Appoint Chester Resident Stefan Roots to the Delco Solid Waste Authority

Appoint Chester Resident Stefan Roots to the Delco Solid Waste Authority

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Roots for Chester started this petition to Delaware County Council

Delaware County residents: did you know that the trash you put out on your curb each week is hauled to Chester, and then burned in the largest incinerator in the United States?

And yet, Chester has no representation on the board making decisions for the County's solid waste. This needs to change. 

For the past 30 years, municipal trash in Delaware County has been collected and burned at Covanta's plant in Chester, PA. Home to 35,000 people, Chester is a city with a proud history: it was the original landing place of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent formative years in Chester as a seminary student beginning in 1948. 

85% of the residents of Chester are African American. 35% of Chester residents live below the poverty line. The city is currently in financial receivership, its schools consistently rank among the worst in Pennsylvania, and Chester residents have a disproportionate amount of childhood and adult onset asthma, cancer, diabetes, and other public health issues. 

Covanta burns 3500 tons of trash in Chester every day and sends the resulting ash to the County's landfill. About one third of the trash burned at Covanta comes from all 49 municipalities in Delaware County, through the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority (DCSWA). The DCSWA operates under the auspices of Delaware County Council, with an independent board of directors. Despite the fact that the DCSWA burns trash in Chester from all of Delco's municipalities, none of its directors are from Chester. At the July 7, 2021 meeting of the Delaware County Council, councilwoman Christine Reuther acknowledged this fact in response to questioning and also confirmed that there are no people of color on the DCSWA board (see 2:43:20 of this video  https://delcopa.granicus.com/player/clip/101?view_id=2&redirect=true

This petition is intended to oppose the environmental racism that has been perpetrated on Chester for decades by an unholy alliance between the DCSWA, the City of Chester, and Covanta. Stefan Roots is a Chester native; he's currently a Democratic nominee for Chester City Council who opposes Covanta because it harms the health of Chester residents. If elected in November, he will be a powerful voice for change in Chester City government. Roots is an engineer by training and has been the voice of Chester for the past 10+ years with his blog, Chester Matters. 

This petition is being launched by Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRCQL), which has been leading the fight against environmental racism in Chester since 1992. With the coming election of Stefan Roots to Chester City Council, it's time for a change. You can help us take the next step by making your voice heard at Delaware County Council to appoint Stefan Roots to the DCSWA board this September.

 

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