Gone But Not Forgotten - SECCRA a Much Better Place Because of Dockstader


As you may know Kneale Dockstader passed away on Wednesday, November 3rd. He was 97 years old.

Kneale retired from DuPont in 1978 and immediately accepted a Director position on SECCRA’s Board. SECCRA was in transition at that time, having closed its Walnut Street Landfill in Kennett Square. SECCRA was having trouble finding an alternative landfill site and the Chairman of the Board at the time, Anson Nixon was in the process of closing SECCRA, but Kneale and the other directors decided to keep SECCRA operating. He accepted the position of Chairman of the Board and began the search to find another landfill.

Kneale’s accomplishments at SECCRA include:

  • 1978: Accepted the position Director and of Chairman of the Board at SECCRA.
  • 1980–84: Reviewed eleven different potential landfill sites and eventually selected the London Grove site on Route 926.
  • 1986: Began operations at the SECCRA Community Landfill in April 1986 after successfully defending SECCRA’s legal right to own and operate the landfill. In addition to his Chairman duties, Kneale became SECCRA’s de facto manager.
  • 1987: Began hiring permanent staff after winning additional legal challenges. SECCRA operated with a positive cash flow for the first time at the new facility.
  • 1989: Acquired a new DEP operating permit under Pennsylvania’s new liner regulations. Acquired 6.2 million dollars of financing to build the new landfill. SECCRA’s life span was extended from ten years to twenty years with the new design. Began acquiring property for buffer space around the landfill and for future landfill operations. 
  • 1990: Began lined landfill operations and innovative leachate recirculation at SECCRA.
  • 1994–96: Accomplished the reburial of 500,000 cubic yards of old municipal waste from SECCRA’s unlined cells to new lined cells making the original landfill acreage available for new cells with greater capacity.
  • 1998: Began flaring landfill gas from the SECCRA landfill.
  • 2001: Committed to a landfill gas to energy project instead of flaring gas.
  • 2001: Resigned as Kennett Township’s director and as Chairman of the Board when he moved to a retirement community in Penn Township. Penn Township immediately reappointed him as their representative to the Board.
  • 2007: Landfill gas to energy became a reality with the installation of SECCRA’s first generator facility fueled by landfill gas. The energy plant has been augmented with the installation of Generators 2 and 3 in 2008 and 2010.
  • 2008: Participated with the SECCRA board in the negotiation of a host municipality agreement with London Grove Township that allows for future permitting and extends the lifespan of SECCRA into the 2020’s.
  • 2010: Passed away after a brief illness in November. Kneale had attended the October meeting of the Board of Directors and had the best attendance record of any SECCRA director.


We as employees and the whole community of southern Chester County owe Kneale a huge debt of gratitude for his service, but Kneale would feel exactly the opposite. He felt very honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to serve his community. He enjoyed every minute of that service and was very proud of SECCRA and its people.