If you need car parts, wood, or other odds and ends from the Bethel landfill, you can now only collect those items on Saturdays. Salvaging at the Bethel landfill has been restricted to one day a week.
“It’s amazing. There’s a lot of good stuff out here that people throw away," said Dave Stovner, Bethel landfill manager, as he gestured out his office window to a pile of construction material.
A couple months ago, an official from the Department of Environmental Conservation made an annual visit to inspect the Bethel landfill. A while later, Stovner got a letter saying that salvagers must be monitored by landfill staff “to ensure public safety.”
“Our problem is we don’t have the personnel to watch somebody scavenge through the dump," Stovner explained. "You know, we got other things to do.”
Salvaging used to be allowed six days a week in at the landfill. The DEC didn’t change its rules; they just didn’t know it was happening unmonitored in Bethel. Now, that monitoring happens on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“So when people come in to salvage on Saturday, they need to give us their name and phone number so we know who’s out here and who’s doing what,” Stovner said.
From there Stovner or one of his staff will follow you around and watch as you dig.