At last night’s Delaware County Council meeting, Chester City’s Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland gave a pubic comment to thank Council for providing grass cutting in Chester’s parks and to emphasize how the Covanta trash incinerator is a great business partner to the city of Chester. He also announced an upcoming tour of Covanta for residents living near the facility which he also extended to the County Council members to join. He closed with a plea to be considered for appointment to the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority stressing his qualifications as a career elected official in state and city government for close to 30-years. And then he left the room. 

After he left, five residents from across Delaware County also gave public comment voicing their concerns for public health in Chester and encouraging County Council and the Solid Waste Authority to find an alternative to burning all the county’s trash in Chester. 

During the Council members remarks, Kevin Madden expressed that he wasn’t interested in a ‘dog and pony show’ at the incinerator and spoke on behalf of the rest of council as working very hard to study the alternatives and options to burning trash in Chester. Council President Brian Zidek announced a 2-hour public hearing on the incinerator on September 30 (6-8pm) where all sides will have the opportunity to express their knowledge, opinions, concerns, and solutions. 

Last month, Stefan Roots addressed County Council to be considered for an appointment to the Solid Waste Authority and has gathered over 530 petition signatures of support. Mayor Kirkland’s interest in joining is probably sparked by the possibility of two seats opening on the SWA this fall and would like to see two Chester residents appointed to the authority which has never had city representation in its decades long existence, leaving Chester with no voice at the table even though all of DELCO’s trash is sent to Chester for burning with only 8% actually coming from the city of Chester.

As I recently heard on a local podcast about the effects of trash incineration…‘a gum wrapper dropped in the street of some town in Delco today will likely be evaporated in the lung of some Chester resident tomorrow.’