Contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC issues Secretary’s Order and penalty to Peninsula Compost for odors and environmental violations
DOVER (July 26, 2013) – DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara has issued a conciliatory order to Peninsula Compost Company, LLC, of Wilmington for odors and environmental violations at the company’s recycling facility. The order includes a cash penalty of $25,000 and actions requiring the facility to come back into compliance.
Peninsula, a prominent part of Delaware’s growing recycling industry, owns and operates the Wilmington Organic Recycling Center near the Port of Wilmington. There, it accepts and processes food waste, yard waste, and other organic waste by converting it to compost. Compost is a product stabilized to a humus-like consistency, free of infectious pathogens and viable plant seeds, that does not attract insects, can be easily handled and stored, and is beneficial to agriculture and horticulture. In 2012, Peninsula diverted approximately 100,000 tons of waste from landfills in Delaware and the region.
The Secretary’s Order issued to Peninsula covered environmental violations that include: various material waste piles exceeding size-limits; odors; material being stored outside of approved boundary limits, existence of prohibited waste; inadequate financial assurance, and a record-keeping issue. Some of these violations were determined by DNREC to be ongoing.
“Peninsula Compost provides an important recycling function by turning organic waste into high quality compost," said Secretary O’Mara. “At the same time, the company has exceeded its permit conditions in multiple areas, resulting in violations for odor issues. This penalty holds the company accountable for their violations while encouraging additional measures, in collaboration with DNREC, to reduce external impacts.”
Despite the violations noted in the Secretary’s Order, DNREC found no problems with the quality of the finished product composted by Peninsula. Finished compost is tested by the facility then reviewed by DNREC, which requires that it meet specific criteria for a host of parameters. Compost is a beneficial soil amendment that helps retain soil moisture, improves soil fertility, and suppresses plant diseases and pests. It has been shown to promote higher yields of agricultural crops and also is coveted for use on lawns, in home gardens, and in farm fields.
The company has 35 days to demonstrate that it has implemented the requirements of the Order. The Secretary’s Order can be found at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Info/Pages/SecOrders_Enforcement.aspx.
Vol. 43, No. 294