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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : News : America Recycles Day finds state’s recycling diversion rate on the rise

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

America Recycles Day finds state’s
recycling diversion rate on the rise

DOVER (Nov. 15, 2013) – With today celebrated as America Recycles Day, Delaware highlights the occasion by way of the state’s 40.1 percent recycling diversion rate, which continues to rise, and by the expansion of recycling services into the commercial sector by Jan. 1, 2014. Delaware’s Recycling Public Advisory Council (RPAC) recently released its annual report, which includes statewide recycling measurements, and found that recycling participation is overwhelmingly up for Delawareans while landfill disposal volumes are down.

As a direct result of the state’s Universal Recycling Law, two new material recovery facilities (MRFs) have opened to process the increase in recyclable materials generated in Delaware. The expansion of recycling activities and operations has resulted in new investment and dozens of new jobs for Delaware as well. Recyclables, construction debris, and yard waste generated here are now being processed in Delaware like never before. Universal recycling reduces the state’s waste disposal costs, keeps raw materials in the manufacturing sector, supports jobs, and promotes sustainability.

The full impact of the Universal Recycling Law, signed by Governor Markell in 2010, is still to come, and it remains possible that Delaware will reach the recycling diversion goal of 50 percent by 2015. The law is structured to maximize recycling rates and diversion of waste through a comprehensive statewide system of recycling that with full implementation will include effective and convenient recycling programs for every Delaware residence and business.

“Through the state’s universal recycling program, Delawareans and businesses across the state are saving money and reducing their environmental footprint,” said Governor Jack Markell. “I applaud all who are making Delaware’s recycling successful. Together, we are improving our recycling rate and becoming a recycling leader in the region.”

The first major milestone of the Universal Recycling law was single-family residential recycling, which was fully implemented by Sept. 15, 2011. The next milestone was multi-family residential recycling, which was implemented on January 1, 2013. The final component of this law is recycling in the commercial sector – which includes Delaware businesses, non-profits, and institutions – with an implementation deadline of Jan. 1, 2014.

“Delawareans are recycling more, throwing out less and saving money in the process,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “All of this is reflected in our rising diversion rate. Over the next few years, we’ll be working with the commercial sector to help double the rate for commercial recycling in Delaware to help businesses, companies and institutions achieve the statewide goals of the Universal Recycling Law.. We want every Delawarean to have access to recycling at home, at work and everywhere in between - and the commercial sector opportunities will push us toward the statewide goal of 50 percent diversion.”

Business owners and institution managers are encouraged to learn about the growing recycling opportunities in Delaware. Do you want to know what recyclables are in your waste stream? Are you wondering how to start a recycling program? Free state-sponsored waste characterizations are available to assist small business, non-profits, and institutions design an effective waste reduction program, which may result in total waste disposal savings.

To learn more about legislative requirements, grant funding, commercial recycling toolkits, and waste characterizations, please visit: or call 302-739-9403. The Recycling Public Advisory Council’s annual report is also available on the DNREC website.

While we’ve come far with recycling in the last two years, there’s still a lot of opportunity for improvement, so please help Delaware carry forward the spirit of America Recycles Day every day! 

Vol. 43, No. 440

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