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What is yard waste? It’s plant material that comes from lawn maintenance and other gardening and landscaping activities. This includes:

  • Grass
  • Leaves
  • Prunings
  • Brush and shrubs
  • Garden materials
  • Christmas trees
  • Tree limbs up to 4" in diameter

Why do we need a ban? Have you noticed when you go to a garden center that the bags of mulch and soil conditioner you buy are from out of state? Yet here in Delaware, we send our own yard trimmings to landfills. That means we’re paying twice because we dispose of a useful product. Yard trimmings are a resource, not a waste. So disposing of them makes no sense from either an economic or an environmental standpoint.

How the ban came about: Restricting yard waste from the Cherry Island Landfill remains a permit condition – see Page 6 of the permit – that DNREC issued to the Delaware Solid Waste Authority earlier this year.

The DART Mid-County Yard Waste Drop-off site near Bear. Photo by Jim Short.

The permit was complicated, but the outcome means there is now an end in sight for the landfill and its effects on neighbors. The ban will divert an additional 45,000 tons a year of waste from Cherry Island.

Who is affected by the ban? Those Delawareans whose yard waste goes to the Cherry Island Landfill. Generally, if you live in northern New Castle County you will be affected. To find out for sure whether you will be affected by the ban, you must call whoever handles your trash - whether it's your city or a private trash hauler.

What’s it going to cost? That will depend on site-specific circumstances. But estimated costs per homeowner are in the range of $3 to $7 per month.

What should northern New Castle County homeowners do with their yard waste after January 24, 2008?

Back to the main Yard Waste page


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