Thursday, January 10, 2008

Yard Waste Bill Tabled

Rep. Greg Lavelle's bill to force the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) to accept leaves and grass clippings at the Cherry Island landfill didn't make it out of committee yesterday. This means, as the News Journal reports, that the yard waste ban will take effect later this month:
Both [DNREC secretary] Hughes and Rep. Gregory F. Lavelle, R-Sharpley, who sponsored H.B. 278, said the measure was unlikely to come back up again before Jan. 24 effective date of the ban.
Lavelle said he wanted to block the ban because of complaints from constituents. He also said that the Delaware Solid Waste Authority was unfairly competing with private haulers by offering a backup, $1 per bag yard waste pickup service. Waste picked up under that program would be composted or mulched.
The ban was postponed last year in response to complaints from residents about the lack of alternatives for disposing of leaves and grass clippings. This made sense. What is harder to understand is Lavelle's heartfelt concern for private waste haulers. Since when do their complaints outweigh the public interest?
Leaves and grass clippings don't belong in a very expensive landfill. The capital cost of raising the height of the Cherry Island landfill is about
$3.7 million per vertical foot. And when the landfill is topped off, the cost of building a new one will run at least $100 million, according to a DSWA estimate in 2005.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Brandywine Hundred so I can appreciate the panic that this presents since the legis/DNREC/DSWA did nothing in the way of putting together a reasonable plan for the outcome of the ban. At leg hall the other day, I spoke with many people about how this area can be served properly.
Arden keeps its own mulching area. The Bellevue park is certainly big enough to handle a drop-off facility and perhaps some of the county parks could do the same.
There evidently were a few small private haulers who had invested in trucks and chippers who were against the ban deferral.
DSWA is as screwed up as anything we have in this state. The dump-for-profit is what has kept us in the dark ages per: recycling.

10:31 AM, January 10, 2008  

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