A new law aimed at offering recycling opportunities to all Delawareans through the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control goes into effect Dec. 1 — repealing and replacing the state’s 5-cent bottle deposit with a 4-cent recycling fee that will apply to the same kinds of containers that have carried the deposit.


A new law aimed at offering recycling opportunities to all Delawareans through the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control goes into effect Dec. 1 — repealing and replacing the state’s 5-cent bottle deposit with a 4-cent recycling fee that will apply to the same kinds of containers that have carried the deposit.

The fee directly contributes to another component of the law that will extend recycling service to every home and business in Delaware. Waste haulers will provide regular recycling collection to all single-family household customers in Delaware as well as to bars and restaurants by Sept. 15, 2011.

Over the next few years, virtually everyone in Delaware will have access to recyclables collection programs at home and at work. This will help create jobs, extend valuable landfill life, save resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve energy.

Waste haulers will provide recycling collection to all multi-family residential customers in Delaware by Jan. 1, 2013. All commercial businesses will be required to participate in a comprehensive recycling program by Jan. 1, 2014. Delaware’s goal for the universal recycling program is to reduce the amount of trash that goes into expensive landfills, thus reducing costs to Delawareans over time while reducing pollution and environmental impacts as well.

To help give momentum to universal recycling, the new container law eliminates the old 5-cent bottle deposit that few people redeemed, replacing it with the 4-cent recycling fee. The fee will create the Delaware Recycling Fund, which will offer grants and loans through DNREC to improve recycling in the state. The 4-cent fee is scheduled to end either when the Delaware Recycling Fund collects $22 million, or on Dec. 1, 2014, whichever occurs first.

The transition from the nickel bottle deposit to 4-cent recycling fee is as follows:

Starting Dec. 1, the 5-cent refundable deposit will no longer be charged on soda and beer bottles. Instead, bottles that formerly carried the deposit will now carry a 4-cent recycling fee, which is not refundable.
  Consumers have until Jan. 31, 2011, to collect refunds on bottles for which they paid a deposit prior to Dec. 1, 2010.
  Bottles still labeled with the 5-cent deposit may be found on store shelves for a short while after Dec. 1. However, the store will not charge a deposit on these bottles, nor can customers return them for a refund.
  The 4-cent recycling fee on each bottle will be paid by stores to the state of Delaware to create the Delaware Recycling Fund, which will offer grants and loans for projects that improve recycling throughout the state.
  The 4-cent recycling fee is scheduled to end either when the state Recycling Fund collects $22 million or on Dec. 1, 2014, whichever occurs first.
 

The Delaware Division of Revenue began sending information about the end of the 5-cent deposit and ensuing 4-cent recycling fee to retailers of beverage containers this month. Retailers should call the Division of Revenue at 302-577-8778 or visit its website at www.revenue.delaware.gov to register, or to obtain more information about payment of the fee.

Retailers must now remit this 4-cent per bottle fee to the Division of Revenue. Retailers also must obtain a state of Delaware Retail Beverage Container Business License, at no cost, for each location at which the 4-cent beverage containers are sold. The new Retail Beverage Container License must be obtained in addition to any previously-acquired state of Delaware business license.

The Division of Revenue has already notified many of the businesses required to comply with the new fee structure and license. These businesses have been automatically registered with the state and will receive their beverage container license notice this month. Businesses that currently sell beverage containers as a retailer in Delaware but that have not yet received a Retail Beverage Container License notice, are asked to call the Delaware Division of Revenue at 302-577-8778 to register their business and sign up to receive remittance coupons.

For consumers, more information about Delaware’s beverage container changes or the state’s new universal recycling law can be found at www.recycling.delaware.gov or by calling 302-739-9403.