County Ranks Low on Recycling

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Signs have replaced the blue recycling bins of Bay County's recycling drop-off points.

The signs inform patrons the drop-off points are closed because of garbage contamination, too much regular trash mixed with the recyclable materials.

"Some months we don't get anything because the contaminated loads are so contaminated we have to take them all to the incinerator. "

"One person's household garbage, or even a simple mistake like tossing this plastic trash bag in the can to contaminate an entire bin."

But county officials say they're not giving up. They're taking small steps to revamp the recycling program.

"To improve we shut down the old sites because the guidelines weren't being followed. We opened up three new sites, refurbished cans, brand new signs, easier to read, so the recycling opportunities are better for them now."

Diana Clark recycles out of habit. She says more people would participate if the county provided curbside recycling.

"If they provided bins for the people they'd be more likely to put it in there because it's less of an effort to load it all up and take it somewhere to try and dispose of it."

For many years the city of Lynn Haven offered curbside pickup, but county officials say there isn't enough demand to justify the cost to the county. That's why they're going with the new drop-off locations.

"There is so much potential there if guidelines are followed. One you learn it, it's easy. One, the loads aren't contaminated; we can get so much money off of them."

Right now recycling bins accept newspaper, aluminum, and cardboard. The county is in the process of working out a deal to add plastics and steel tin food cans to the list.

County officials say they're also having trouble finding sources to buy the recycled items. To learn more about the local recycling program, log onto