To define, develop, and implement cost-effective plans and programs for solid waste management which best serve Delaware and protect our public health and environment.
The Delaware Solid Waste Authority was created in 1975 to manage Delaware's solid waste material. At this time, solid waste simply referred to trash. DSWA was tasked with developing sustainable facilities for trash disposal that kept the public safe and the environment clean. DSWA prioritized turning traditional "dumps" into landfills which now use innovative technology to provide a reliable method of trash disposal. Today, DSWA operates 3 landfills, one in each county, for all of Delaware's trash.
In the early 1990s, DSWA began offering recycling services. Since then, these services have evolved into single stream recycling, a common recycling practice through out the country. Single stream recycling means that various types of recyclables can be placed into one recycle bin. The need for a processing facility arose during this time and DSWA partnered with a company to establish a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in New Castle, DE. A MRF is a facility with advanced technology that can sort and process several types of recyclable materials. Magnets, robots, and conveyor belts create a systematic process to sort several tons of recyclables per hour.
All single stream recyclables generated in Delaware are sent via trucks to the MRF. On average, the MRF receives approximately 400 tons of recyclables per day. Then sorted recyclables are sent to manufacturers all over the world in what's called the recycling market. Manufacturers then turn recyclables into new materials for consumers. DSWA currently partners with Republic Services, who operates the MRF and markets the materials.
The MRF is located at DSWA's Delaware Recycling Center along with a Construction and Demolition (C&D) Recycling Facility. This facility, operated by Revolution Recovery, receives, processes and markets construction materials that can be recycled. DSWA holds long-term partnerships with Republic Services and Revolution Recovery to ensure Delaware continues to be a driving force within the recycling industry.
DSWA also offers a wide range of special recycling programs such as free collections for household electronics and hazardous waste materials, batteries, Styrofoam, motor oil and document shredding.
The Delaware Solid Waste Authority is proud to have been providing environmental education to Delaware students for decades. The DSWA Environmental Education Building hosts several thousand students a year for free field trip programs to the Delaware Recycling Center.
While not a state agency, DSWA is an entity of the State of Delaware with a voluntary board of directors appointed by the governor. Fees are collected for all trash disposal however, as a not-for-profit, these fees are used for DSWA operations and free public programs.
The Delaware Solid Waste Authority is committed to proper waste management. National recognition of DSWA facilities shows the highest priority of safety and health to the Delaware public and environment.