FWB Officials Give Recycling Program a Second Shot

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FORT WALTON BEACH-- The idea has already failed once in the city of Fort Walton Beach.

A few years back, city leaders had to cut their curb-side recycling program because they weren't hitting the quota.

But the program is back on, and in a few months city officials will begin a pilot program, and they hope to have better luck the second time around.

It's been deemed unsuccessful in the past.

"We used to do curb-side recycling with 18 gallon bins, and unsuccessfully we had to discontinue that service. And we went to drop-off sites," Sanitation Supervisor Jerry Gunn said.

And now, after years of planning, and creating a number of drop-off points to get residents motivated to recycle city leaders are trying this curb-side recycle program for a second time.

"With the success of the drop off points, we have decided to roll out this pilot program," City Manager Michael Beedie said.

Starting October 2, the city will conduct a six-month pilot recycling program in two residential zones within the city.

All 2,500 homes in those designated areas will receive a 95-gallon recycling container. And it's free of charge.

"After a six-month program, we will reevaluate the participation and the success in this program, then take it to city council and see if they want to expand city wide," Gunn said.

Not only will city leaders be testing the program itself, but also the pick up system for the recycle bins.

"We can go in one of two directions. Either to a two-one-one program, which is twice a week garbage, one a week yard waste and one a week recycle," Gunn said. "Or to a one-one-one program, which is once a week garbage, once a week yard waster and once a week recycling."

"Eventually what we are hoping is we will go to the one-one-one program, that is the main goal to go to the one-one-one program, to cut down on garbage once a week to reduce the amount going into the landfill," Beedie said.

This program has no cost to the public, and Gunn says his department has enough man-power to pick up these recycle bins.

Even with this pilot program kicking off in October, city leaders will still hold three public workshops this month to get some perspective from residents on the program itself.