ECUA Gives Final Approval To Plan To Pickup North Escambia Trash, Add Recycling Program

October 24, 2008

ecuafront.jpgBeginning in January, trash service in North Escambia will be provided by the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority, and voluntary curbside recycling will become available at the same time.

The ECUA board passed the plan at a meeting Thursday afternoon in Pensacola that will offer voluntary recycling to over 63,000 sanitation customers.

The new program, which will require customers to sign-up in order to participate, is simple and cost effective, according to an ECUA news release, and is scheduled to begin the week of January 1, 2009.

Under the approved program, customers who choose to recycle will receive one household waste pick-up per week and one pick up of recyclables each week. The cost
for the two collections will be approximately $18.00, a reduction in ECUA’s current rate of $19.62 for two household waste pick-ups and no recycling service.

The regular garbage and recyclable pickups will be on different days, a change approved 4-1 after a motion by District 5 ECUA member Larry Walker.

“After the meeting, staff informed me that there may be significant cost increases associated with this change, and it is possible that the decision may be reversed,” Walker said.

A second can for regular garbage will be available for $3 per month. The plan originally called for that second can to be $5 per month, but a motion by Walker called for the $3 fee instead. That motion passed 4-1. The second trash can, if purchased, will be picked up on the same day as the first.

Beginning January 1, Allied Waste’s franchise in North Escambia county will be transferred to ECUA, and ECUA will give Allied commercial routes in the south end of the county, said Natalie Bowers, ECUA spokesperson. ECUA will add the option of curbside recycling to every home it serves in Escambia County, including rural North Escambia.

“There will be no more Allied Waste in North Escambia,” Bowers said. “And, best of all, the entire plan will cost less than customers are paying now.”

Allied currently bills North Escambia customers $58.83 per quarter, which is the equivalent of $19.61 per month. ECUA will charge $17.97 per month. Both companies add a fuel surcharge to their fees.

ECUA’s current 62,000 plus customers in the rest of the county will also go from twice a week pickup to once a week pickup with an option of the no-cost 90 gallon recycling container.

“The proposed ECUA service is identical, both north and south. The ECUA has no intention to provide a lower level of service in the North End than in the southern area,” Larry Walker, ECUA District 5 representative, said.

The ECUA pickup will be one per week, with customers that choose to recycle having two 90 gallon containers.  Allied customer will keep their current blue can as their garbage containers, and those recycling will receive a new 90 gallon recycling container. There will be no charge for the recycling service or can for residential waste customers.

“Recycling will not be mandatory,” Bowers added. She said both plastic and paper materials will go into the same container. Glass will not be accepted for recycling because the vendor purchasing ECUA’s recyclables for $30 per ton will not accept glass.

In an email to Thursday night, Walker listed several reason he believes peopel should take advantage of the recycling option to be offered in January:

  • Recycling by a household will reduce the household’s need for regular garbage disposal.
  • Recycling by Escambia residents will extend the life of Perdido Landfill, saving taxpayer dollars in the long run. Landfill space is a finite public commodity, and a highly expensive one. Extending the life of Perdido Landfill will be to the advantage of every county resident.
  • It is the recycling part of the new ECUA program that permits ECUA to reduce the service charge from $19.61 to approximately $18 per month. Participation in the recyclables collection program will help control sanitation rates. Admittedly, the rate reduction will not be large, but every bit helps in this difficult economic time.
  • Recycling contributes to environmental preservation and to preservation of the limited natural resources on which mankind depends.

In Century, residential waste service will continue to be provided by Allied Waste under a contract with the town. The recycling service will not be available to Century residents. Century residents that wish to recycle can take their recyclable materials to a collection container located in the parking lot of the Century Courthouse.

Pictured below: A list of items ECUA will accept for recycling when they takeover the Allied Waste franchise in North Escambia on January 1.



10 Responses to “ECUA Gives Final Approval To Plan To Pickup North Escambia Trash, Add Recycling Program”

  1. rhg a former resident on October 27th, 2008 11:15 am

    Do you actually have that much trash to warrant pick-up twice a week?—or is it just natual to complain about a change?

  2. Rodric G. Hammond on October 27th, 2008 9:57 am

    I am extremely happy to get this news. At least we will now have the ability to communicate with our own representative, Mr. Walker, rather than some obscure individual that could basically – care less about your complaints. Recycling has shown me that one container for trash and one pickup is plenty. Since beginning recycling using the Stefani Rd site I realize that there is plenty to be re-cycled and not much that isn’t. Thanks to Mr. Walker and the other board members for this very wise decision. Ps. My bill with AWS was over $63.00 per quarter.

  3. Larry Walker on October 27th, 2008 2:08 am

    Permit me to make responses to some recent comments:

    1. The ECUA residential-sanitation service will offer two pickups per week, one of recyclables and one of regular garbage, for approximately $18 per month (or $54 per quarter). Currently, Allied customers are receiving two pickups of general garbage per week at a charge of about $58 per quarter. I fail to see that this is a rip-off for the customer who accepts the recyclables collection service: It is the same amount of service at a lower charge.

    2. The unfairest part of the ECUA program will be that those households that require more than one can per week for regular garbage must pay an additional charge for a second can for regular garbage. I do not like this feature, but there was no possibility of killing it. I did succeed in getting the additional charge reduced from $5 per month to $3.

    3. Garbage-collection service is not government-mandated in North Escambia. Mr. Williams is free to terminate service at any time. There is no need to attempt to end garbage-collection service for the entire North Escambia area, whether by public petition or by any other method. Some North Escambia residents might consider that a poor idea.

    4. For many customers of Allied–not all, to be sure, but many–the replacement of Allied by ECUA will be good news. I have received complaints about Allied from many households in 2005-2008. To be more specific, I have received complaints about Allied from approximately 900 households. Complaints–”squils”–have not come solely from south-end residents; rather, complaints have been received from some 175-200 households in North Escambia. (I maintain a computerized file of nearly all communications with constituents.)

    5. The ECUA fuel recovery fee (FRF) is not “bogus.” Fuel prices HAVE increased dramatically in 2007-2008, and garbage collection is a fuel-intensive industry. Now that fuel costs have dropped dramatically in recent weeks, I predict that ECUA’s FRF will be reduced when it is set for the first quarter of 2009. (The FRF is adjusted on a quarterly basis.)

    6. Elected officials cannot be removed from office by citizen petition because state law makes no provision for it. However, elected officials who seek reelection are subject to the will of the voters. Voters put them (us) in, and voters can put them (us) out, at election time.

    7. As I have stated before on, I may be contacted directly by any and all District 5 residents. Email me at or call me at 723-6094. Let us reason together.

  4. c williams on October 26th, 2008 6:26 pm

    you know some people just dont get it .we have had recycling at the oak grove dump for at least fiftteen years . the county spent thousands of dollars just to tell you can only put house hold trash only. mark these words that if you think that you rare only going to pay this fee for a short time because the county can not afford to pick up garbage once a week and give you a can for recycling and pick it up on another day for the recycle pick up. according to what i have read the can will cost you and extra 5 dollars a month and there is no second day pick up for recycling but there is more to this than what the county is letting you know. My point is that if nothing is broken then leave it alone just because some pople that futher south that is doing all the “squiling” than the rest of us has to suffer because of there mistakes. However, if enough people on the north end wants to sign a petition and do away with garbage pick on this end of the county what would county have to say about that? You know why can’t we get a vote in this matter. And a petition to remove some poeple from office.

  5. Clyde Williams on October 25th, 2008 4:53 pm

    Here we go again. Another government bureaucracy trying to expand their department.I believe in recycling, but not at the expense of cutting the pickups to one a week. They make money on the recyclables and we lose a pickup. Doesn’t sound like a fair swap to me. Our representative ( Walker)and Commissioner (White)continue to act as tho we are just a bunch of dummies in North Escambia. You will continue to see increases in rates once this is established.

    We have enough waste in the county now.

  6. Cheryl on October 24th, 2008 7:14 pm


  7. William on October 24th, 2008 10:35 am


    I clarified with ECUA…the second can, if purchased for the $3 per month, will be picked up on the same day as the first trash can. The second day will only be the recyclable material.

  8. E. Oleson on October 24th, 2008 6:51 am

    Currently AW charges 58.83 per quarter for one 90 gal can picked up 26 times. That comes to 2.26 per can pickup. The new basic service will be 54.00 per quarter for 13 pickups. Hold on Nellie, that’s 4.15 for each can pickup. Our new wonderful improved program is an increase of 1.89 per can pickup. Add the bogus “”fuel surcharge” and you have what ECUA calls a “savings” for the financially struggling citizen.

    But of course if I elect I can sort trash for ECUA so they can get paid for my efforts. The only up side to this smelly deal (pun intended) is easing the pressure on the landfill. However what guarantee is there that the slack given by residential customers will not be taken up by developers and industrial users.

    E. Oleson

  9. William on October 24th, 2008 6:36 am

    The email I received from Mr. Walker indicates the he presented the idea of two garbage pickup days and that idea failed to pass the board. Based upon his email, the statement in the PNJ this morning is incorrect. I will confirm directly with ECUA later this morning.


  10. Cheryl on October 24th, 2008 4:34 am

    NorthEscambia-Could you confirm what PNJ reported this morning; that if you pay the $3 for the extra garbage, it will picked up on the SECOND day when the recyclables are collected. If this is true, than this is IDEAL. I’ll be the first to sign up. Thank you NorthEscambia for presenting our views and Thank you Larry Walker for taking our concerns to the ECUA board.