HOLLEY – Luther Bolin says he’s doing everything right while participating in Santa Rosa County’s recycling program.
He places only items that can be recycled into his recycling bin after making sure they’re clean, the Holley resident said.
►Recycling returning to Santa Rosa
There’s one major problem, though, he said.
“I have two containers: one is for recyclables, one is for trash,” Bolin said last week. “Guys from Waste Pro are picking them up. Today, they dropped both cans into the same truck.”
►Santa Rosa renews recycling program
He said one Waste Pro worker told him that everything dumped in the truck “goes to the same place,” referring to a landfill in Milton, and that “the county told us to do it.”
Bolin said the mixing of his trash and recyclables by the company has happened several times. He also said another Waste Pro employee told him the company has special trucks with two compartments that keep garbage and recycled items separate.
“But I saw it all go in the same hole” in the back of the truck, Bolin said.
However, county Environmental Supervisor Andrew Hill said county officials have not told Waste Pro to mix the two types of waste. He said he is not aware of the company having any trucks with two compartments.
According to Hill and county spokeswoman Brandi Bates, all loads of recyclables that have been collected since the county recently resumed its recycling program have been contaminated because customers are not recycling properly.
The county resumed its recycling program at the start of February after 10 months without it. The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority, which has a recycling facility in Beulah, had ended its former agreement to process the county’s recycled items because too many loads of recyclables were contaminated.
“There is still a lot of contamination coming in, which is unfortunate,” Bates said Friday. “We’re working hard with our education campaign” on recycling.
Acceptable recyclable items include glass, newspapers and inserts, boxboard, plastic bottles and milk jugs, aluminum, tin and steel cans and lids, and metal pots, pans and cookie sheets, according to county information.
Residents who have questions or concerns about the recycling program can call the county Environmental Department at 850-981-7135.