Santa Rosa County Resuming Recycling Under Agreement With ECUA

January 24, 2020

Santa Rosa County is resuming its recycling program under an agreement with the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority.

The Santa Rosa County recycling program was suspended in April 2019 because their level of contaminants was too high for the ECUA Materials Recycling Facility at the Perdido Landfill in Escambia County.

Santa Rosa County staff will be taking extra steps to ensure collected recyclables are not contaminated with non-recyclable garbage. Due to the high volume of contaminants collected when the county previously participated in recycling, staff will visually inspect each load of recyclable materials during first weeks to ensure it will be accepted by ECUA’s processing facility.

Santa Rosa County residents are encouraged to get back to the basics and focus on only placing the following items in their curbside recycling bin:

  • Clean cardboard (no newspaper)
  • Clean and dry aluminum and steel cans (no pet food cans due to the plastic liner)
  • Clean and dry plastic bottles and jugs

“We realize people may have relaxed their recycling habits over the last year so we are asking residents to get back to the basics of recycling by simplifying what is collected to cardboard, aluminum and steel cans, and plastic bottles and jugs,” said Michael Schmidt, environmental director. “All items placed in the recycling bin must be clean and dry. Once we are confident the materials we receive are not contaminated, we will begin hauling recyclables to ECUA for processing.”

Each load of recyclables collected will be identified geographically. Neighborhoods generating unacceptable levels of contaminants in their recycling containers could be disqualified from the program. Non-recyclable garbage placed in recycling bins increases the cost of the recycling and could result in the termination of the recycling program for the entire county. Ensuring a quality product is delivered to ECUA’s processing facility is critical to the success of recycling, according to Santa Rosa officials.

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