DSWA’s  Administrative Office is now located at 601 Energy Lane, Dover DE 19901 

Town of Smyrna’s “Feet on the Street” Cart Tagging Program Yields Remarkable Results

The Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) in collaboration with The Town of Smyrna, The Recycling Partnership, and Waste Management is thrilled to announce the outstanding outcomes of Delaware’s first “Feet on the Street” Cart Tagging Program, a collaborative effort aimed at improving recycling practices and reducing contamination rates across communities nationwide. 

The Recycling Partnerships “Feet on the Street” Cart Tagging Program, launched in partnership with municipalities, waste management companies, and environmentally conscious citizens, set out to address the persistent issue of recycling contamination in a hands-on and community-driven manner. Contamination occurs when non-recyclable materials are inadvertently placed in recycling bins, compromising the quality of collected recyclables and increasing the environmental and economic impact of recycling programs. The Town of Smyrna was selected as the first test program in the State of Delaware after a DSWA audit that identified elevated recycling contamination rates in the town.

The first scans of Smyrna residents’ recycling carts revealed a contamination rate of 34%. At the end of the six-week-long program through additional scans and education to residents, the final scan of the program revealed Smyrna’s contamination rate had dropped to just 5%, one of the lowest in the state. 

The remarkable reduction in recycling contamination rates will not only lead to cost savings for the town but will also have a positive impact on the environment by reducing the amount of non-recyclable materials ending up in landfills.

Residents are encouraged to continue their commitment to responsible recycling by adhering to the guidelines provided by the Delaware Solid Waste Authority and Waste Management and promoting these practices within their social circles. With this continued collaboration, Smyrna aims to maintain and further improve its recycling contamination rate, setting a positive example for other communities to follow.

The Recycling Partnership Launches Community-wide Campaign in Smyrna

Smyrna has joined the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA), WM and The Recycling Partnership, a NGO that works with communities, companies and governments to transform the recycling system, to launch a Feet on the Street cart tagging recycling initiative —a communitywide initiative to improve the quality of recycling in single-stream curbside recycling bins by providing residents personalized and real-time curbside recycling education and feedback.

The Feet on the Street program is intended to increase the amount of quality recyclables – items that are accepted for recycling that are empty and dry, so they can circulate back into the recycling system to become new products or packaging. Developed by the circular economy national NGO, The Recycling Partnership, this program helps communities achieve economically efficient recycling programs, reduces the number of new resources used in packaging, and improves the health of communities.

“Recycling, when done properly, is good not only for the environment—it is good for Smyrna trash customers’ wallets,” said Sheldon P. Hudson, town manager. “Recycling saves Smyrna trash customers money by reducing the cost of dumping at the landfill—and gives them the ability to participate directly in driving a circular local recycling economy.”

“The Town knows most of its trash customers want to recycle the right way. Through the Feet on the Street campaign, we are providing them with personalized, real-time feedback as they strive to do this.”

Included in the Feet on the Street program is a comprehensive education and outreach strategy that involves a team of community-based observers visiting each resident’s cart and providing personalized and real-time feedback on how to improve what items should be in the cart. This results in capturing more quality recyclables that are then transformed into new materials, creating a more circular economy, a less wasteful planet, and stronger, healthier communities.

For Smyrna and all WM customers, recyclables should be loose and not in plastic bags. Items with food residue, batteries and small electronics should not be placed in recycling carts. Many of these materials can cause equipment jams at recycling processing facilities, creating hazards for recycling facility workers.

According to The Recycling Partnership, they have successfully implemented this program in more than 70 communities across the country, with some communities seeing a 57% decrease of nonrecyclables in recycling and a 27% increase in the overall capture of quality recyclables.

For more information on what can and can’t go into curbside recycling, visit Smyrna.delaware.gov/366/Recycling or call 302-653-9231.


Trash Can Dan On Tik Tok!

Did you know the one and only Trash Can Dan has joined Tik Tok!? Head over and follow his page!!

DSWA selected as Resiliency Award Winner

DSWA is proud to have been selected as a Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) 2022 COVID-19 Resiliency Award Winner. SWANA’s COVID-19 Resiliency award was been created to recognize organization’s that have adapted to working during the pandemic

DSWA was chosen for its focus on testing and vaccination. They held numerous vaccination clinics for employees and contractors and implemented a vaccination/testing policy aimed at reducing the spread of the disease. Clinics also offered additional vaccinations such as tetanus, pneumonia, flu, hepatitis, and shingles.

Drug Takeback Day

Keep your home and family safe. Dispose of expired or unneeded prescription drugs at the annual DEA Drug Takeback Day, this Saturday, October 29th from 10am-2pm. Local police departments and other DEA-sanctioned locations will safely collect and dispose of any unwanted medications. Find a collection site near you: https://deatakeback.com/

Collection Event Location Change

ATTENTION: The Collection Event scheduled for Long Neck Elementary on October 22 has been moved to Love Creek Elementary, the new address is 19488 John J Williams Hwy, Lewes, De 19958.

Delaware Enhanced Plastic Bag Ban

Today, Delaware’s enhanced plastic carryout bag ban goes into effect. All retailers are required to discontinue the use of plastic bags at checkout. They are not required to provide any alternatives. Make sure you’re prepared by bringing reusable bags with you. If you have questions please visit https://de.gov/bags.

Changes to NCC Recycling Centers

DSWA’s new Newark Recycling Center is slated to open in early July. This center will feature single stream recycling bins, Styrofoam recycling, 6-day a week Electronics Recycling, weekly Household Hazardous Waste Collection and monthly paper shredding. The new center is located at 470 Corporate Blvd, Newark inside of the Pencader Business Park. In 2017, DSWA began a restructuring of its Recycling Drop-Off Centers with the goal of providing locations with more services and that can be staffed by DSWA during business hours. Continuing with this plan the following locations will be removed on June 30, 2020;

-Lantana Square
-Phillips Park
-Glasgow High School

If you would like more information about these upcoming changes please contact DSWA’s Citizens’ Response Line at 1-800-404-7080 or visit dswa.com to learn more about other DSWA programs and facilities.

Delaware Solid Waste Authority Receives Leader in Sustainability Award

The Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) is a proud recipient of the Call2Recycle 2019 Leader in Sustainability Award. This award recognizes the top performing Call2Recycle program participants for their commitment to battery recycling. More than 7.5 million pounds of batteries were collected in the Call2Recycle program in 2019, a feat that was made possible by DSWA’s engagement in battery recycling.

“The encouragement and promotion of sustainability has been greatly intensified by the active participation of DSWA’s in the Call2Recycle Program” said Carl Smith, CEO & President of Call2Recycle, Inc. “We’re proud to recognize DSWA as a 2019 leader in sustainability.”

Collecting batteries for recycling is an easy and safe way to make a difference, one that conserves natural resources and protects the planet for future generations. All consumer batteries should be recycled once they reach their end-of-life.

About Call2Recycle, Inc.

Call2Recycle, Inc. is committed to protecting and preserving the environment through collecting and recycling consumer batteries and cellphones. Founded in 1994, the not-for-profit organization works on behalf of stakeholders to provide its consumer battery recycling program to consumers across the U.S. Call2Recycle is the country’s first and largest consumer battery recycling program which has diverted more than 123 million pounds of batteries from landfill since its inception in 1994. Visit call2recycle.org.

Delaware Solid Waste Authority John P. “Pat” Healy Scholarship

DSWA offers an annual scholarship to qualified students entering Environmental Engineering or Environmental Science majors at a Delaware College or University. This scholarship has been named in honor of John P. “Pat” Healy. This scholarship is awarded to Delaware residents based on financial need, academic performance, community and school involvement, and leadership ability.

Two college scholarships to be awarded will be in the amounts of $2,500 for first place recipient and $1,500 for second place recipient.  The scholarships will be awarded to a full-time student who must major in either environmental engineering or environmental sciences at an accredited university or college located in the State of Delaware.  Students will be eligible for up to four years of undergraduate study upon reapplying, meeting the requirements, and being selected.  Applications will be accepted year-round; the application deadline is April 30th of each year.  The chosen applicant will be notified of their award by June 15th.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a legal resident of Delaware and U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen who are high school seniors or full-time college students in their freshman or sophomore years
  • Must major in either engineering or environmental sciences at an accredited university or college located in the State of Delaware
  • Must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to the application deadline

Awards for the 2020-2021 Academic Year:

$2,500 for first place recipient

$1,500 for second place recipient

Renewable for up to three additional years if a 3.0 GPA is maintained

A formal presentation will be made by the Delaware Solid Waste Authority to the recipients

Criteria: Applicants will be based on financial need, academic performance, community or school involvement, and leadership ability.  All applicants shall be in the top 25% of their class in high school, and maintain 3.0 grade point average in college.  The award will be sent directly to the college in which the student is enrolled.  All applicants must submit an essay of 500 words, or less, describing their personal goals and reason they feel they are deserving of this award.

Scholarship awardees must submit proof that 3.0 GPA has been maintained for each of the 3 subsequent years following initial scholarship award.

Application Process:

All applicants must submit the following items:

  • Completed application form (if hand-written, please print legibly)
  • Essay
  • High school seniors: an official high school transcript with cumulative grade point average, ACT and/or SAT scores, and a class standing/rank (if known)
  • Your application will be returned to you if these items are not attached to this application

Download a copy of the scholarship by clicking this link: Healy Scholarship Application