News Flash

Executive - Press Release

Posted on: March 29, 2017

New Castle County Launches Environmental Education Contest for Schools

Annual “Great Schools Clean Streams” campaign runs through April 20

New Castle, DE – New Castle County announces the launch of its annual “Great Schools, Clean Streams” campaign which enlists school communities to raise awareness of the dangers of pouring kitchen grease and oils down the drain and into the wastewater treatment system. Through April 20, all county residents can participate by pledging to dispose of used cooking grease properly by completing a pledge form at Each participant assigns their pledge to the public, charter, or private school of their choice and sixteen schools that collect the most pledges will claim their share of $10,000 in cash awards to purchase classroom materials and to support campus projects.

“Our message to residents is simple,” County Executive Matthew Meyer said. “Pour leftover cooking grease in a can and throw the can in the trash. That reduces the environmental harm and cleanup costs from blockages in our county’s sewer system, and it lowers the risk of clogged pipes in homes and plumbing bills for residents. Create a cleaner environment by signing our Great Schools Clean Streams pledge today.”

New Castle County’s Department of Special Services maintains the state’s largest wastewater treatment system with more than 1,700 miles of sanitary sewer lines that serve 118,000 customers and takes in more than 50 millions of gallons each day. Cooking grease and oils poured down the drain build up in that system over time and are a leading cause of sewer blockages, backups and spills which harm the environment and create significant cleanup costs. Through more effective monitoring, regular cleaning and public education county government has cut the number of backups and overflows by half. It is estimated that the collective change in behavior from the 8,500 New Castle County residents who signed the Great Schools Clean Streams pledge last year resulted in tens of thousands of fewer pounds of grease and oils being dumped down the drain – that makes a difference in environmental quality and saves taxpayers money. That’s why county government sponsors this annual education campaign as part of its investment in a more efficient and effective wastewater treatment system.

This year’s winning schools will be announced immediately after the close of the Great Schools Clean Streams campaign, just in time for Earth Day, which is observed this year on April 22. Learn more and complete the online pledge at

Great Schools Clean Streams 2017 Prizes

First Place (2 awards): $1,750 each

Second Place (2 awards): $1,250 each

Third Place (2 awards): $750 each

Honorable Mentions (10 awards): $250 each

New Castle County wastewater treatment system quick facts:

  • 50+ Million Gallons of Wastewater Daily
  • 1,700 Miles of Sanitary Sewer lines
  • 44,000 Man Holes
  • 150 Pumping Stations
  • 500+ miles of sewer line cleaned annually

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