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Act 101 and Delco's Plan for Zero Waste

Delaware County has embarked on a planning process to update its Municipal Waste Management Plan to coincide with the development of the County’s first Sustainability and Climate Action Plan, and to comply with Pennsylvania’s Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act (Act 101 of 1988). A key difference between a traditional solid waste management plan and a Zero Waste planning process, is the focus on stakeholder outreach. Zero Waste requires a change in behavior. Changing behavior requires understanding the barriers and benefits of the proposed actions (reducing waste, recycling, and composting more) and developing new or expanded policies and programs to overcome the perceived barriers to take advantage of the potential benefits. Understanding requires engagement. To ensure that all stakeholders could meaningfully participate in the development of this plan, the County conducted an extensive outreach process. The Zero Waste approach in the Municipal Waste Management Plan update includes increasing the percentage of materials purchased with recycled content; reducing waste generated in County properties; facilitating local reuse, repair, and recovery of materials; supporting policies and programs to reduce residential and commercial waste generated per capita; preventing, reducing, and recovering food waste; and increasing methods of recovery to improve diversion from incineration and landfilling.