Bay County residents ditch their junk on Waste Amnesty Days

Published: Apr. 17, 2021 at 8:35 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It could be the old swing set in your back yard you’re tired of looking at, or the extra washing machine sitting in the garage collecting dust. The spring season means it’s time for spring cleaning.

“Free drop off at the county dump. I have an air conditioner that we’re replacing and I needed to get rid of it. I was going to bring it over here anyway but now it’s free,” Bay County resident Bill Timbs said.

On Friday and Saturday, Bay County residents were invited to the Steelfield Landfill off State Road 79 for its bi-annual Waste Amnesty Days. What usually costs $36 per ton was completely free.

“The intent of amnesty is to give the citizens of Bay County a chance to clean up their property, their backyards, their you know just kind of a neighborhood beautification thing,” Solid Waste Division Manager Glenn Ogborn said.

These two special days do more than beautify your neighborhood. Bay County Public Information Officer Valerie Sale said it helps avoid illegal dumping in some of the more remote parts of the county.

The following materials were accepted: appliances (air conditioners, dryers, stoves, washing machines, etc.), construction and demolition debris (concrete, lumber, sheet rock, etc}, trash (kitchen garbage, furniture, carpet, clothes, etc.), household hazardous waste (pesticides, paints, used oil, fluorescent tubes, antifreeze, etc.), small engine containing devices (lawn mowers, weed eaters, edgers, etc.), tires, yard debris (grass clippings, leaves, tree trimmings, etc.), and recyclables (batteries, paper, plastic, metals, computers, cell phones, etc.).

The only things not accepted were gas cylinders, explosive materials, ammunition, or flares.

On Friday, officials said more than 400 people showed up to ditch their junk, which totaled almost 200 tons of waste.

“The majority of it goes into the landfill. And there it’s just crushed and smashed into the smaller as possible. And it will stay there for eternity,” Ogborn said.

Officials said the next Amnesty Day will be in the fall, but they haven’t set any dates yet.

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