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Municipal Waste Management Plan Summary

The 2014 York County Municipal Solid Waste Management Plan is a non-substantial revision of the 1991 York County Municipal Solid Waste Management Plan. This revision will serve as the most in-depth review of waste management and recycling practices in York County since 1991.  This revision evaluates the effectiveness of the existing Plan and reviews York County’s ability to implement the tenets upon which it was based.  From those findings, certain components may be revised and programs may be altered to complement the current regulatory climate, the changing demographics, the characteristics of the waste stream and the resources of York County.

Planning for municipal solid waste management in York County has occurred in some fashion for more than 40 years.  Many of the early plans were efforts to coordinate the waste management responsibilities of the municipalities.  These had minimal effect, because the county had no statutory powers of enforcement.  The Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act of 1988 (Act 101), for the first time, shifted the authority for municipal waste management to the county.  In turn, the county was provided with the option of designating an agent to assume those powers and fulfill those responsibilities.  York County designated as its agent the York County Solid Waste and Refuse Authority as its agent.

The efforts of the Authority to implement the Plan have produced tangible and substantial results throughout the years.  The Plan provided numerous benefits to York County.  By developing disposal capacity in a state of the art waste-to-energy facility, the county and Authority ensured its citizens fair and equitable disposal costs and increased protection from future potential environmental liabilities.  By monitoring collection and disposal practices, it reduced the occurrence of illegal dumping in the county, thus enhancing public health and safety.  The combination of mandated and voluntary recycling initiatives conserved valuable natural resources.

The Plan outlines the step-wise process from fact finding through analyses to final recommendations.  It also provides a schedule by which the revised Plan will be implemented.  The Plan is comprised of twelve chapters:

Chapter 1 of the Plan discusses York County’s current waste stream characteristics, reported and estimated waste quantities and material types and projections of the waste stream over the next 25 years.  The chapter also examines general demographic data which may influence waste collections, waste disposal and type of materials disposed of in future years.

Chapter 2 documents the current collection and disposal practices throughout the county. It identifies transporters of different types of municipal waste. It also provides data on the ultimate disposition of various York County municipal waste components. Lastly, it discusses the degree to which York County competes for disposal capacity with other entities.

Chapter 3 projects the future waste generation and disposal capacity that will be required by York County for the next 25 years.

Chapter 4 presents the overall performance of recycling programs currently operating throughout York County and compares the county’s efforts to similar programs implemented in other areas of the United States.

Chapter 5 offers the analysis and reasoningbehind selections made during the planning process for enhancing the comprehensive waste management system in York County.

Chapter 6 affirms York County’s long term commitment to manage its waste by recovering energy from garbage and reducing trash to a small volume of combustion ash.  It also discusses the role of the York County Resource Recovery Center in mitigating climate change and describes future site improvements.

Chapter 7 identifies the York County Solid Waste and Refuse Authority as the agency that will assure that the final recommendations of the Plan are carried out according to the implementation strategy.

Chapter 8 discusses the disposal, composting and recycling facilities, equipment and programs currently owned and operated by public sector organizations (county and municipal) in York County. In addition, it may recommend future public facilities that might be developed.

Chapter 9 explains the legal documents necessary to implement and enforce specific elements of the approved York County Municipal Solid Waste Management Plan. These include contracts, ordinances, rules, regulations, and other related information.

Chapter 10 outlines how the elements of the Plan will allow for a smooth transition from any current and potentially conflicting programs to those newly recommended.

 Chapter 11 describes the relationship between the York County Municipal Solid Waste Management Plan and private sector owned and operated facilities located both within and outside of the county.

Chapter 12 identifies the members of the Municipal Waste Advisory Committee (MWAC) and the stakeholder segment, which they represent. It highlights the issues felt to be of greatest importance by the MWAC and describes the input of the committee during the planning process.

The Result—A Fully Integrated Plan

Copies of the complete Plan are available at the office of the York County Solid Waste Authority and online here.  There is no fee to review this Plan.


 View a document on the Content and Structure of the York County Municipal Waste Management Plan

  Municipal Waste Advisory Committee

The Committee represents all classes of municipalities, public and private waste industry, the recycling industry and citizen groups. The MWAC met for the first time in April of 1989 to review the progress of the Plan and continues to meet biannually.

In August of 1991, a final draft version of the Plan was presented for public comment. After a 90-day public comment period, the York County Board of Commissioners adopted the Plan in January of 1991.

A majority of York County municipalities ratified the Plan in April 1991 and the Department of Environmental Resources (now the Department of Environmental Protection) approved it in June of 1991. The Plan provides York County with a blueprint for managing its waste through the year 2015.

The Plan is divided into 12 sections, each one dealing with an important aspect of the Plan. The following is a brief summary of each of the sections.

Section 1 of the Plan describes the waste expected to be generated in York County during a 25-year planning period, projects population changes during that time and evaluates recycling potential.

A waste characterization study describes major components of the waste stream as combustible or non-combustible and recyclable and non-recyclable. Projections of quantities of biosolids and septage, and infectious and chemotherapeutic (medical) waste that will be generated in York County are shown.

Section 2  identifies waste processing and disposal facilities located in York County, including landfills, the Resource Recovery Center, recyclable materials processing facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, and a medical waste incinerator.

 York County Resource Recovery Center

Section 3 provides an estimate of future disposal capacity and facilities in the County. Section 3 concludes that sufficient capacity for combustible processible waste is available, as well as capacity for biosolids and septage.

 Processible Household Waste

Section 4 gives a description of recyclable materials and a recycling program designed to reach a 26 percent recycling goal by 1994. It also details a schedule to implement programs that ensure collection and processing of recyclable materials, licensing of haulers, identifying and correcting program deficiencies and developing additional facilities.

Section 5 identifies the selection and justification of municipal waste management programs and new facilities that may be required.

Section 6 addresses the siting methodology of such facilities.

Section 7 illustrates the present structure of the Authority to meet the changing needs of the County and to fulfill the County’s obligations under Act 101.

Section 8 discusses the continuing role of the private sector in collection, recycling, processing and disposal facilities.

Section 9 discusses the agreements and contracts, and ordinances that are necessary to assure that the various obligations will be understood and performed.

Sections 10 and 11 deal with the continuity and transition from pre-existing plans to the 25-Year Plan.

Section 12 explains the composition and role of the Municipal Waste Advisory Committee (MWAC) and documents other opportunities for public comment and participation throughout the planning process.

The Result – A Fully Integrated Plan
Act 101 requires every county to develop a solid waste management program that includes an emphasis on recycling.

The York County Plan incorporates waste reduction, recycling and a Resource Recovery Center. Copies of the complete Plan are available at the office of the York County Commissioners; at every municipal office; at every branch of the York County Library System; and at the office of the York County Solid Waste Authority. There is no fee to review this Plan.

Municipal Waste Advisory Committee
Processible Household Waste
Directions to our Management Center