The more Chester faces they see, the better!

Chester City and Delaware County residents & allies,

We have a critical update and a request of you:

Today at 3:30pm, the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority is holding a virtual public hearing on whether or how the Authority should continue to contract with Covanta to have the county’s trash burned at Covanta’s incinerator in Chester after the current contract expires on 4/30/2022.

Please join us.

We need to pack this Zoom Room with residents who know the truth: that this Covanta incinerator is poisoning the air for Chester residents and all of southeastern PA. We MUST show our strength in numbers on Wednesday ­ and outnumber any Covanta supporters.

WHAT: DelCo Solid Waste Authority Public Hearing on Covanta Incinerator Contract

WHEN: Today (5/5) @ 3:30pm

WHERE: Zoom:

To participate by phone, call: 301-715-8592
Meeting ID: 811 4410 9313
Passcode: 410929

This is our chance to ensure that the Solid Waste Authority hears the truth and not just what the Covanta representatives have to say. While it is intended to be the first of several meetings, we still want to turn out in large numbers. 

We know this is a difficult time of day for many, and unfortunately this meeting has not been publicized widely, so please show up if you can, even just to listen, and please share with friends and neighbors.



The process has not been made clear, but we understand that the Authority will probably make a presentation, then allow people to provide public comment. They’ll most likely call on people who “ raise their hand” in the Zoom session (click on “participants” and then “raise hand” or use Alt-Y on your keyboard).

Speakers will be limited to 3 minutes.  If you plan to speak, we recommend taking a moment to write down no more than 150-200 words.

Written comments may be submitted at this address:

[Note: the public comment email DCSWA set up is broken, so this email will forward to their secretary and to DCSWA board member and county councilmember Christine Reuther, with a copy to us.]


You’re welcome to speak from your heart about the health, environmental racism, and other aspects of this big issue. We also invite you to include any of the talking points below. You can dig into the details in this petition or in the links below.


* Chester residents do not want to be the county and the region’s waste burning capital. Mayor Kirkland does not speak for the residents when he begs forPhilly, Delco, and beyond to burn their trash in Chester.

* All Delaware County residents have a stake in this, as Covantais a huge toxic air polluter, impacting health throughout the county.

Trash incineration (and dumping toxic ash in landfills) is worse for human health and the environment than using landfills directly. Any increased trucking from avoiding incineration is not the issue, as trucking is only about 3% of the overall emissions, and the impacts of burning far outweigh any possible impacts of alternatives (see p.56 here).

* There is no shortage of space in Pennsylvania landfills. We can end incineration in a year when the current contract expires. Waste reduction measures don’t need to be in place before we do the right thing and stop incinerating the county’s trash.

* It saves the people more money to avoid incineration since the health costs are far higher than any marginal and temporary increase in waste disposal costs. See health costs discussed here and here.

* Zero waste solutions such as “save as you throw,” curbside composting collection, single use plastic bans, reuse programs, and increased recycling can more than eliminate any increase in disposal costs, while reducing health costs and creating many times more jobs than may be lost when transitioning away from trash burning.


* Issue a request for proposals (RFP) for long-term landfill disposal (at least ten years) to see what it’ll cost per ton once the incinerator and the Authority’s landfill are no longer options.

* Issue a request for proposals (RFP) for Zero Waste consultants to develop a county Zero Waste Plan, evaluating how to quickly, effectively, and cost-effectively reduce the county’s municipal solid waste generation. These consultants must follow the Zero Waste International Alliance’s definition of Zero Waste and the Zero Waste Hierarchy and should have a proven track record of helping local governments adopt Zero Waste systems. Any life cycle assessment of county waste options must include not just global warming emissions, but must evaluate the health and environmental impacts of emissions including toxic chemical pollution, particulate matter, acid gases, and nitrogen oxide pollution.

* Create a Zero Waste advisory panel of experts to advise the Authority on how to quickly transition away from incineration and reduce waste. This should be open to out-of-county residents, and be limited to those who follow the definition of Zero Waste and the Zero Waste Hierarchy. Selection of advisory panel members must be an open and transparent process.

Feel free to write us with any questions.

Hope to see you online soon!

Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRCQL – “circle”)
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Chester Environmental Justice