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Governor Minner's Letter Establishing the Working Group


October 18, 2005

The Honorable John A. Hughes
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
89 Kings Highway
Dover DE 19901

Dear John:

Based on your recommendations and discussions with my staff, I am directing you to create a Solid Waste Management Technical Working Group.  As you have stated, the options currently in front of us do not include the full range of best-practices technologies and management methods available for handling solid waste.

While I strongly believe that increased recycling rates and a yard-waste ban should be part of our long-term answer to solid waste management concerns in Delaware, even fully mandatory recycling would not be a sufficient long-term solution to landfill capacity and solid-waste disposal concerns.  We have an obligation to assess the entire range of options, technical and non-technical.  This working group would focus on the technical options.

The working group will perform a feasibility review of available municipal solid waste management alternatives and recommend a municipal solid waste management program or programs capable of being implemented that would best serve Delaware’s long-term and short-term municipal solid waste management needs.

In reviewing and evaluating available municipal solid waste management alternatives, the working group will consider and address – at a minimum – such factors as environmental impact, environmental benefits, cost, technical reliability, economic feasibility, flexibility and adaptability, and funding sources.  It should also identify any legislative action considered necessary to implement any recommended municipal solid waste management program or programs.

This working group should be comprised of individuals with technical backgrounds, financial backgrounds and/or experience with municipal solid waste management systems and technologies. 

Please direct the group to prepare a report that includes:

  • Identification of public policy issues and impending problems resulting from a continuation of present solid waste policies;
  • A summary of the municipal solid waste management systems and technologies reviewed, compared to Delaware’s current municipal solid waste management systems and technologies, and with respect to the implementation of each management system and technology reviewed an assessment of:
    1. Environmental impacts and benefits;
    2. Capital and operational costs;
    3. Reliability and experience with the technologies and management systems;
    4. The economic feasibility of implementing the technologies and management systems; and
  • Recommendations, including legislative action necessary to implement the recommendations.

Direct the group to deliver a report to me by May 15, 2006.

As we have discussed, former DNREC Secretary Toby Clark is available to serve as a technical expert and I encourage you to seek his expertise and involvement as you see fit on this very important project.  The combination of Toby’s intellect, independence, environmental credentials and knowledge of our state will serve the citizens of Delaware thoughtfully and effectively.

I expect that you will submit the final list of committee members by week’s end so that work can begin as quickly as possible. 


Ruth Ann Minner

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