Recycling Public Advisory Council to meet Jan. 22 in Dover

DOVER – Delaware’s Recycling Public Advisory Council (RPAC) will meet at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22 at the DelDOT building in the Felton-Farmington conference room located at 800 Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901.

The Recycling Public Advisory Council was enacted into law by Senate Bill 234 in May 2010, and charged with advising the Governor’s Office, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and the Delaware Solid Waste Authority on all aspects of recycling, including: development of grant criteria and selection of applications; a methodology for measuring recycling rates; and possible outreach activities designed to achieve higher recycling rates for the state.

For more information, please visit the RPAC webpage on the DNREC website, or contact Adam Schlachter, DNREC Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances’ Compliance and Permitting Section, at 302-739-9403.

For more information about the quarterly RPAC meeting, including the agenda, please go to

Contact: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Christmas tree recycling – a Delaware post-holiday tradition – carries on statewide for 2019/2020

Take your tree to a yard waste site or contact your waste collector

DOVER – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control encourages Delawareans to recycle your Christmas tree at one of many yard waste recycling facilities located throughout the state, or to place your tree curbside for recycling. Whatever route you and your Christmas tree may take toward recycling, it’s always a good post-holiday destination that benefits the state environmentally.

“Recycling Christmas trees has been an environmentally-friendly tradition in the state for many years, and we hope that more Delawareans will continue that tradition this holiday season,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “We also welcome residents who might be newcomers to recycling their Christmas trees – and thank them for helping to make our environment better.”

A list of yard waste sites accepting Christmas trees for recycling can be found on the DNREC website. Trees may be dropped off as soon as the day after Christmas, but each facility has a different schedule for accepting them, so you are advised to call ahead. Also, before loading your Christmas tree in your vehicle and traveling to a drop-off site, check with your regular trash hauler to see if they are collecting trees and what their schedule and requirements are. DNREC also reminds Delawareans Christmas trees are no longer accepted for recycling at any Delaware State Parks locations. Whether dropping off your Christmas tree or having it collected, the tree should always be stripped of all decorations and lights, have any flocking (fake snow) removed, and be detached from a tree stand.

For more information on Christmas tree recycling, visit, and click on “yard waste drop-off sites,” or call DNREC’s Recycling Program at 302-739-9403.

Media contact: Michael Globetti or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


DNREC awards recycling grants as Delaware celebrates Nov. 15 as America Recycles Day

DOVER – As Delawareans go to their recycling carts and compost containers to celebrate America Recycles Day, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin today announced almost $400,000 in recycling grants from Delaware’s Universal Recycling Grant and Low Interest Loan program administered by DNREC’s Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances.

“In conjunction with America Recycles Day, I want to commend organizations, a city, schools, a school district, and businesses throughout the state who have committed to recycling with the awarding of more than $390,000 in Universal Recycling Grants,” Secretary Garvin said. “The projects supported by this program will continue to help Delawareans reduce their waste and to recycle toward a better environmental future for our state. While Delaware continues to see success with our Universal Recycling Program, America Recycles Day also is a good opportunity to challenge ourselves to do more.”

The latest cycle of DNREC recycling grant funding was awarded to nine different entities. The funding has three different priority areas, including food waste reduction; projects that support waste reduction/diversion; and a program that organizes student field trips to the DSWA Education Center in New Castle.

The Universal Recycling Grant and Low Interest Loan Program, which is coordinated through Delaware’s Recycling Public Advisory Council (RPAC), awarded the following grants:

Delaware Center for Horticulture ($23,400): The Center will work with stakeholders through a Food Waste Symposium to focus on ways to reduce this type of waste from being landfilled. The grant award also funds a three-year study of the results.

Caesar Rodney School District, Kent County ($13,550): The school district will procure and install water bottle-filling station fountains, and buy reusable bags for school meal distribution. Both efforts will directly reduce the amount of waste generated in the District. The school district also received funding to purchase more recycling containers to increase diversion.

Odyssey Charter School, Wilmington ($1,716): Odyssey will receive funding to purchase reusable utensils for use throughout the school’s food service operations. This will directly reduce the amount of material being disposed by the school. Additionally Odyssey Charter will receive funds to purchase additional recycling container lids to help increase diversion.

Holy Cross School, Dover ($380): Holy Cross School will receive funding to purchase recycling bins to increase the amount of material currently diverted from the school’s waste stream.

City of Newark/Recycle Coach ($5,900): The City of Newark and Recycle Coach, a recycling technology company, will receive funding to roll out an app and marketing campaign to reduce contamination in curbside recycling carts. The grant will also cover the costs associated with before and after waste audits to prove success.

Zerocycle, Washington, D.C. ($50,000): Zerocycle is a technology company that will team with the solid waste industry, State of Delaware, and other partners to analyze and identify trends and areas of concern throughout the State with regard to recycling success.

AllOver Media, Minneapolis, Minn. ($110,000): AllOver Media provides advertising services at gas stations throughout the nation. The company has proposed a Delaware Recycles ad campaign which will focus at key locations throughout Delaware to help ensure residents are aware of the Universal Recycling program.

Sussex County Habitat for Humanity ($40,442): In order to help support their ever growing reuse business, Habitat for Humanity will receive funding to acquire another truck to expand their fleet and increase the amount of reusable material diverted from landfills.

Cape Gazette Group, Lewes ($58,251): The media group will work with DNREC to create and distribute recycling education material to all students within Delaware as well as residents of the State. Additionally, this campaign will also provide electronic distribution of educational information via web and email advertising.

In addition, $86,600 has been set aside to reimburse schools throughout Delaware to cover the cost of a tour of the DSWA Education Center in New Castle. Schools should email for details about the reimbursement program.

On America Recycles Day, DNREC reminds residents that, as you celebrate, know what to throw in your recycling cart by going to Delaware’s Universal Recycling Program makes it easier to recycle, delivers cost-effective recycling services, and promotes jobs and economic growth. Recycling conserves resources, preserves landfill space and strengthens our environment. Delawareans’ dedication to the cause means that the amount of recyclable material diverted from Delaware’s landfill has increased significantly since 2006, when DNREC, RPAC, and the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) started calculating recycling rates in Delaware.

But supporting recycling does not just mean putting the right items into the recycling cart. Other notable recycling actions that can be taken by residents, organizations and businesses are:

Buy Recycled: Purchase items with post-consumer recycled (PCR) content such as paper products, electronics, promotional materials, and other consumer goods. Post-consumer recycled paper has been generated by a recycling program so these purchases keep the “cycle” going.

Practice Yard Waste Best Management Practices: Yard waste management and backyard composting are two very easy ways to provide natural fertilizer to lawns and gardens throughout Delaware. Don’t spend time raking and bagging your material if you’re going to “waste” it.

Become a recycling leader at work: DNREC offers free waste and recycling assessments and recommendations on starting or expanding recycling programs. More information can be found at “Recycling for Business” on DNREC’s website.

To learn more about recycling in Delaware, please visit, email questions to, or call DNREC’s Universal Recycling Program, Compliance and Permitting Section, at 302-739-9403.

Media Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


DNREC announces that Croda, Inc. can resume ethylene oxide production at company’s Atlas Point facility

Approval granted for operation of Croda’s EO plant after company fulfills Delaware accidental release prevention requirements

DOVER – Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced today that the Department has granted approval to Croda, Inc. to resume ethylene oxide (EO) production at the company’s Atlas Point facility. Croda received DNREC approval by fulfilling its obligations to improve safety at the facility through actions required by DNREC’s accidental release program. DNREC issued its requirements after investigating the Nov. 25, 2018 accidental release of EO, the volatile chemical substance used in the manufacturing of Croda’s products.

DNREC Secretary Garvin ordered Croda to complete seven accidental release prevention action requirements before the Department would approve the resumption of EO production at Croda’s new ethylene oxide plant. At DNREC’s direction, Croda completed an internal incident investigation report; a focused process hazard analysis of all EO release points; a fire water system hazard analysis; fire water system procedures training; fire department manifold connection to Croda’s fire water system supply tank; employee training for EO plant operation and emergency procedures; and a safety validation process – also known internally by Croda as the pre-startup safety review.

In addition to DNREC’s requirements, Croda installed automated purge and isolation valves, 26 additional fixed ethylene oxide gas detectors and eight additional closed circuit TV cameras, as well as upgraded its vapor suppression capabilities.

After coordination with DNREC and the New Castle County Office of Emergency Management, Croda also decided to install an emergency siren system to be used in conjunction with several other notification systems for alerting the public in the event of an accidental release by the facility. The system will be installed on or about Jan. 31, 2020.

Within a month of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident, DNREC, along with numerous state and local government agencies and Croda officials, held a public information meeting to review the incident and governmental agencies’ response. Other agencies included Delaware’s Department of Homeland Security, Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), Division of Public Health, State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), and the New Castle County Department of Public Safety and Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). DNREC also held a second public meeting in August with Croda to update the surrounding community on the required accidental release prevention actions and obtain additional community input.

After Croda established that it had met all of DNREC’s requirements, including resulting upgrades and safety improvements for both Croda employees and the community, Secretary Garvin announced today that the company could begin operating the ethylene oxide plant again at the Atlas Point facility.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


DNREC announces Blades Groundwater Site has been proposed for Superfund NPL listing by US EPA

DOVER – As a significant step toward environmental remediation of hazardous substances found within the Town of Blades in Sussex County, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed the Blades Groundwater Site to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL), Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced today. The NPL is EPA’s list of priority sites where there have been releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants requiring evaluation for possible remediation.

When the Blades Groundwater Site – which DNREC began treating with carbon filtration in 2018 to maintain safe use of the town’s water supply – is listed to the NPL, it will be eligible for remedial action financed under the federal Superfund program. NPL eligibility will allow EPA to use Superfund authority and resources to help DNREC continue to investigate and remediate the contamination and protect human health and the environment in Blades. DNREC requested EPA’s assistance with the management and remediation of the site due to the complex nature of the hazardous chemicals and the extent of the contamination. DNREC worked closely with the EPA and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) in February 2018 identifying per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination, notifying local officials and the public, and securing safe drinking water supplies.

The proposed listing of the Blades Groundwater Site is due to the identification of electroplating compounds, PFAS, and hazardous metals contamination in municipal and residential drinking water wells in and near the Town of Blades. PFAS includes the chemicals, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and is also referred to as perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) and perfluoroalkyls.

The public drinking water currently provided by the Town of Blades is treated to remove contamination, including PFAS. DNREC also coordinated carbon treatment for the impacted private residential wells, following DPH’s recommendation for appropriate carbon treatment. The finished drinking water meets federal and state safe drinking water standards. Recent testing completed in October 2019 indicates the Blades municipal drinking water continues to meet drinking water standards.

The EPA – with support from DNREC, DPH, and the Town of Blades – plan to hold a local public information meeting in December in the Blades area to provide information on the site and the proposed listing to the NPL. EPA, DPH and DNREC will work closely with state and local agencies and officials throughout the NPL listing process. Supporting documentation for the proposed listing of the Blades Groundwater Site is available at:

If the comments received throughout the NPL listing process do not affect EPA’s scoring of the site, the site could be eligible for listing on the NPL. If the site is listed on the NPL, EPA will again provide public notice in the Federal Register, and formally respond to the comments received.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902