- Waste Management of Delaware is facing $43,660 in fines after violating Delaware's regulations governing solid waste, according to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).
- DNREC told WMDT47 News that in the Wilmington, Lewes, and Selbyville areas, Waste Management allegedly combined trash and recyclables from separate bins into one truck compartment on various occasions. DNREC also claims that Waste Management was not providing curbside recycling to some customers. Both of the offenses violate Delaware's Solid Waste Recycling Law.
- This isn't the first time that Waste Management has faced penalties from the state. DNREC claims it issued Waste Management notices of violations in June 2014, October 2014, and January 2016.
Recycling companies have been taking a hit across the nation, especially Waste Management, which has closed 1/5 of its recycling facilities since 2014. However in the face of a downturn, many states laws (such as the one in Delaware) still require recycling services, leaving Waste Management and other recycling giants to take the heat or try to find a loophole in the system.
Clearly, mixing recyclables with trash was not the proper solution for Waste Management, yet they're not the only hauler that has done this in recent months. The local hauler in Chattanooga, TN was reportedly dumping glass recyclables in the landfill due to inefficient equipment to sort the glass, while the local hauler in Chicago was allegedly putting yard waste into the landfill—despite telling residents to separate it from the trash.
In order to prevent this from happening further, both public and private haulers may need to rework recycling contracts with municipalities to ensure that services are being done in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible. Waste Management actually took this approach in Houston when it recently removed glass collection from its recycling contract with the city.