What does "mandatory" mean? Mandated availability of
curbside recycling pickup to everybody? Mandatory participation in
available programs? What exactly....?
A close reading of the Delaware bill does not suggest that either would
happen in Delaware as a result of it.
This is one of a long string of basically meaningless bills people have
wrangled over without reading.....
Of course recycling should be mandatory. But this word has long
been used in Delaware as a red flag to stir up opposition....
At 11:52 AM 6/21/2007, Reindl, John wrote:
This is great news ! Wisconsin
has had mandatory recycling in place since the early 1990's and, while
not perfect, it has worked very well. Without mandatory recycling, I
doubt that we would have the economies of scale for either collection,
processing, or marketing.
Dane County, WI
- -----Original Message-----
- From: GreenYes@no.address
mailto:GreenYes@no.address]On Behalf Of
- Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2007 10:17 AM
- To: GreenYes@no.address
- Subject: [GreenYes] Recycling to be mandatory? Compromise bill
may be voted on soon in House
- Published: Jun 19, 2007 - 11:19:49 pm EDT
- Recycling to be mandatory? Compromise bill may be voted on soon in
- By Drew Volturo, Delaware State News
- DOVER -- Lawmakers pushing two separate curbside residential
recycling bills have reached a compromise on legislation that would be
mandatory and charge a $3 per ton assessment on solid waste.
- The measure, a combination of two bills that had their supporters and
detractors, was being shopped around Legislative Hall Tuesday and could
find its way to the House of Representatives floor for a vote
- "We have been doing voluntary recycling for several years and
can't get much above 15 percent (participation among residents),"
said Rep. Pamela S. Maier, R-Newark, who is sponsoring the compromise
- "I don't want folks to be afraid of the word 'mandatory,' which
always raises red flags."
- Rep. Maier originally sponsored a bill that would mandate curbside
residential recycling, while Gov. Ruth Ann Minner backed legislation
calling for voluntary recycling and setting up a $3 per ton
- The compromise measure incorporates many of the tenets of the
Minner-backed legislation, including the assessment, which would create a
fund to help with startup costs associated with recycling programs, and
the establishment of recycling goals.
- Secretary of Natural Resources and Environmental Control John A.
Hughes said his department could live with the mandatory recycling bill,
but he prefers the original voluntary measure because it would be more
palatable to legislators and residents.
- "We agree with getting recycling started, planting the
seeds," Mr. Hughes said.
- "We will reach the point when the majority of people see how
well recycling functions and the costs are balanced out by large-scale
- Then, Mr. Hughes said, adopting a mandatory system would be less
- He noted that his hometown of Rehoboth Beach has implemented
voluntary curbside recycling through Delaware Solid Waste Authority and
many of his neighbors already have signed up for the program.
- Mr. Hughes said he is concerned that mandatory recycling might not
pass, and the voluntary proposal might end up on the cutting room floor
- Clean Air Council community outreach director James Black said he
would have preferred a mandatory recycling bill without the assessment,
which is estimated to cost the average household 38 cents a
- "Mandatory recycling is not as much of a problem as it used to
be because people realize to reach the goals we set, it has to be
mandatory," Mr. Black said.
- "It's better to have a compromise bill now because every year we
wait, the trash in the landfills is going to pile that much
- But Delaware Solid Waste Authority CEO Pasquale "Pat"
Canzano said not establishing the assessment while requiring recycling
creates an unfunded mandate, which often is difficult to meet.
- "(The bill) provides the ability for public and private entities
to apply for grants for recycling programs, which should increase the
amount of recycling," Mr. Canzano said.
- Under the legislation, a recycling fund would be established and
financed by a $3 per ton assessment on all solid waste -- excluding
recyclables -- collected and/or disposed of in Delaware.
- That money, Deputy DNREC Secretary David Small said, would be
available to private companies, municipalities and community
organizations as startup funds for recycling programs and could be used
to purchase equipment, such as a truck or recycling containers.
- Once a local government reaches a recycling rate of 30 percent, it
would not be assessed the $3 a ton surcharge.
- "At some point, around 30-40 percent recycling, towns would be
saving enough in tipping and disposal fees to cover recycling
costs," Mr. Small said.
- But how would the mandatory component of the legislation be
- Rep. Robert J. Valihura Jr., R-Wilmington, a sponsor of the original
voluntary recycling bill and co-sponsor of the compromise measure, said
there are mechanisms in place to ensure the program's success.
- Refuse brought to a landfill already is inspected for contraband,
asbestos and other contaminants. If trash haulers start bringing in
refuse with too many recyclables, the landfills would reject the loads
and could fine the haulers, Rep. Valihura said.
- DSWA and DNREC, he said, would develop the exact process.
- The measure carries the goal of increasing Delaware's recycling from
15 percent to 30 percent recycling by 2010 and 51 percent by
- Post your opinions in the Public Issues Forum at
- Staff writer Drew Volturo can be reached at 741-8296
- See what's free at
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