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 recycle@delaware.gov 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 Recycling.Delaware.gov. 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 recycling.delaware.gov, email questions to recycle@delaware.gov, 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

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Online registration now open to volunteers for 32nd annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup sponsored by DNREC

DOVER – Online volunteer registration is now open for the 32nd annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup, to be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 14. Sponsored by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the cleanup spans the First State’s 97-mile eastern coastline and includes river and ocean shorelines as well as wetland and watershed areas. This year, volunteers will focus on more than 45 sites in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties for cleanup.

DNREC LogoIndividual volunteers and groups are strongly encouraged to preregister on DNREC’s website at de.gov/coastalcleanup to ensure enough supplies are readied for each site. Preregistration will close Monday, Sept. 2.

Groups of 10 volunteers or more also are asked to contact Delaware Coastal Cleanup Coordinator Joanna Wilson by phone at 302-739-9902, or by emailing joanna.wilson@delaware.gov, or to contact the appropriate zone captain listed on the website for advance site placement.

At last year’s Coastal Cleanup, 1,115 dedicated volunteers from civic organizations, youth groups, businesses and families collected 2.7 tons of trash from 42 sites along Delaware’s shorelines and tributaries. Cleanup volunteers’ more unusual finds included a dishwasher, a message in a bottle from 2007, a knife in a sheath, mattress springs, scissors, charcoal grill, pirate hat, car muffler, beach chair, bushel baskets, street sign, key card, glow stick, ink cartridge, pacifier, pith helmet, car console, golf club handle, metal canopy frame, a troll doll, a Nintendo game controller, and a Rubik’s Cube.

Delaware’s Cleanup is part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest annual clearing of trash from coastlines, rivers, streams, and lakes by volunteers. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world help each year to rid the environment of marine debris and collect detailed information on the types and quantities of refuse they find. Information is recorded on data cards and sent to the Center for Marine Conservation, which compiles data for all cleanups to help identify debris sources and focus efforts on eliminating or reducing marine debris. For more information, visit www.oceanconservancy.org.

For more information about the Delaware Coastal Cleanup, please call DNREC Public Affairs at 302-739-9902.

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

Vol. 49, No. 202

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DNREC and Perdue AgriRecycle, LLC reach settlement agreement on Solid Waste Permit violations

Dover – Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and Perdue AgriRecycle, LLC (Perdue) have entered into a settlement agreement that resolves environmental violations arising from operations under Composting Permit SW-18/03, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced today. Under this permit, Perdue operates a composting facility in Seaford using agricultural wastes and residues from their operations as feedstock for the company’s compost production.

Perdue’s permit requires quarterly reporting of analytical testing of compost batches to ensure that it is fit to be sold. Issues arose from lab reports being provided in a piecemeal manner to DNREC. Additionally, the reports were missing key data points, and DNREC’s Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances questioned the compost batch samples and their chain-of-custody. Chain-of-custody helps to make sure a sample is handled in such a way as to maintain quality control and prevents introducing potential contamination into the process of moving the sample from the field to the lab.

In addition to the piecemeal data reporting, there were other instances where incorrect data was provided to DNREC as part of Perdue’s quarterly reporting process. In these instances, subsequent review of data showed that the material in question exceeded allowable levels of chemicals including chromium VI and fecal bacteria.

The settlement agreement directs Perdue to change how they are reporting as well as to clarify how reports will be provided to DNREC. Additionally, it focuses on ensuring that the quality of finished product is high and conforms to the standards within Permit SW-18/03 and that “unfinished” product will no longer be distributed by Perdue AgriRecycle, LLC.

Through the settlement agreement, DNREC Secretary Garvin issued an Administrative Penalty to Perdue AgriRecycle, LLC for the violations of Delaware’s Regulations Governing Solid Waste. The Settlement Agreement assesses a penalty of $179,429, which includes $4,429 from Perdue AgriRecycle, LLC for DNREC cost recovery. Perdue has accepted obligations set forth by DNREC and agreed to corrective actions required by the Department.

The settlement agreement can be found on the DNREC website at dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/secretarys-orders/.

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


DNREC offers new cycle of Delaware’s Universal Recycling Grant and Low Interest Loan Program

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances is offering another opportunity under the Universal Recycling Grants and Low Interest Loan Program to help Delaware organizations support the state’s municipal solid waste (MSW) diversion goal of 60 percent diversion of MSW by Jan. 1, 2020. The most recent statistics from 2017 place Delaware at a 43.1 percent diversion rate, compared to the National Diversion Rate, which stands at 34.7 percent as of 2015.

“Statistics show that Delaware is already a national leader in recycling, but we know we still have room to grow under the Universal Recycling law, which guarantees access for recycling to all residents of the First State whether at home, work, school, or play,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “The goal of this grant program is to help organizations within Delaware increase diversion to meet and exceed our statewide goals. We encourage collaborative and creative solutions to help Delaware raise the bar and keep recycling moving in the right direction.”

DNREC, in collaboration with the Recycling Public Advisory Council (RPAC), is offering the following opportunities:

Open/Competitive Programs (total funding: $210,000): This category focuses on projects that promote five key areas identified by RPAC: leveraging data to increase recycling; identifying new or existing markets to accept Delaware’s diverted materials; identifying and measuring ways to educate and encourage recycling or waste reduction behavior change; establishing recycling and/or waste reduction programs within a school, district, or university; and establishing programs to support municipal or county-led waste diversion initiatives. In this category Projects that support the goals outlined in 7 Del. Code §6055 will be considered even if they fall outside of the above parameters.

Food Waste Reduction Initiatives Program (total funding: $100,000): Projects within this category must be directed at ways to help the food service/restaurant industry reduce the amount of food waste going to Delaware landfills.

School Field Trip Program (total funding: $80,000): Funding for school bus companies to take students/classes from a single grade level from every school in Delaware to the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) Education Center located in New Castle. This program is open to any public or private school in Delaware.

Application forms and the guidance document are available at Delaware recycling grants and loans, or via Delaware’s recycling website at recycling.delaware.gov. Applicants are advised to read the guidance document prior to submitting their applications. Applications will be due to DNREC by the close of business Friday, July 12, 2019. Due to the limited amount of funding, partial grants might be awarded based on RPAC’s discretion. RPAC and DNREC emphasize that applicants for grants and low-interest loans do not need to be recycling experts to put forward a recycling grant proposal. DNREC highly encourages creative solutions and collaboration among applicants.

To learn more about Delaware Recycles, or for assistance with a grant application, call 302-739-9403 or email recycle@delaware.gov.


New video series on DNREC YouTube Channel shows how to repurpose common recyclable plastic items for new uses

DOVER – Got any empty plastic jugs, frosting tubs, or candy containers waiting to be recycled? A new series of quick, fun videos on the DNREC YouTube Channel shows you some clever ways to reuse and repurpose these items instead of putting them in your recycling cart.

That big plastic jug? Turn it into a watering can.

A plastic ready-made frosting tub leftover from that birthday cake you made last week? It’s the perfect size to hold pencils and pens on your desk – and it’s easy to customize.

After you finish mints, fruity sours, or candy, those little round containers can hold ear buds, change, pills or vitamins, jewelry, or other small items to keep them from getting lost or tangled in your pocket or purse.

Start with a clean container with labels removed – use some goo-gone or other adhesive remover as needed. Then, with some fine-pointed permanent markers and a little creativity, you’ll have a unique item ready for a new life.

To see how it’s done, check out the video series on the DNREC YouTube Channel, and for directions and more inspiration, visit de.gov/repurpose.

CONTACT: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 113