Public meeting set for Oct. 20 in Georgetown on upcoming Kent/Sussex County yard waste disposal ban and options

A public meeting has been scheduled on the upcoming yard waste disposal ban at Kent and Sussex County landfills and the options available to homeowners and businesses for managing yard waste on their properties. The meeting will be held 6:30 – 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20 at the Georgetown Library, 123 West Pine Street in Georgetown.

The meeting will include a presentation and discussion on the economic and environmental benefits of keeping yard waste out of landfills and available options for managing yard waste in the two counties, which include:

* Handling it yourself by composting, including use of a mulching mower.
* Arranging to have someone else manage your yard waste either by hiring a landscaper or making arrangements to have a waste hauler remove it.
* Developing a community-wide solution by creating your town or community’s own yard waste site.

Beginning January 1, 2011, Delaware’s ban on the disposal of yard waste at two landfills – the Central and Southern Solid Waste Management Centers near Sandtown and Georgetown – goes into effect as a way to conserve valuable landfill space and encourage the recycling of a natural resource.

Operated by the Delaware Solid Waste Authority, the Kent and Sussex County landfills will continue to accept segregated yard waste after the ban goes into effect; however, yard waste may not be commingled with regular trash.

Yard waste makes up nearly one fourth of the residential waste that goes into landfills and includes all plant materials resulting from lawn maintenance and landscaping activities. These include grass clippings, leaves, prunings, brush, shrubs, garden materials, Christmas trees and tree limbs up to four inches in diameter.

The yard waste ban in Kent and Sussex Counties will divert an estimated 30,000 tons of waste from the Central and Southern landfills each year. New Castle County yard waste ban, which went into effect Jan. 24, 2008, has diverted an estimated 50,000 tons of waste from the county’s Cherry Island Landfill each year.

Diverting yard waste from disposal has multiple benefits – extending the life of landfill, protecting our environment, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change. Recycling yard waste into mulch and compost provides economic and environmental benefits as well – by creating jobs, increasing the local production of commercial landscape products, and producing healthier soils and plants.

For more information contact Jim Short, Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances, 302-739-9403, or visit http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/yardwaste/Pages/Default.aspx.

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