Friday, March 16, 2007

DNREC Postpones the Yard Waste Ban

The News Journal reports that DNREC has stepped in to put off its ban on landfilling yard waste until next January:
But after lawmakers backed measures to delay or kill the restriction, John A. Hughes, secretary of Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, announced the new schedule at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
"This gives us a second chance to work together on this issue," Hughes said.
Earlier this week, Diana McWilliams and 16 colleagues filed a resolution to postpone the ban until June 1, and create a task force to find alternatives to landfilling. As I’ve noted before, Wayne Smith made forcing the DSWA to landfill the single largest category of recylable material his number one priority. McWilliams, along with Helene Keeley and Gerald Brady, had previously presented an amendment that would have the same effect as the resolution.
HB 1 would have forced the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) to accept yard waste at Cherry Island in perpetuity. By making this bill the first filed in the session, Wayne Smith pulled off the unlikely feat of making the DSWA look positively progressive in comparison.
The yard waste ban was part of the permit that allows the DSWA to raise the height of Cherry Island, extending its useful life, and postponing the day when a new and very expensive landfill will need to be built. As the News Journal reports, DNREC didn’t want further measures promoting recycling to be held up by the yard waste issue:
The delay comes as DNREC is preparing a bill to finance state recycling programs through a $3 waste surcharge, an effort that could have become a legislative hostage with the yard waste dispute unsettled.

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