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Delaware, USA

Delaware


Action(s) Taken

  • Disposal bans
  • Recycling Policies

Population

936,000

Universal Recycling Overview

Delaware has a goal to recover 60% of municipal waste by 2020. Delaware’s Universal Recycling Law expanded curbside recycling collection to all single-family and multi-family residences and repealed its refundable five-cent beverage deposit law. Residents are not required to participate in the recycling program but they have the service and pay for it regardless. The bill also required businesses to participate in a recycling program beginning January 1, 2014.

The five-cent, refundable deposit on beverage containers was replaced with a four-cent, nonrefundable fee on beverage containers set to end in 2014 or when ir reached $22 million (it did expire on December 31, 2014). Retailers were required to charge the fee and submit the payment to the state. The law only applied to carbonated beverages sold in glass or plastic bottles (non aluminum cans).

The money went to the Delaware Recycling fund to be used for low-interest loans and grants for haulers to help offset start-up costs for offering services, a study on how to implement the commercial recycling program, and administration of the program.

The regulation called for a study and recommendations on business recycling, with the goal of all businesses participating in a recycling program by 2014. Commercial waste makes up half the waste in Delaware.

Learn More About Universal Recycling in Delaware

Mandatory Business Recycling in Delaware

Businesses in Delaware were required to participate in a recycling program by 2014 under the same state law that required recycling services for all residents. Businesses are required to participate but this is not defined in terms of which materials must be recycled. The state repealed its refundable five-cent beverage deposit law in favor of this approach.

The five-cent refundable deposit on beverage containers was replaced with a four cent, nonrefundable fee on beverage containers which ends in 2014 or when it reaches $22 million. Retailers are required to charge the fee and submit the payment to the state. The law only applies to carbonated beverages sold in glass or plastic bottles (not on aluminum cans). The bottle bill had been in place since 1982. The money went to the Delaware Recycling Fund to be used for low-interest loans and grants for haulers to help offset start-up costs for offering services, the study on how to implements the commercial recycling program, and administration of the program.

Learn More About Mandatory Recycling in Delaware

Disposal Ban Overview

Delaware banned yard waste from its landfills in order to extend landfill life, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the local production of compost and mulch. The banned materials include grass, leaves, plant prunings, brush and shrubs, garden materials, Christmas trees, and tree limbs up to 4 inches in diameter.

Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) operates the only three municipal solid waste landfills in the state. The state implemented the ban over time, with the ban taking effect at the Cherry Island landfill in 2008 and at the other two landfills in 2011.

Residents can manage their yard waste through three options:

  • Haul the materials, separated from trash, to a designated drop-off center for composting. Several landfills and transfer stations continue to accept yard waste as long as it is not mixed with trash and is placed in a separate area for recycling.
  • Contract with a private hauler to collect yard waste for composting

Manage yard waste onsite through backyard composting or grasscycling.

Learn More About Delaware’s Disposal Ban

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