DEKL MAR — Hoping to increase recycling efforts as well as reduce clutter and upgrade aesthetics in the downtown area, City Council authorized staff to develop a pilot program with the Del Mar Village Association to enhance street amenities.
“First and foremost, this is all about creating a recycling program,” interim Planning Director Brian Mooney said.
Mooney began developing the program by looking at the existing containers in the city. “It’s a pretty diverse group of trash cans,” he said. “None of them allow for recycling.” He said many are outdated and have deteriorated since they were installed in the 1990s.
In the process, Mooney noticed an eclectic mix of benches and newspaper and bicycle racks, so he expanded the program and is using it as an opportunity to improve the look of the village area.
Initially, 10 to 13 recycling cans would be placed on Camino del Mar between 12th and 15th streets. If the program is deemed successful based on collection data, the DMVA could apply for grant money to purchase additional bins.
Jen Grove, DMVA executive director, said state money is earmarked for such programs, but there are hundreds of applicants. She said Encinitas received $85,000 last year for its beverage container recycling program. Officials from that city recommended creating a pilot program to monitor how much is being diverted from landfills. That information could increase the chance of receiving state money.
Grove said the Del Mar containers will be custom-made and designed to discourage scavengers.
Meanwhile, Mooney is developing the program, which he presented to the Design Review Board and Planning Commission, to add bicycle racks to the 15th Street corridor and varied but consistent street furniture throughout the area.
“I think it’s a good idea, and it doesn’t cost us anything, and I hope it works,” Councilman Don Mosier said.