Bethany approves recycling contract

Bethany Beach residents and visitors will be able to kick of the new year with a new environmentally friendly habit: curbside recycling. Starting Jan. 1, 2008, the Delaware Solid Waste Authority will pick up recyclables from a single 65 gallon can placed at the curb of participating properties in the town — on Fridays, weekly during the summer (June through September) and bi-weekly the rest of the year.

That means no more trips to recycling drop-off locations in Millville and Fenwick Island (the latter phased out as that town begins its own curbside recycling program). It also means no more separating individual types of recyclables into specific plastic bags, as participants in the DSWA’s individual subscriber curbside recycling program have done during the last year.

Indeed, curbside recycling for the town and its participating neighbors comes with something those in outlying areas will have to wait for until approximately June 2008: single-stream processing, wherein paper (newspaper, phone books, junk mail), cardboard, narrow-neck plastic bottles, aluminum and steel cans, and empty aerosol cans, as well as glass containers, will all go into the single 65 gallon wheeled container for pickup conveniently at their curb.

Bethany Beach Town Council members approved the two-year contract with DSWA at their Oct. 19 meeting, taking advantage of a rate of $1 per scheduled pickup that was set to expire at the end of the month, with increases expected in the coming months. Town property owners and residents who opt in to the voluntary system will have approximately $34 to $36 per year added to their tax bills to pay for the service.

In the coming weeks, DSWA will mail all town property owners and residents information about the program, with a card to return to DSWA if they wish to sign up. Those who do not sign up initially can still choose to do so at a later date and will still be able to get the same rate of $1 per pickup.

Resident Lois Lipsett, who has participated in the individual curbside recycling DSWA has offered statewide in the last year, urged council members to vote to adopt the contract last week.

“We need to do it for our children, for our grandchildren and for the town. It’s the right thing to do,” she said, praising the added ease of the single-stream system.

The council agreed, voting unanimously (Council Member Bob Parsons absent) to accept a contract with DSWA for the voluntary curbside recycling for the next two years.