The Positive Growth Alliance has challenged in Delaware court the state recycling law that went into effect earlier this year, ending deposits on plastic and glass soft drink and beer bottles, and mandating curbside recycling.
The group filed its lawsuit in the state Court of Chancery in Dover and asked the court to issue an injunction barring enforcement of the law that effectively repealed the state's 28-year-old bottle bill and mandated curbside recycling for homes, restaurants and bars starting Sept. 15, 2010.
The group said that the legislation is unconstitutional because legislators ignored legislative rules in enacting it in May.
According to Delaware law, all tax measures must originate in the House and pass that body with a 75 percent majority. The curbside recycling mandate, SB 234, was introduced in the Senate and approved in mid-May under procedures that allowed it to pass with a 60 percent approval vote from each legislative body.
The bill ends the state's 5-cent bottle deposit and replaces it with a 4-cent, non-refundable recycling fee starting Dec. 1, with the money to be used to help companies start curbside recycling programs. The fee is scheduled to remain in effect until Dec. 1, 2014, or until revenues from the fee reach $22 million.
In addition to the mandatory recycling already required, waste-collection companies must have recycling programs in place for multifamily residences by Jan. 1, 2013, and commercial sites and other businesses by 2014.
The Positive Growth Alliance also argued in its lawsuit that the bill violates the state's constitution because it forces waste-collection companies to add recycling services to their business.