While many municipalities in recent months have restructured their recycling service or changed their curbside recycling provider, or are considering doing so, people outside of town limits who are not curbside recycling customers now have a new drop-off site to use.
A new DSWA single-stream recycling center opened in September at the Delaware State Park’s Fresh Pond area.
“We’ve been working on a new site since before the one in Millville closed,” said state Rep. Gerald Hocker (R-38th). “We couldn’t get anybody to donate land. So, I thought… The state has an awful lot of property. Why not use one of their sites?”
Hocker said they could hardly expect a private owner to donate land if the state wouldn’t step up to the plate, and he is pleased with how everything worked out.
“[After it went up], I got a call from a constituent about used batteries, and I made a phone call to DSWA, and they put up a container that week. They have really stepped up to the plate to make this work.”
In addition to batteries, the single-stream drop-off center accepts items such as narrow-necked plastic bottles; paperboard; aluminum, steel and empty aerosol cans; junk mail; newspaper; plastic grocery bags; and brown, green and clear glass. Recyclers can also bring their corrugated cardboard to the site.
Hocker added that he was grateful to DNREC’s Parks and Rec department, along with DSWA, for their cooperation. H said the spot is really win-win-win.
“It was perfect. There was no entrance to build. The base was there for the containers and for parking. After it was approved, it was up in a week’s time,” he noted.
Local towns, meanwhile, have been re-evaluating their curbside recycling, and many have recently changed vendors. The Town of Millville had a contract with DSWA until recently but, because tonnage costs have risen, were given the news that the cost of the service would double in the coming months as that contract came up for renewal.
Town Manager Debbie Botchie said the town and the mayor started to research other curbside recycling vendors and just recently decided on Allied Waste, the same vendor that South Bethany and Fenwick Island now use, as well, after being told of anticipated increases in costs if they stayed with DSWA. In Millville, the change will actually cut the cost of the service from what it had been under DSWA.
The Town of Bethany Beach recently extended its contract with DSWA for three months, through the end of March, so it can bid the service out in the interim, to see which vendor offers the best cost.
In Millville, the changes to the curbside recycling program also mean an additional cost for property owners.
“The residents will have to pay, if they want to continue,” noted Botchie.
With the original “pilot program,” it was a town-sponsored amenity. The cost ($46.50 for 26 bi-weekly pick-ups) will be added to annual tax bills, which are mailed in May.
Botchie added that, to get to the May 1, 2010, start of the next fiscal year, the town will charge for six months of service in advance, and residents will use the DSWA receptacle until Allied replaces it. The service begins on Friday, Nov. 13, and will have pick-up every other Friday.
“It’s a positive,” said Botchie of the switch. “Checks are flying in left and right.”
Hocker said state legislators are planning to look at other state-owned sites as possible locations for the single-stream recycling drop-off centers, where people who don’t participate in curbside recycling can continue to drop off their recyclables.
“We are trying for at least one more in the 38th district,” he said, emphasizing the importance of recycling.
The Fresh Pond recycling drop-off is located north of Bethany Beach, off Route 1, just north of Fred Hudson Road, across from Ocean Village. For those heading northbound, the entrance can be reached from the first crossover north of Fred Hudson Road, at the entrance to the Delmarva Power substation.