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Waste, Recycling Collection Begins Friday in North Santa Rosa

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Beginning Friday (Jan. 2), Emerald Coast Utilities Authority kicks off a new waste and recyclable collection service for north Santa Rosa County.

Approved in November by ECUA and the Santa Rosa County Commission, the utility was the low bidder for the contract – at a quarterly charge of $51.27. That beat out bids from the firms Waste Management and Waste Pro. ECUA’s Nathalie Bowers says the charge will pay for a number of services.

“Twice per week collection of regular household garbage,” said Bowers. “Additionally, it includes yard trash collection every other week, and the collection of bulk waste upon request. Have the customer call, and let our customer service know they need a collection and that will be scheduled.”

Anyone signing up will receive a 95 gallon garbage can and/or a same-sized can for recycling. Although recycling pickup is available for all customers, the county commission agreed to ECUA’s idea to provide recycling containers only upon request.

County Administrator Hunter Walker says those opting out of the service will be responsible for transporting waste and debris to the Central Landfill in Milton, or the Jay Transfer Station. They can also choose a smaller provider. In 2010, the Santa Rosa County Commission franchised residential curbside collection in the south end with two service providers.

“When the south end was franchised, the prices were much, much lower,” says Walker. “Since one firm has the entire business so it would be very beneficial there and I expect it to be the same in the north end.”

The new service will truck household garbage to landfills used by ECUA, while the recycling will be taken to a facility in Montgomery. The area coverage does not include the City of Milton, Town of Jay or Naval Air Station Whiting Field.

ECUA’s Nathalie Bowers says part of their bottom line is expanding the utility’s current 75 thousand-household customer base in Escambia County, along with its workforce.

“We’re potentially adding up to 30,000 to 33,000 households with the addition of the northern portion of Santa Rosa County,” said Bowers. “We are looking at initially including an extra 20 positions, mostly drivers.”

With the expansion set to begin January 2, ECUA and the county have been spending the past few weeks getting out the word to eligible residents.

More information on all Santa Rosa County waste and recyclable services can be found at www.ecua.fl.gov and www.santarosa.fl.gov/solidwaste.

Dave came to WUWF in September, 2002, after 14 years as News Director at the Alabama Radio Network in Montgomery, Mobile and Birmingham and a total of 27 years in commercial radio. He's also served as Alabama Bureau Chief for United Press International, and a stringer for the Birmingham Post-Herald.