Universal recycling available Jan. 1, 2013 for Delaware’s multi-family complexes


New Year’s Day 2013 marks the expansion of recycling services in Delaware to include multi-family apartment and condominium complexes. Waste collectors have partnered with multi-family complexes to provide recycling services along with their trash services through the state’s universal recycling program.

All single family homes that have trash collection service began receiving recycling service from their waste haulers in September 2011, as did most restaurants and bars. By Jan. 1, 2014, all commercial businesses will be participating in a comprehensive recycling program. Recycling participation is dramatically higher throughout Delaware in the last 15 months, according to reports from waste haulers, while landfill disposal volumes are down.

“Reducing waste reduces consumption of our natural resources, generates new businesses and job opportunities and keeps disposal costs down,” said Governor Jack Markell. “The more Delaware recycles, the less trash we send to our landfills and the less demand we have for future landfill expansion. Minimizing the need for more landfill capacity is a key economic and environmental goal of universal recycling.”

“Recycling is a win-win-win,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “Recycling improves the environment, saves money, and creates local jobs. Including multi-family dwellings is a key next step in ensuring every resident and business has easy access to recycling services. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with residents, businesses, local governments, and private haulers to achieve the goals of the universal recycling program.”

Multi-family dwellings – apartment and condo complexes – will be provided recycling collection in the same fashion as their trash collection. Single stream recycling, which allows all recyclables to be tossed together into one container for pickup, separate from the trash, has made recycling easier than ever before. Apartment and condo management staff will provide information on recycling to their residents.

“Sorting and collecting items separately was one of the obstacles that kept people from recycling more,” said Brock J. Vinton II, Chairman of Delaware’s Recycling Public Advisory Council. “Single stream eliminates the need for storing recyclables in separate containers and streamlines the process thanks to the automated sorting mechanisms at the materials recovery facilities in Delaware.

According to Vinton, municipalities and waste haulers are reporting an enthusiastic response to their recycling services and a significant reduction in trash going to the state’s three landfills.

Delaware’s universal recycling program was established in 2010 following passage of legislation co-sponsored by Senator David McBride and Representative Michael Mulrooney and signed into law by Governor Jack Markell. For more information on recycling in Delaware, please visit: www.recycling.delaware.gov