ECUA Fires Recycling Company, Takes Over Program Operations

May 14, 2018

The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority has terminated the company that was responsible for processing their recyclables.

Zero Waste had operated the ECUA’s Materials Recycling Facility (MRF), but now ECUA has taken over over direct recycling operations.

“Zero Waste was in breach of contract and owed us for six months, about $250,000 for recyclables sold,” Nathalie Bowers, spokesperson for the ECUA said. “We delivered the recyclables to them, they sold them at market value and there was a sliding scale where we would get revenue back depending on commodity prices that change monthly. They withheld $50,000 last September and October, paid November and December, and then paid nothing in January and February.”

ECUA has hired several Zero Waste staffers to work directly for ECUA in the operation of the recycling facility at the Perdido Landfill.

The recycling facility is near capacity, but hours will be difficult to expand, Bowers said. Hours for the MRF are tied to the hours at the landfill, which must be open for trucks to make deliveries.

A nationwide recycling market downturn has not hit ECUA hard , Bowers said, because it’s still cheaper for ECUA to recycle than send materials to the landfill.

File photos for, click to enlarge.


11 Responses to “ECUA Fires Recycling Company, Takes Over Program Operations”

  1. JustAThought on May 15th, 2018 12:35 pm

    Why not create a work program for able bodied individuals who are currently on government assistance programs. Offer jobs with adequate pay for those who say they cannot find work. This seems like a great opportunity for rehabilitating released inmates who are trying to integrate back into society as well. We are paying them anyways might as well get some societal benefit from it. This program could offer augmentation to both government and approved businesses that need the help such as this.

  2. Mr. Metoo on May 15th, 2018 6:54 am

    It doesn’t take a Genius to know that ECUA is not a part of the county or the landfill. I don’t think they can use county inmate labor. Also the county utilizes inmates in many different jobs. That saves the tax payers millions in salary/ benefits. If you don’t like them cleaning your ditches,streets,and parks go to Home Depot and buy some tools and get at it.

  3. DAGB on May 15th, 2018 5:51 am

    It’s my understanding that inmates were used for this operation for many years. During that time the recycling side was barely breaking even so they shut it down. Now they have built a facility that was at capacity when it opened, and here we are again.

  4. Dante Labeaux on May 14th, 2018 11:54 pm

    Hoosier daddy stated his recyclable pleas not picked up on Friday, that same Friday ours was not picked up either. This is off Burgess road and like he stated it was finally picked up Monday. It’s frustrating to go through the trouble of recycle to have it sent to landfall. I think many more things should be recycled.

  5. Hoosier Daddy on May 14th, 2018 11:25 pm

    About three weeks ago, in the Westside Rd., area of Pensacola, many of the kitchen garbage, and recyclable cans were not picked up on Friday, as scheduled. We left the cans out on Saturday.
    They were not picked up. However on Monday, a single truck picked up all kitchen garbage and recyclables. This all went to the dump. I recycle with a passion….somebody needs to get this straight. They deal with garbage, and are paid to do so….I deal with what is right…and pay them to do their duty.

  6. CW on May 14th, 2018 7:30 pm

    Hopefully Atmore’s recycling won’t be cut off… again.

  7. Genius on May 14th, 2018 7:22 pm

    Using inmates is a brilliant idea, too bad the County Commissioners will never capitalize on this genius idea. I would much rather have the inmates working in a controlled environment, than cleaning ditches in my neighborhood.

  8. Fall Guy on May 14th, 2018 7:11 pm

    I’ve visited this facility, watched it in operation, and spoken with the staff. These people work surprisingly hard. I doubt that you’d get the necessary performance out of inmates to make it work. The floor level supervisors are especially impressive.

  9. Bewildered on May 14th, 2018 3:26 pm

    Lillian has absolutely no recycling. Maybe we should take a cue from European countries. They manage to make recycling of all kinds of materials profitable. Cans, plastics, glass , old clothes, etc. are all money makers, while here we simply get rid of things in garbage dumps where they remain for hundreds of years.

  10. My2Cents on May 14th, 2018 9:35 am

    We don’t need to use inmates. There are citizens that could benefit working at this facility.

    I don’t disapprove using inmates. That would keep them busy and help pay their debt back to society.

  11. A Alex on May 14th, 2018 8:39 am

    Don’t we have enough inmates to fill this recycle center and pay them a low pay to pay back the county

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