Site slated to close June 30, but legislators are hoping for a two-year extention
Area legislators are working to keep the Polly Drummond Hill waste site open a little while longer as the clock ticks down on its ultimate fate.
The site, located on Polly Drummond Hill Road, allows residents to dump their lawn clippings and other natural detritus, which is then mulched, with a portion left behind for the public to take and the rest property of the third-party management that works the site.
Although signs posted at the site claim the weekend-only public lawn and yard trimmings dump is slated to close as of June 30, State Rep. Mike Smith, R-Pike Creek, said there is a “slim to none” chance it will close that last Sunday.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) announced in March that the site would be closing summer 2019.
According to DNREC, the site, which shares space with the White Clay Creek State Park is one of three last “pilot” yard waste dumps opened by the agency to help with “the transition of New Castle County yard waste disposal away from the Cherry Island landfill” as it neared capacity.
“With the development of other nearby yard waste drop-off and collection options, and concerns regarding invasive species such as the spotted lanternfly, DNREC is closing the Polly Drummond Hill site,” a release from DNREC states.
Once the dump is closed, DNREC said the site would be restored to its natural state and will be included in the White Clay Creek State Park master planning process.
Smith said the site suffers from a number of problems, including its location on the edge of state parklands.
“Traffic is a concern, and there have always been issues with commercial [dumpers] and out-of-state license plates,” Smith said. “It’s not a perfect system but if we can get the funding going, in parallel, working with [other legislators] to find alternative sites, possibly a third-party contractor, we could have more long-term sustainability.”
Smith said he is working with New Castle County Councilwoman Janet Kilpatrick, District 3, as well as other state representatives on addressing the dump site, noting that he has received hundreds of emails concerning the closure.
Kilpatrick said the site, which exists in a federal overlay, was the subject of a lawsuit “many, many years ago” regarding the Tri State Bird Rescue located near Middle Run Park.
Smith is hoping for state funding to maintain the site an additional two years while another location is sought.
Smith added that keeping the site open is a bipartisan issue that has legislators on both sides of the aisle working on the problem.
“I don’t see what could happen for it to not work out,” Smith said of the site remaining open past the June 30 deadline.
Three sites have been designated for public use following the closure, according to DNREC:
Holland Mulch South Chapel Yard Waste Site
1034 South Chapel Street (Route 72), Newark, DE 19702
135 Hay Road, Edgemoor, DE 19809
DSWA Cherry Island Landfill
12th Street and Hay Road, Wilmington, DE 19809