A Styrofoam ban and a certain  landfill


Good afternoon everyone,

We haven’t heard a peep of late aboutDart Container’s plans to move distribution sites to Delaware.

The company, best known for its red Solo cups (a staple of college parties and country and western videos) made news earlier this summer when it was learned that two centers will be consolidated into one Delaware site.

Cited were added efficiencies that would come with one site, but lurking in the background was Maryland legislation banning Styrofoam containers.

The ban led to an outcry among Maryland Republicans who cited the passage of the Styrofoam ban as the reason for Dart’s decision.

Dart did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its likely move. Delaware does have a growing number of distribution center sites available in and around Interstate 95.

Interestingly enough, a Delaware General Assembly Democratic majority that is increasingly focused on social and environmental justice matters, chose to concentrate on a ban on one-time plastic bags.

The path toward a one-time plastic bag ban is easier. Grocery and discount store chains see the writing on the wall and are not fiercely opposed to a phaseout.

Delaware environmental activists indicated Styrofoam ban legislation is being drafted with a paper bag ban already introduced. Don’t hold your breath on either happening if Dart is coming to Delaware.

The social-environmental justice crowd may be caught in a dilemma since blue-collar jobs are desperately needed in helping people move up the economic ladder after the loss a decade ago of both auto plants and other manufacturing sites.

Speaking of legislation affecting jobs, Waste Management is claiming that the recently enacted New Castle County limit on the height of landfills will result in layoffs and a $10 million drag on the economy. The landfill limit does have the backing of Stanton-Christiana-based Artesian Resources, which is worried about leakage into wells in the area.

The landfill near New Castle County’s Minquadale police headquarters in the New Castle area willrun out of space in another couple of years. Waste Management claims this will lead to layoffs at the site and perhaps at some employers who send material to the site and hire blue-collar workers

Waste Management has indicated that it will take legal action citing, among other things, restraints on interstate commerce. (The landfill welcomes construction material from nearby states, a sore point with opponents).

It will be interesting to see how the Dart and Waste Management situations play out. The added jobs from Dart could be partially offset by job losses from the landfill gambit.

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