Announcement held at H.O. Brittingham Elementary School in Milton
MILTON – Governor Jack Markell and DNREC Secretary David Small were joined by Delaware Recycling Public Advisory Council Chair B.J. Vinton today to announce $714,076 in recycling assistance grants to schools, businesses and municipalities (PDF) for projects that develop or expand waste reduction, reuse or recycling activities. The announcement was held at H.O. Brittingham Elementary School in Milton, whose recycling program was showcased as a recipient of a state recycling award.
DNREC’s Recycling Assistance Grant Program is marking its sixth year as a competitive, matching grant program. The program encourages recipients to provide at least 25 percent of the total project cost in either cash or in-kind services. Since the grant program’s inception, 112 grants, totaling more than $8.5 million, have been awarded to bolster recycling activities in the state.
“Delaware has made great strides in universal recycling – establishing a system that provides services that are cost effective and convenient for every residence and business, and that promotes jobs and economic growth,” said Gov. Markell. “As a result, in less than 6 years, we have gone from modest recycling statewide to diverting nearly 43 percent of recyclables from our landfills – ranking among the nation’s leaders in recycling. The grants we are announcing today make it possible for us to increase diversion rates even more.”
“At the outset of his administration, Gov. Markell made recycling a priority for Delaware,” said DNREC Sec. Small. “I want to thank the Governor, under whose leadership Delaware’s Universal Recycling Law, policies and programs have reduced landfill waste, conserved natural resources, saved Delawareans money, reduced greenhouse gases and improved the health of residents. As a result, 347,000 households receive curbside recycling service and an estimated 20,000 multi-family households receive recycling collection.”
Delaware’s Recycling Public Advisory Council (RPAC) is charged with advising the Governor, DNREC, and the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) on all aspects of recycling, including developing grant criteria and selection of applications, the methodology for measuring recycling rates and outreach activities designed to achieve higher recycling rates. Council Chair B. J. Vinton said. “The Universal Recycling legislation will benefit Delaware for generations to come. As a result of the law, more than $17 million in investments and over 120 direct jobs have been created in the state. If we continue on the track set for us by the law, we will more than double the useful life of our existing landfills and stave off the need for new landfills by decades.”
In this year’s grant cycle, H.O Brittingham Elementary School, where state and local officials gathered today for the awards announcement, received a grant which will be used to expand school-wide recycling by providing recycling containers for classrooms and hallways and purchasing reusable water bottles for students that will reduce waste, save money and help create a sustainable earth.
Cape Henlopen School District Superintendent Robert S. Fulton was on hand to watch students explain their recycling program to Gov. Markell and to applaud the success of the Delaware schools and districts awarded recycling grants this year.
]“With so many of our schools participating in recycling through the grant program we not only increase the recycling rate, but, also, a whole generation learns the value and process of recycling and will carry that learning home to influence parents and others in their communities. This is a win-win for recycling in Delaware,” said Superintendent Fulton.
The 2016 grant awardees include eight individual public schools, three school districts, including Red Clay Consolidated, Smyrna, and Dover, and two universities – University of Delaware and Delaware State University. Nine businesses, including waste haulers, service companies, poultry integrators and a railroad maintenance facility, as well as two municipalities – the cities of Rehoboth Beach and Milford – were also awarded grants. (The full list of awardees is attached to this press release.)
Several of the public schools received awards to implement school-wide or district-wide recycling programs, including purchasing recycling bins, desk-side recycling containers, centralized-hallway wheeled carts, and education materials for students, teachers and administration staff. One school, Postlethwait Middle School in the Caesar Rodney School District, will receive an award to expand composting of organic food waste from the school’s cafeteria – an innovative project that will measure how much food is thrown away that could be properly composted and applied to the school’s gardens. Other programs being implemented by businesses, universities and cities include comprehensive recycling programs and recycling education and public awareness campaigns.
In his remarks, Gov. Markell highlighted Delaware’s 2010 Universal Recycling Law that set in motion the first comprehensive recycling program in the state. Universal recycling has provided residents, commercial and institutional entities and non-profits with effective and convenient access to single stream recycling. The program has created jobs and new industry, as well as recycling nearly half of the trash that formerly went to landfills, slowing the need to expand Delaware’s landfills or start new ones. From the year prior to enactment of the Universal Recycling Law (2009) to 2015, an additional 2.9 million tons of recyclables have been diverted from landfills.
Through the Recycling Assistance Grant Program, grants have assisted schools, businesses, communities and non-profits in implementing recycling programs; helped waste haulers and municipalities with the start-up of curbside recycling; funded recycling equipment at businesses and institutions; helped establish recycling companies in the state to collect and process materials; created yard waste drop-off sites; supported the diversion of recyclables that would otherwise be landfill-disposed; and funded recycling outreach and education.
Funding for the grant program came from a $0.04 recycling fee paid by retailers to the State on certain types of beverages sold and from proceeds from Delaware’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – the program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. Reducing landfill wastes lowers greenhouse gas emissions from landfills and other sources, supporting Delaware’s greenhouse gas reduction goals.
For more information on DNREC’s recycling assistance grants and about Universal Recycling, contact Bill Miller, or DNREC’s Recycling Team at 302-739-9403, ext. 8, or visit: recycling.delaware.gov.
Media Contact: Melanie Rapp, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Vol. 46, No. 413