Thursday, June 28, 2007

Which Recycling Bill Will Move Forward?

Two bills before the General Assembly, House Substitute 1 to House Bill 146 and House Bill 159, would go a long way to making statewide curbside recycling available throughout the state.
Both bills would create a local government recycling grants program and competitive grants for private sector initiatives.
Both bills would fund these grants by establishing a Delaware Recycling Fund funded by a tipping fee surcharge of $3 per ton. (The tipping fee is charged to waste collectors at the landfill, and not to households.)
Both bills establish a timetable for achieving minimum recovery rates of 30 percent of household waste by January 1, 2010.
HS 1 to HB 146 goes further by directing the DSWA to establish a statewide mandatory curbside recycling that would require trash collectors to accept recycled materials. The DSWA would be required to “take all recyclable materials from licensed municipal solid waste and construction and demolition debris collection and disposal service providers for no fee.” Users of “licensed municipal solid waste and construction and demolition debris collection and disposal service providers” (for instance households and construction sites) would be required to separate recyclable materials. The DSWA would be charged with enforcing this provision.
I’m guessing that HB 159 is more likely to be adopted, given this comment from Pam Maier, one of the primary sponsors of HS 1 to HB 146, in today’s News Journal:
“At one point, I thought I had all my votes. I’m a bit concerned,” Maier said.
HS 1 to HB 146 has been passed out of committee in the House, but not yet placed on an agenda for consideration. HB 159 has also made it out of committee and is “laid on the table” which means it could be brought up at any time.
Update: HS 1 to HB 146 was defeated in the House this afternoon.

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