Orange County commissioners on Tuesday voted to award a $26-million contract for a new trash hub on L.B. McLeod Road, one of two county-run stations where curbside trash collected in neighborhoods is transferred into bigger trucks then hauled to the landfill.

The station, originally owned by Orlando, dates to 1960 when it opened as an incinerator. Along with providing safe drinking water and police and fire protection, collecting and disposing of garbage is among the most important — and expensive — responsibilities of local governments not only in Central Florida but across the nation.

The McLeod Road transfer station handled over 200,000 tons of garbage in 2017 and 167,000 tons in 2018, though it was idle last year for several months after a fire.

Orange County, which boasts one of Florida’s largest solid-waste systems, has been planning for more than two years to replace the station, located on 10 acres in southwest Orlando in an industrial area west of Conroy Road and Interstate 4.

The station was acquired from Orlando in 1984 and last renovated in 1986. “It’s old. It’s dingy. It’s outdated,” said David Gregory, manager of Orange County’s solid waste division. The old facility will be demolished.

In planning documents, the new hub is described as “a modern facility that can handle the increasing volume of waste in a more economically and operationally efficient and environmentally sound manner.”

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