Delaware Businesses Say Good-bye to Recycling Fee - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Businesses Say Good-bye to Recycling Fee

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DOVER, Del.- After four years of paying a recycling fee on bottles, many stores in Delaware can say good-bye to the extra cost.

Four years ago, the number of people recycling in Delaware was low. Now, the state is among the nation's leaders keeping recyclables out of landfills. Officials credit a law passed in 2010 named the Universal Recycling Law.

The Little Grocer is a small business in Dover. The owner, Todd Stachecki sells a number of items including different drinks. DNREC officials say stores like his had to pay a fee on bottled ones thanks to the Universal Recycling Law.

"It's four cents per container sold," explained the Environmental Program Manager at DNREC, Bill Miller. "The retailers paid that to the state and that generated a fund that allows us to expand on a lot of recycling programs and put resources to kind of advance things in delaware we see a need for."

Stachecki says over the past four years the fee has been a pain.

"It was a pain to keep up with," said Stachecki. "There was a lot of paper work. For us we might not be as busy as a lot of stores but it still just cost us 40-50 dollars and that comes straight out of your profit."

As of Monday the fee is gone. But officials say the law has already helped get Delawareans in the mindset of recycling.

"The biggest most important thing that the university recycling did was dramatically increase the efficiencies of recycling collections," said Brick Vinton, the Chairman of the Recycling Council.

In 2006, about 23 percent of recyclables were diverted from landfills in the state. As of last year, that number jumped to about 41 percent.

"We're doing very well," said Governor Jack Markell. "We've about doubled our recycling rate over the last four years. That's not to say we can't continue to improve because in fact we must."

Officials are hoping even though the law has run its course, the habits of recycling will continue. Officials say the fee raised a little more than $14 million which will go to funding recycling programs within the state. Even though no more money is coming in through the fees, DNREC says what it currently has in reserve should last through 2015.

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