MILTON — City residents may be wondering why they are being reminded of what they can and cannot put in recycle bins.

According to Joe Cook, the director of public works for the city, Milton has continued collecting recyclables even though Santa Rosa County had stopped when the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority terminated their contract with the county in April 2019.

“We have never stopped collecting,” Cook said. “We take it to the county dump and they tell us where to put it.” Cook said, adding the county is responsible for transferring the city’s recyclables to the recycling center at ECUA.

The reminder is because the county ramps up their recycling program again on Feb. 3, according to Brand Bates, county public information officer. County officials will begin inspecting the recycled material to assure users are placing only approved recyclable materials in the bins.

One of the reasons cited by ECUA when they terminated the previous contract was high contamination rates from Santa Rosa County, and declining profits from recycling worldwide.

The problem with approved recyclables is educating residents on what is and is not allowed especially when each organization has slightly different listings.

There are some discrepancies when comparing the the city’s and county’s lists of approved recyclable materials, which are identical, to ECUA’s list of approved materials.

Milton lists pet food cans and dry pet food bags, aluminum foil baking pans, balls of tin foil and foil pie tins as approved items. ECUA has those same items on its prohibited list.

Bates said the Santa Rosa County Commission approved and signed a new contract with ECUA in December to accept recycled materials from the county. The contract does not include transporting the materials from the county’s central landfill to ECUA.

Bates said the county is working with a third party provider to haul the material from the county to the ECUA.