ECUA Recycling Facility Heavily Damaged By Hurricane Sally, Putting Local Recycling Programs On Hold

September 23, 2020

Recycling in Escambia County is temporarily on hold after Hurricane Sally substantially damaged the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority Materials Recycling Facility at Perdido Landfill.

The facility sustained about $800,000 in damage to the structure and equipment. A building contractor is already on site, has completed inspections and is ready to begin rehabilitation work.

The best estimate right now is that the facility will be in service and ECUA recycling will return at the end of October.

“I want to assure our customers that ECUA is 150% committed to our program, and we are going to work to have the facility back up and running as safely and quickly as possible,” ECUA Public Information Officer Nathalie Bowers said Tuesday afternoon.

Bowers encourage residents to try to stay in the habit of recycling, if possible, by storing clean recyclables in their cans until service resumes.

ECUA also provided recycling service to several other municipalities using the facility, including Pensacola and Atmore, also putting those recycling program on hold.

The ECUA MRF processed 49,197 tons of recyclables during fiscal year 2019.

Pictured: Damage to the ECUA Material Recycling Facility at the Perdido Landfill. Photos for, click to enlarge.


22 Responses to “ECUA Recycling Facility Heavily Damaged By Hurricane Sally, Putting Local Recycling Programs On Hold”

  1. Dawn on September 30th, 2020 9:38 pm

    It took Escambia County years to educate, promote and then provide recycling for us. True the dump off building should be sturdier, but consider the alternative, taking your recycling over to Palafox St yourself, and very little was accepted, aluminum cans , newspapers, magazines, cardboard. You put it in the appropriate container on the site, dragged it to the door where it was checked before being accepted. So I for one am happy to see we have evolved enough to have recycling here at all. Thank you ECUA. And by the way the drivers are ALL busy picking up the the debris from Sally., If you think this is bad, try having been here after hurricane Ivan 16 yrs ago, trash was the least of our problems!

  2. Demetrius L Snider on September 26th, 2020 3:19 pm

    My garbage haa not been pick up even after Hurricane Sally . I understand I’m not the only one on the block of hwy 98 in Pensacola Florida that has trash that’s running over with house hold trash we pay for but no change in our monthly service’s trash and recycling products have not been pick up

  3. Mary Finley on September 26th, 2020 3:16 pm

    Maybe the recycle can could be emptied along with the garbage just this one time. Then we will store our recycle can empty until end of October. Say pick a day to empty both cans for people then the empty recycle can can be stored away until the recycle plant is up and running again. IS THIS A GOOD IDEA? Instead of storing trash for so long at home.

  4. Mack Weeks on September 24th, 2020 5:25 pm

    In ECUA’s defense I have to say that the garbage service is top notch..while working in my yard last Saturday a garbage truck driver came thru the neighborhood and blew the horn to let us know she Was there and she waited for us to bring our can out. Our normal pick up day is Thursday so I was surprised but happy to know they cared enough to send some drivers out. Well done ECUA. As far as the MRF …it was a Bad Storm, the structure held up pretty good I think. Could have been alot worse.

  5. MR REALITY on September 24th, 2020 11:33 am


    This project. provided for FREE, is supposed to LOWER our rates but apparetly from DAY 1 the supervisor over this boondoggle was stealing our metal, SO there is NOOOOOO telling what is going on now…>We have over $13,000,000 invested in this and NO ROI YET!!! ECUA GETS US AGAIN!!!!!!

  6. Wayne on September 24th, 2020 9:22 am

    I see the effects of the reduced pickup for what ever reason
    Trash dumped in the woods and vacant properties
    Not yard waste, pure household trash
    I guess people figure that the ECUA will pick it up one way or another
    The whole situation is bad for everyone

  7. Scarlotte Sullivan on September 23rd, 2020 2:25 pm

    I spoke with a supervisor at ECUA he said they will not pick up the recycling can with the regular garbage he said they will not take it to the landfill because we should be recycling, i was advised it was my issue and to figure it out.

  8. jerry on September 23rd, 2020 2:15 pm

    I fill up my recycle can and garbage can every week. I do not have room for storing either. Pickup both can or pick upo the garbage can twice weekly. What are the recycle truck drivers doing. Let them pickup the garbage cans also.

  9. Jason on September 23rd, 2020 1:32 pm

    As an update – my usual ECUA collection day is Tuesday, but today, the yard waste crew came thru my subdivision (off Kingsfield Road) and collected the yard waste that was in bags or cans. The large piles of Hurricane debris remain for the contracted storm crews. Happy to see that ECUA was able to restore another of their services.

  10. Meredith on September 23rd, 2020 1:17 pm

    What a ridiculous facility no wonder it fell apart. I know they have to have it large enough for the trucks to back in and dump their stuff but that looks like my patio umbrella after the storm. Just a skeleton shredded. (It was old anyway.) Anyhow they ought to make this brick and mortar tough. Use our dollars wisely. Recycling is a joke as to what they will and won’t recycle anyway and then the facility blows apart to boot. Now all our recycled stuff will just end in the landfill, what we are trying to avoid. On the other hand. Which is cheaper and wiser? A good solid building or one that will blow apart from a storm every so often? But most important what is better for the environment?

  11. Citizen on September 23rd, 2020 1:12 pm

    I thought recycling is free service.

  12. Rebecca Leanne Smith on September 23rd, 2020 11:47 am

    I agree a credit should be given for weeks missed seeing we are paying for a service we can’t get . Also they should pick up both cans since they only come once every week & all our cans are. Beyond full anyway. Leaving garbage & bags on road which is what ppl are left to do is going to be bad in everyway , they need to have a back up plan

  13. Jason on September 23rd, 2020 10:59 am

    I always find a chuckle when reading these comments. Escambia County has more than its fair share of folks without common sense. Sometimes they lead large companies and sometimes it’s just your neighbor.

    In all of the ECUA notices – including those on the ECUA website – they have indicated they would resume normal TRASH collection. That yard waste and recycling was on hold. That their regular TRASH service – which I interpreted as my normal collection day – would resume.

    The week of the storm, ECUA postponed the Tuesday collection until Thursday. ECUA did make rounds on Thursday but not every road was passable. Not every can could be emptied. However, if your can was emptied on Tuesday this week, I am sure they collected your trash from the week prior and it hasn’t been left in the can. As such, you got the service you paid for just not on the day you wanted it.

    If your recycling can is full, and you wish to dispose of items that could be recycled, you still have two options: 1) store the recyclables elsewhere or 2) dispose of them in your trash can knowing they will be buried at the landfill. I still have room in my recycle can. As such, I am still recycling. After my can is full I will put everything into my trash can until recycling resumes. It’s a pretty easy concept to understand.

  14. David on September 23rd, 2020 10:26 am

    We are paying for a 2 can pickup…
    Pick it all up in the recycle trucks and haul it to the dump
    We are paying for a 2 can pickup…I dont see a 50% rate of reduction in the trash bill
    ECUA is scamming us
    This is wrong as I said and they know it
    Its like pulling up to a gas pump and paying $10.00 for 3 gal of gas..and getting only 1.5 gal
    Straight and simple it crooked
    Not being mean but its crooked economic actions and ECUa knows this
    Stop your nonsense ECUA

  15. Kennie on September 23rd, 2020 9:51 am

    This facility should’ve been well constructed other than this “revival tent”, it should’ve been harden with a more solid structure other than this canvas material. I’m not saying it wouldn’t had any damage or damages if it was constructed better. My opinion only, this was bound to happen. A harden facility will make more sense than this. Just look how much money has already and will be spent again to restart recycling. Perhaps, “Magnificent Randy Rudd” has a better solution to this madness. And ratepayers just a reminder to ratepayers we should be only charge for Garbage Only!!!

  16. Full cans on September 23rd, 2020 9:37 am

    Sure, let me just store my recyclables in your front yard. All of our cans are full. I don’t care where it goes.

  17. mat on September 23rd, 2020 8:58 am

    So I guess I can bring my recycling can off the street
    until the end of October or until further notified.

  18. Pdg on September 23rd, 2020 8:14 am

    They should dump both then in the trash instead of leaving it. I have a full recycling can that needs to be dumped. Really thinking about switching to the creek company since ECUA is always missing my cans anyway. Not sure what they get paid for.

  19. Athought on September 23rd, 2020 7:57 am

    We understand thus happens in natural disasters but don’t report to people normal service is restarting and then only get regular garbage. ECUA should make another round with trucks and dump recycle with regular garbage. My recycle can already full. If I move to general can, it’ll be full and won’t have room for garbage this week.

  20. Oversight on September 23rd, 2020 7:44 am

    150% committed to recyclables, they don’t say? Now if ECUA would commit itself for the trash pick-up that is actually charged/paid for, they might be doing something with its customer service. What about that missed service last week that won’t be made up and was paid for? Looks like a 25% discount should be given on the next month’s bill to be fair. What says you, ECUA?

  21. Mike O'Farrell on September 23rd, 2020 3:13 am

    That explains why regular garbage was picked up but the brown cans of recycle stuff was left on the curb, two weeks in a row. I called ECUA about it and they said to include the recycle stuff with the regular garbage. The question I have is, if they are to temporarily include garbage and recycle together, why did the garbage truck not take the contents of both cans? I now have 4 large plastic bags of cans and plastic bottles, and my regular garbage can is full to the limit already.

  22. Kat on September 23rd, 2020 2:37 am

    so guess our can will be emptied into the trash… as it has already been sitting over a week in there … plus someone added stuff to it today while it was near the road…no way it will make it for 6 more weeks awaiting to be picked up…

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.