MILTON — Santa Rosa County commissioners decided Thursday to renew their recycling program with the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority despite historic low prices for the material.
That means at the current average market rate for recyclables at $54.10 per ton, the county will spend about $321,000 a year to process the nearly 6,000 tons of plastics, aluminum, cardboard and other material its garbage customers generate annually.
Commissioner Dave Piech said he supports the concept and has his fingers crossed that prices for recyclables will bounce back and generate enough revenue to cut the county's losses.
“We’ve always supplemented recycling,” Piech said. “With our environment we have here, it’s the right thing to do. We need to continue the program for now.”
Piech said he cut a video that will go up on his Facebook page that shows residents how to make sure they put clean recyclables such as milk jugs into the recycling bins.
Commissioner Lane Lynchard said the county is like other communities across the country that are dealing with low recycling prices.
“Let’s observe what we’re doing for two years,” Lynchard said. “Right now, there is just not a good solution.”
The county had examined other alternatives, such as trucking its recyclables to a landfill in Montgomery, Alabama, and even discontinuing its program.