.2 million, and that manufacturers in Delaware that rely on recycled material inputs employ an additional 545 people with an annual payroll of $24.4 million.41 It is estimated that if Delaware were to increase recycling as laid out in this Plan an additional 1050 jobs would be created in Delaware, representing an additional annual payroll of $44 million.42
The reduction in tonnage to landfill allows DSWA to keep existing cells open longer, reducing the annual capital cost of closing cells and opening new cells.43
DSWA has extensive authority to utilize services provided by the private sector and to engage in cooperative arrangements with other State entities, counties and municipalities. DSWA has also been charged with establishing an extensive recycling program and a public education program. Included in the recycling initiative is the removal of materials from the solid waste stream which are harmful to the environment, and which cannot be recycled, so that they are disposed in an authorized manner. In order to fund these comprehensive activities, DSWA charges user fees for the services it provides and borrows money through bond financing and otherwise. DSWA receives no State or federal funding, and the full faith and credit of the State is not pledged for any of DSWA's debt. To assure the proper management of the solid waste and provide sufficient financial support for its programs, DSWA is authorized to control the collection, transportation, storage and disposal of solid waste throughout the State, and is expressly authorized, pursuant to 7 Del.C. §6406(a)(31) to "control through regulation or otherwise, the collection, transportation, storage and disposal of solid waste, including the diversion of solid waste within specified geographic areas to facilities owned, operated or controlled by the Authority". Also, 7 Del.C. §6422(b) authorizes DSWA, by rule or regulation, to "require the owners and occupants of all lands, buildings and premises [in Delaware] to use the services and facilities of the Authority under such rules and regulations as the Authority shall fix and establish."
Beyond assuring a steady and consistent source of revenue, the DSWA has also determined that maximizing disposal of Delaware-generated solid waste in DSWA facilities will better assist DSWA in its efforts to monitor, evaluate and police the system of solid waste management in Delaware, including such issues as proper waste disposal, waste volume reduction, use of recycling programs and the full capture of those recyclables that may become available in the future. In recent years, the DSWA has accomplished this goal through the use of Discount Disposal Fee agreements with private waste haulers to incentivize these haulers to bring all Delaware generated solid waste to DSWA facilities. While the use of such contracts is expected to continue, the DSWA also believes it will be necessary to adopt regulations that will require Delaware generated solid waste to be directed to DSWA designated facilities. Discount Disposal Fee Agreements will be redesigned to provide greater incentive for haulers to assist the Authority in certain functions that do not typically generate revenue for either the haulers or the DSWA, and to incentivize these haulers to bring recyclables to DSWA designated facilities.
Discounts applicable to persons or entities that enter into contractual arrangements with DSWA to bring Delaware solid waste to DSWA facilities as well as to provide services that are beneficial to Delaware communities and the environment but which might not typically be provided by the private sector.
Indeed, user fees have been and will continue to be the basic source of revenue to fund DSWA operations and debt service. For many years, DSWA has ensured that all Delaware-generated solid waste is brought to DSWA facilities through the use of attractive contract terms and pricing that incentivized haulers to bring this waste to DSWA facilities. In so doing, DSWA has ensured that Delaware waste generates DSWA user fees in amounts sufficient to fund all of the operations and projects identified above. DSWA desires to continue this practice and may enter into any contract with any hauler at any time to the extent that DSWA, in its discretion, determines that such contract will serve the needs of the DSWA and the State of Delaware. However, if DSWA is unable to secure contractual arrangements with the haulers that will keep Delaware waste coming to DSWA facilities, DSWA may invoke its authority under 7 Del.C. §6422(b), and to require by regulation that intends to continue this practice of incentivizing haulers through contractual arrangements such as Discount Disposal Fee Agreements; at the same time however, DSWA will adopt and implement regulations that will require all Delaware generated waste to be directed to DSWA facilities outside of the terms and conditions of any contractual arrangements, thereby capturing Delaware generated solid waste handled by those haulers that have elected not to enter into contracts with DSWA. The requirements of any such regulation may be imposed independently of, or in conjunction with, contractual arrangements with haulers as determined by DSWA in its discretion.
Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan for Delaware: Moving Toward Zero Waste


CensusScope (, Social Science Data Analysis Network.

Statewide Solid Waste Management Plan, DSWA, Adopted, May 1994.


Estimates provided by DNREC and Waste Management.

John MacKensie and Kevin McCullough, University of Delaware and Delaware Office of State Planning Coordination.

Compiled from current (2008) DSWA disposal records, the 2008 RPAC annual recycling report, the 2006 State of Delaware Assessment of Commercial and Industrial Recycling Activity Report, and data from Waste Management on DRPI landfill quantities.

Chapter 4 provides more information on recycling, diversion and recovery rates. In general, throughout this document,“recycling rate” refers to the recycling rate for MSW only, while the “diversion rate” refers to total diversion of MSW and all other potential waste materials from DSWA landfills. “Recovery rate” refers to the percent of each material recovered for recycling or other beneficial reuse when measured against recycling and disposal of that material.

Land Use Change in Delaware: Historical Perspective and Future Trends, Ed Ratledge, Center for Applied Demography & Survey Research, University of Delaware.

While greenhouse gas emissions are not the same as energy use, it can be assumed that in general the greenhouse gas emissions are a surrogate for energy consumption, and that the mix of energy production in those two years was similar to the mix in 2007.

The poultry industry in Delaware has developed contingency plans that do not involve reliance on DSWA landfills, however landfilling could become the option of last resort.

Delaware Solid Waste Authority Statewide Waste Characterization Study, 2006-07. Prepared by Cascadia Consulting Group, DSM Environmental Services and MSW Consultants. Final Report, October 31, 2007.

Estimate of 347,301 households made by Delaware Population Consortium for 2010.


According to DNREC, Delaware City, Dover, Georgetown, Newark, New Castle, Newport, Rehoboth, Seaford, and Wilmington all had collection programs as of April 2009.

Estimate from data found on

Most of the waste hauling companies providing residential refuse collection also provide commercial collection. However, there are also a number of waste hauling companies that only operate roll-off trucks serving business, industry and construction and demolition accounts. The number of companies presented in this Plan is estimated based on current DSWA licenses.




This action provides opportunities for both diversion and source reduction, and may be viewed more as a diversion measure.

True EPR programs require that a certain percent of the material be recycled. Delaware’s bottle deposit legislation does not require that the returned beverage containers be recycled.

DSWA pays for the surveying necessary to produce the annual RPAC Report. The cost of surveying, would be significantly reduced, and the accuracy of the report increased if Delaware were to adopt mandatory reporting requirements similar to those adopted by the State of Oregon.

RPAC reported 30% in the Eighth Annual Report of the Recycling Public Advisory Council, November 2009 due to use of a lower MSW tonnage figure. Due to a C&D ban at all three DSWA transfer stations in 2008, no C&D was accepted at transfer stations resulting in RPAC underreporting MSW by roughly 50,000 tons.

State of Delaware Assessment of Commercial and Industrial Recycling Activity, Final Report, July 2006, prepared for DSWA by DSM Environmental Services, Inc.

Evaluation of Enhanced Residential Waste and Recyclables Collection and Processing in New Castle County. Final Report. October 15, 2003. Table 3. Estimating Participation at Recycle Delaware Drop-offs.

Ibid. On average New Castle County households drove 52 miles out of their way annually to drop off recyclables.

Rate as of December 2009. Rate does not cover the full cost of service.


DSM Environmental Services prepared a report for DSWA in 2004 in which it was estimated that the average household in Delaware would experience a cost increase ranging from $2.50 to $5.00 per month to receive this additional service from the private haulers in Delaware.




It should be noted that the Working Group report is now three years old, and that advances in technological development, as well as changes in the waste stream may change the feasibility of various processing options over time.

Based on the assumption of straight line declines in waste disposal at DSWA landfills resulting in annual disposal of 520,000 tons in 2020.

The recovery rates used in Appendix Table A-3 represent the high end of recovery observed anywhere in the United States, and therefore should be considered maximum recovery rates.


It should be noted here that most commercial generators already pay for refuse collection and disposal through some type of PAYT pricing.

GHG emission factors use a life-cycle assessment methodology using estimation techniques developed for national inventories of GHG emissions (See EPA's report Solid Waste Management and Greenhouse Gases: A Life-Cycle Assessment of Emissions and Sinks). This methodology, however, may undervalue recycling and source reduction activities, as outlined in a new EPA report, Opportunities to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Materials and Land Management Practices, Fall 2009.

Reductions in GHG emissions are often expressed in “carbon equivalent” tons (or metric tonnes) because different gases contributing to climate change have different impacts – for example, methane is roughly 23 times as potent a GHG as carbon so one ton of methane is expressed as 23 tons of “carbon equivalent” emissions.

2009 Recycling Economic Information Study Update: Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania. Final Report, February, 2009. Northeast Recycling Council.


For example, A January 20, 2010 Financial Analysis prepared by Thomas Noyes, MBA, member of the Citizens Advisory Board for Cherry Island Landfill estimates that the net present value of future landfill development costs associated with achieving the goals laid out in this Plan ranges from $11.3 million to $26.6 million just in avoided landfill development costs.

Last Updated: December 31 1969 19:00:00.
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