Huge Win against Incineration in Chester!!

Delaware County Solid Waste Authority (DCSWA) just announced that they will be diverting 7x the current amount of trash to Berks Landfill over next 3 years (with more in the long term) thanks to CRCQL’s & C4’s advocacy and persistence! This is a HUGE WIN– it means less trash in the air, and that our work is making a difference. We will see a future without the Covanta/ReWorld incinerator!!

Click here for the full Delco Times article:

Delaware County plans to take more than seven times the amount of trash to the Berks County landfill in the next three years as a way to divert from the City of Chester incinerator.

“That’s the goal,” Brooks Stayer, CEO of the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority, said, “to get the trash from ReWorld to Rolling Hills landfill.”

Currently, about 40,000 tons of Delaware County’s 400,000 tons of trash annually is sent directly to Rolling Hills. The remainder is sent to the ReWorld waste-to-energy facility, also known as the incinerator, in Chester.

ReWorld is a rebranding from Covanta and calls the Chester site the Delaware Valley Resource Recovery Facility.

At the Chester site, ReWorld processes about 1.2 million tons of trash each year, most of it coming from outside Delaware County. Critics have criticized the impact on nearby residents and have said environmental racism is at play. Company officials have consistently maintained that their pollution levels are well within federal and state standards.

Now, Delaware County Council has extended the life of the Solid Waste Authority by another 50 years to 2074 and has approved the incurrence of lease rental debt of $35 million so the authority can move forward with efforts to move the trash to Berks County.

Stayer explained that 15% of Delaware County’s trash goes directly to the landfill and that 85% goes to the Chester incinerator.

The authority has two transfer stations — one in Chester Township, and another in Marple Township — that were initially built as incinerators and now serve as transfer stations.

“What we propose to do is to remove the waste out of Covanta and move it all to our transfer stations so that requires expansion at the landfill and expansion at our transfer stations,” Stayer said. “This represents a new larger convenience center rather than a transfer station and we will take 100% of the waste that comes to those facilities to the Rolling Hills landfill.”

When they are refitted, the transfer stations will be able to handle organics and recyclables at their centers. Currently, each individual municipality has its own way of handling recycled materials.

The authority is also looking at ways to handle food waste, such as composting, at the transfer stations.

ReWorld declined to comment on the matter at this time.

Stayer explained that last year 39,700 tons of Delaware County’s trash went to the Rolling Hills landfill.

To have it be able to handle nearly seven times that, capacity needs to be increased.

Construction is underway to expand capacity. Without it, capacity would have been reached next year

The project includes a mechanically stabilized earthen berm to handle the weight of the extra trash.

Now, Stayer said, this project will allow for another five to seven years of use, which buys the authority time.

“That will allow us time to actually increase the site life through permitting and redesign to maximize the life to 15 to 18 years,” he said.

In addition, more trash, increasing exponentially each year, will be sent to the facility.

This year, Stayer said, 50,000 tons of Delaware County trash will be sent there.

With the transfer station renovations anticipated to be completed in 2026, it’s expected that 80,000 tons of county trash will be sent to the landfill then.

By 2027, 266,000 tons are forecasted to be sent to the landfill, according to Stayer, who explained that some municipalities will continue to send their trash to the incinerator.

From 1984, when Delaware County acquired the Rolling Hills landfill, until 1992, all of Delaware County’s trash went to the Earl Township facility. In 1992, then-Westinghouse opened the incinerator in Chester and the county began to send its trash there to be processed.

James McLaughlin, former chair of the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority Board who was involved with the authority’s strategic plan outlining this path, praised it moving forward.

“I hope we can continue to make rapid progress in upgrading our infrastructure to completely eliminate incineration in Delaware County forever,” he said.

County Councilman Kevin Madden said it’s time.

To read the rest of the article in the Delco Times, click here

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