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DRPI landfill settles with county over landfill height limit

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media

A controversial New Castle County landfill is settling with the County after suing over landfill limits put in place this summer.


Waste Management’s Delaware Recyclable Products Incorporated (DRPI) landfill mounted a court challengethis fall to a county ordinancesigned in August that limits the height of landfills to 140 feet above sea level. 

The Minquadale-area landfill is currently capped at 130 feet, but had applied for permission from the state to expandto 190. Landfill operators argued the new County limit was arbitrary, and unfairly targeted their business. 

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer says the County did not give “an inch” in thesettlement agreement he signed last Wednesday, which was backed by County Council the day before. 

“We gained not having to spend potentially tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars on litigation— litigation that we of course we were confident we would win, but you never know. So what we gained is the litigation goes away and the ordinance is intact, saying that the highest they can go is 140 feet.”

Through the settlement, the County is waiving the requirement that the landfill obtain a special use permit from the County if it wants to expand to 140 feet. Meyer says he is “not concerned about that.”

The landfill would still need to obtain a permit modification from DNREC to expand. State environmental regulators announced in October the landfill had been exceedingair emissions limits for more than a year.  

Waste Management officials and DRPI’s legal counsel declined to comment on the settlement. 


This story has been updated to include the date the settlement agreement was signed.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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