Rehoboth may institute Boardwalk recycling this summer

City committee will begin gathering information before giving opinion on wind farms
January 21, 2022

Story Location:
Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
United States

If everything goes as planned, users of the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk will have the option of easy recycling this coming summer.

The city has been waiting to deploy the new recycling containers for the past two summers, but COVID unknowns nixed the implementation the first summer, and last summer the city, similar to local businesses, couldn’t find the necessary summer staff.

During a Rehoboth Beach Environment Committee meeting Jan. 7, City Public Works Director Kevin Williams said the city is geared up and fully intends to start this summer. The cans are painted and there’s a second vehicle, so now the city just needs people once the summer season comes, he said.

Williams said at least initially, the recycling program will be tedious to deploy. He said it requires staff to ride on the back of a truck during hot summer days, pulling bags of recyclables from the cans, then taking those bags back to a city workyard where the recyclables will be checked for general cleanliness and then removed from the bags because bagged items aren’t accepted for recycling.

At least for the inaugural season, Williams said recycling will be limited to bottles and cans only. It won’t do much for all those pizza boxes, he joked. 

Williams said he anticipated the crew checking the recycling cans at least once a day to begin with, with the frequency increasing as needed.

Williams was asked by the committee how the city intends to measure successful participation in the program.

Right now, for the first year, he said, anything that’s not put in the trash will be considered a success.

Committee to gather information on wind farms

At the committee’s last meeting, city commissioner and Chair Edward Chrzanowski said Rehoboth had been asked to give an opinion on the proposed wind farms that will be located in federal ocean waters due east of Rehoboth Beach.

The committee began that process during the Jan. 7 meeting, discussing who they should hear from before giving their opinion – other municipalities, wind power developers and local groups with information on the projects.

The group talked about not giving an opinion on a specific developer, but the reality is Danish-based company Ørsted is the one that’s been awarded the opportunity to develop wind farms in those local ocean waters.

Committee member Heather Metz, an engineer by trade, said she wasn’t against the implementation of wind power technology, but she said Ørsted needs to be more forthcoming with its information. The burden is on the company to provide the pros and cons of the project, she said.

Citing Ørsted’s past as a company that made its money on fossil fuels, committee member Mary Peck said it is a well-funded company that’s no saint. The city needs to know exactly what its parameters are, she said.

Water refill stations for Boardwalk

It’s probably not going to happen this year, but much to the delight of committee members, Williams also said it appears the city will have the opportunity to install one, maybe two, water-bottle refill stations on the Boardwalk. However, he said the grant being used for installation isn’t expected to be awarded until later this year, which would put actual installation in time for summer 2023.

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