A new Waste Management recycling facility opening next month in Fort Walton Beach could be a game changer for recycling in Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties. Okaloosa County Commissioners voted unanimously last week to terminate their contract with Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) and enter into a contract with Waste Management to handle recycling in the county.

Waste Management broke ground on the $30 million state-of-the-art recycling facility in April 2023 with the promise to process 120,000 tons per year of single-stream, source-separated recyclables. Okaloosa County Public Works Director Jason Autrey said the Fort Walton Beach facility will save customers money by not having to haul recyclables to ECUA’s facility in Cantonment.

“We’ve got it broken into a two-phase approach,” explained Autrey at Tuesday’s meeting. “The first is what we’ve dubbed the break-in period. This is a dollar-for-dollar match in terms of the processing fee. Currently, we pay ECUA $60 per ton … the big difference is we no longer have to pay the hauling cost. Currently, we pay about $91 per ton. After we get through the six-month break-in period, we will enter into a blended-value approach where we will actually get a rebate back for selling the recyclable commodity.”

To read the full story, visit https://www.wuwf.org/local-news/2024-05-13/new-waste-management-facility-brings-more-recycling-options-to-northwest-florida#.
Author: Jennie McKeon, WUWF 88.1
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