Recycling returns

Posted on September 30, 2016 by Mat Pellegrino

It’s been almost a year since the Infinitus Renewable Energy Park in Montgomery, Ala. shut its doors, forcing Emerald Coast Utilities Authority to cease recycling pickup for Santa Rosa County residents.
But the garbage and recycling hauler announced this week that recycling is going to be back up and running on Monday thanks to a new $10.6 million ECUA facility in Escambia County, which was completed in August.
The Interim Materials Recycling Facility will allow the garbage hauler to resume recycling pickup and save money by sorting its own recycling at the plant, which is located adjacent from the Perdido Landfill.
The facility will allow the waste hauler to sort up to 40,000 tons of recyclables per year.
Back in February, ECUA broke ground for the IMRF, which encompasses a 53,460 square-foot fabric building and recycling equipment that is expected to process up to 165 tons of materials per day.
During September, minor adjustments and training methods were tweaked to prepare the new recycling equipment and its operators for its new undertaking.
The grand opening of the facility took place on August 22.
Over the last 9 months, ECUA garbage haulers have been picking up recycling bins in Santa Rosa County, but have been dumping the recyclables, along with the garbage, into the Central Landfill in Milton.
“We are glad to see the recycling service available again and want to remind residents to refresh themselves with what can and cannot be recycled,” said Andrew Hill, environmental supervisor with Santa Rosa County.
Santa Rosa County Public Information Officer Brandi Whitehurst said now is the time for residents to start recycling again.
“A lot of people have gotten into the habit of throwing their garbage away in their recycling bins…so we want to urge residents to start putting recycling in their recycling bins instead of garbage,” Whitehurst said.
ECUA will charge the county a fee if they receive too much garbage  in their hauls to the new facility.
“If there is too much regular garbage or yard clippings mixed up with the recyclables, they will charge us a fee,” Whitehurst said. “I have confidence our residents will get back into the habit of recycling again, though.”
Recyclables with the greatest impact are  bottles, cans, and paper.  Non-recyclable garbage placed in recycling bins increases the cost of the recycling process and in turn will increase the cost of garbage and recycling collection service.  The following items are not accepted for recycling at this time:
l Plastic grocery bags — however most grocers accept these for recycling
– Wax-coated items — ice cream containers, milk cartons, juice boxes, etc.
– Aerosol cans
– Food waste
– Garbage or yard waste
– Garden hoses
– Window blinds
– Bubblewrap
– Tarps
– Bedding or linens
– Carpeting or rugs
– Construction materials

Items that are accepted for recycling

– Glass all colors
– Newspaper and inserts
– Magazines and catalogs
– Junk mail and envelopes
– Cardboard
– Phone books
– Office and school papers (colored paper)
– Paper grocery bags
-boxboard (cereal, cake and cracker boxes, etc.)
– Pizza boxes
– Plastic produce clamshells
– Plastics No. 1 through 7
– Plastic milk jugs, bottles, and containers
– Aluminum cans and lids
– Pet food cans and dry pet food bags
– Aluminum foil baking pans
– Balls of aluminum foil; foil pie tins
– Tin and steel cans and lids
– Metal pots, pans and cookie sheets
– Cardboard egg cartons