DNREC Launches “Recyclopedia” to Increase Recycling

A new online resource to help Delawareans take the guesswork out of recycling has been unveiled by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. The new tool, Recyclopedia, helps the public and businesses determine the quickest and easiest ways to recycle materials that would otherwise go to a landfill.

The web-based application offers an easy-to-navigate, pictorial guide for more than 200 commonly used recyclables and where those can be recycled depending on the user’s ZIP code. Whether by computer, tablet, phone or other device, Delawareans and businesses can choose or search for an item and quickly find where it should be recycled.

“Recyclopedia is a new and exciting way DNREC is harnessing technology to reduce the amount of recyclables sent to our landfills,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “One of our challenges is confusion about what and how to recycle. Recyclopedia is a one-stop resource to help everyone know how to recycle right.”

The public can determine whether items should go in the trash, or to a curbside or drop-off location.

For example, conduct a search for milk jugs and learn they are “Acceptable” to put in a curbside recycling cart. The program also informs the user to keep the cap on the jug. A search for coffee cups shows they are “Not Acceptable” to put in curbside recycling. Batteries are “NOT Acceptable” either. Instead, batteries should be brought to a DSWA Household Hazardous Waste collection event. They can also find out where those solutions would be available depending on their ZIP code.

The DNREC Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances hired software developer iWasteNot Systems to develop Delaware’s Recyclopedia. The tool is dynamic, and based on both user interaction and DNREC staff research, will be updated regularly to ensure solutions and opportunities for recycling are up-to-date. It is available in more than 100 languages.

Learn more about Recyclopedia by visiting http://de.gov/recycling.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances ensures Delaware’s wastes are managed to protect human life, health, safety and the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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Zwaanendael Museum seeks plastic recyclables

(DOVER, Del. — Jan. 7, 2021) — The Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., is currently seeking donations of plastic bottles and bags that will be used to offset the purchase price of a recycled-plastic bench that will be placed outside the front entrance of the museum.
 

Photo of recycling receptacles outside the Zwaanendael Museum
Recycling receptacles outside the Zwaanendael Museum

 
Receptacles for collecting the materials — one for plastic bottles and another for plastic bags — have been placed in the same location where the bench will eventually be located. People interested in helping the museum need only place their plastic items in the respective receptacle now through March 2021. The museum plans to “unveil” its new bench on Earth Day, April 22, 2021. For additional information about the project, contact the museum via e-mail at zmuseum@delaware.gov or by telephone at 302-645-1148.

Manufactured by Eco Plastic Products of Delaware, a Wilmington-based nonprofit that collects discarded plastic and converts it into useful and sustainable products, the museum’s park bench will be six-feet long and weigh 127 pounds. If the museum collects the weight of the bench in plastic recyclables, it will receive a $31.75 ($0.25 per pound) discount off the bench’s price tag while also supporting the sentiment expressed in Eco Plastic’s slogan “Saving the Oceans One Plastic Bag at a Time.”
 

Photo of a park bench manufactured by Eco Plastic Products of Delaware
Park bench manufactured by Eco Plastic Products of Delaware

The Zwaanendael Museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Designed by E. William Martin (architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover), the museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped google gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters. The museum’s exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history.

Photo of Zwaanendael Museum
Zwaanendael Museum

 
The Zwaanendael Museum is administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, an agency of the State of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five museums which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, operation of a conference center and management of historic properties across the state. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency. However, the contents and opinions expressed in the division’s programs and services do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Department of the Interior.
 

Picture of the Logo of the American Alliance of Museums logo

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Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-608-5326
E-mail: Jim.Yurasek@delaware.gov
Web: http://history.delaware.gov


Christmas Tree Recycling – a Delaware Post-Holiday Tradition – Continues Statewide for 2020/2021

Drop Your Tree at a Yard Waste Site or Call Your Waste Collector

Delawareans who have celebrated their holidays can help the environment by recycling their Christmas trees at one of the many yard waste recycling facilities located throughout the state.

Residents can choose from many sites in Delaware to drop off their Christmas tree. Some of these sites accept trees at no cost, while others charge for the service. Before dropping off trees, call the site in advance to see what restrictions are in place and if there is a charge. Residents who pay for curbside collection service should call their waste hauler to see if they offer Christmas tree pickup. Trees may be accepted as soon as Dec. 26 and as late as Jan. 28, 2021, but each facility has its own schedule. Commercial haulers or landscapers should call a facility prior to delivering loads of trees.

Whether dropping off a Christmas tree or having it collected, prepare it to be recycled into mulch by stripping off all decorations and lights, removing any flocking (fake snow) and detaching tree stands. Christmas trees are no longer accepted for recycling at Delaware State Parks.

Christmas tree recycling saves valuable landfill space. Over 173,000 tons of yard waste, which includes grass, leaves, brush, trees and other lawn/landscape materials, was recycled in 2019. Prior to Delaware’s yard waste ban, many of these materials — considered resources — were sent to landfills, taking up valuable space rather than being handled through local markets for mulch and home composting.

Kent County will collect Christmas trees only from Jan. 4 to 8 and  Jan. 11 to 15, 2021 (on customers’ regular trash day) for those in trash districts that have yard waste collection service. New Castle and Sussex trash customers should check with their waste haulers for information about tree pickup. If pickup is unavailable from their haulers, check the list of yard waste drop-off sites at de.gov/yardwaste.

Delawareans also are reminded that Jan. 17, 2021 is the last day to drop materials off at the Polly Drummond Hill Road yard waste site. It will close for the season on Jan. 18, 2021 and reopen for the spring on March, 20, 2021. More information can be found at de.gov/yardwaste.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances ensures Delaware’s wastes are managed to protect human life, health, safety and the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov

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Plastic Carryout Bag Ban Effective on Jan. 1, 2021

Consumers and some businesses in Delaware will no longer be able to use or distribute single-use plastic carryout bags at the point-of-sale starting January 1. Plastic carryout bags are commonly used to take items home from convenience, grocery and other retail stores. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control urges consumers to bring reusable bags to stores instead and to clean/disinfect those bags between uses.

The ban is designed to reduce beach and roadside litter, save landfill space, increase recycling efforts and help recycling facilities from having to shut down when plastic bags get stuck in the machinery.

“Each Delawarean uses about 434 plastic bags and that means nearly 2,400 tons of plastic bags end up in our landfills annually,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “A decrease by the public of plastic carryout bags can mitigate a large portion of this waste, and help our environment by reducing the amount plastic bags on our roads and waterways that can harm us and our wildlife.”

House Bill 130 implementing the ban was sponsored by 12 legislators led by Rep. Gerald Brady and Sen. Trey Paradee, and was passed in 2019 and signed by Gov. John Carney.

Retailers can choose to offer paper bags, or cloth bags, or a thicker type of plastic bag that is designed to be reusable. The law allows retail stores to charge a fee for the bags they provide at point of sale. DNREC advises consumers to wash or disinfect their reusable bags by turning them inside out and wiping them down with a disinfecting agent after each use.

Under the law, plastic carryout bags will no longer be available from larger stores (more than 7,000 square feet) as well as smaller stores with at least three locations in Delaware of 3,000 square feet each or more. Supermarkets and big-box stores are affected, as well as chains of convenience stores. Restaurants are not subject to the ban, nor are small stores with one or two locations.

All retail stores affected by the law are required to provide an At-Store Recycling program for plastic bags and other specific plastics, like cereal box liners, newspaper sleeves, and single-use produce or meat bags. The drop-off locations should be visible and accessible within the store. Bags that are no longer reusable or unwanted should be recycled at these locations. Plastic bags should not be placed in carts that are part of the state’s curbside recycling program but should instead be returned to stores for recycling.

Consumers and retailers can find more information at de.gov/bags .

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances ensures Delaware’s wastes are managed to protect human life, health, safety and the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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Public Comment Open, Transcript and Presentation Available on Proposed Plastic Bag Ban Regulations

Some May Have Had Trouble Accessing Virtual Hearing

On Wednesday , Oct. 21, 2020, DNREC conducted a virtual hearing on proposed regulations implementing a ban on single-use plastic bags in retail stores. Anyone who attempted to watch the hearing online by clicking on a direct link on the DNREC public hearing page was able to attend, and 12 members of the public were in attendance. As a result of a misprint that appeared in public notices, however, anyone who attempted to access the hearing online or by phone by manually entering the WebEx “event number” was unable to access the hearing.

DNREC encourages anyone interested in the proposed regulations implementing a ban on single-use plastic bags in retail stores to view the materials from Wednesday’s virtual public hearing. As with all DNREC public hearings, a transcript of the hearing has been made available online as well as the presentation from the hearing on the proposed regulations. All other exhibits – including written comments from the public – are also available online. The public hearing page is https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/events/public-hearing-plastic-bag-ban-and-recycling/.

DNREC will accept written comments on the proposed plastic bag ban regulations by email, webform or U.S. mail until Nov.5, details of which are provided on the public hearing webpage. DNREC provides period to accept written public comment after all regulatory hearings. Live comments presented at the hearing carry the same weight as written comments, as live comments are transcribed and made available to the hearing officer and the DNREC Secretary in their deliberation and decision process.

The ban on single use plastic bags was passed by the General Assembly in 2019, and the law becomes effective Jan. 1, 2021. The regulations – “Plastic Carryout Bag Ban and At Store Recycling Program,” 7 Del. Admin. Code 1301 Section 14 – include further details and provisions implementing the ban.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances ensures Delaware’s wastes are managed to protect human life, health, safety and the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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