South Bethany’s recycling program a hit

The Town of South Bethany has been very successful implementing its new recycling program, according to Councilman Jay Headman. In September 2007, South Bethany was one of the first towns in Sussex County to adopt a voluntary recycling program with the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA). Before the program began, only 25 families participated. Today, Headman said, more than 700 property owners have signed up for the program, with more than 6,000 pounds of recycling materials being collected each week and more than 33 tons in six months.

Even though each property owner is billed for the service, participation in recycling is voluntary. The service began the first week in January, with Fridays as the pick-up day. DSWA provides biweekly service for the months of October through April and weekly from May through September.

The curbside program is “single-stream” recycling. Participants choose either a 35 or 65 gallon cart, provided by DSWA, and are required to wheel them to curbside for the scheduled pick-ups. Property owners can have their carts at curbside if they are kept in a bin that has an opening on the street side.

Even though the program has been extremely successful, the town is facing some challenges in ensuring all carts are returned to their proper locations after pick up, Headman said this week.

In order to address this issue, the town will be sending letters to property owners of rental properties, placing flyers on carts left out, e-mailing recycling reminders to all property owners and placing more information on the town’s Web site.

The Delaware Solid Waste Authority’s manager of the state wide recycling program, Rich Von Stetten, is very pleased with South Bethany’s recycling program, according to Headman. He stated, “DSWA is very pleased about the success of the implementation of South Bethany’s recycling program. The partnership between the town and DSWA is a model on how a community and a government agency can work together to implement a program.”