Monday, June 25, 2007

"This Act mandates a statewide recycling program."

House Substitute 1 to House Bill 146, which would create a meaningful statewide recycling program for Delaware, has a good chance of making it through the House and Senate this week. Here's the synopsis:
This Act mandates a statewide recycling program. The Act is effective immediately upon enactment; however, there are some timelines and other provisions in place to assure timely implementation with the involvement of DNREC and RPAC.
This Act also establishes a Recycling Fund to help pay for various aspects of the recycling system. The source of funding will be a $3 per ton assessment on all solid waste (excluding recyclables) collected and/or disposed of in Delaware. Thus, those who collect solid waste in Delaware and dispose of it out of state will also pay the assessment to support the Delaware recycling initiatives. The fund will be administered by DNREC, with input form the Recycling Public Advisory Council, and used to help municipalities with start-up costs, fund private sector initiatives, support an education and outreach program and fund an assessment of the potential for increased commercial waste recycling. DSWA is not eligible to receive any monies from the Recycling Fund.
The Act provides for the development of yard waste management facilities to handle such materials. Development of private facilities will be encouraged; however, if these do not materialize, DSWA will manage the yard waste on its property or other public property. DSWA is entitled to charge a tipping fee at these facilities sufficient to cover the costs of operation.
The Act establishes recycling goals for both residential and commercial solid waste and involves the Recycling Public Advisory Council, whose role will be to advise DNREC and DSWA on various aspects of recycling and to report annually on the state of recycling and progress made toward the established goals.
This bill represents enormous progress on recycling, particularly when you consider, as State Rep. Gerald Brady reminded me, that House Bill 1, introduced in January, would have taken us backwards by forcing the DSWA to landfill yard waste.
Even though the bill has support from the majority leadership of both houses, it still could get lost in the rush of the last few days of the session. I'm told the DSWA opposes the bill, which could mean that the agency's supporters could be looking for ways to keep it from coming to the floor of the House and Senate.
I will have more on the significance of this bill tomorrow, including a reprise of my economic analysis in support of recycling and reasons why the state needs to go all in for recycling to work. In the meanwhile, I urge you to contact your legislators to urge that they pass HS1 to HB 146 this week.


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