Pensacola mayoral candidate calls on city to stop sending recyclables to landfill
“It’s embarrassing that we’re dumping thousands of tons of recyclables in a landfill when there is a recycling facility right next door.”
Pensacola mayoral candidate Drew Buchanan on Wednesday called on City Hall to stop sending its curbside recycling collections to the landfill.
From 2014 until earlier this year, the City of Pensacola had been sending the recyclables collected in curbside bins to Tarpon Paper, a recycling processor in Loxley, Alabama. In February, Tarpon Paper ended its relationship with the city, and the city has since failed to negotiate an agreement with ECUA to use its newly built recycling facility in Cantonment.
“For months, City Hall has been sending our recyclables to the landfill. Worse, they’ve tried to keep that information from citizens who are paying City Hall each month for recycling service,” Buchanan said. “This lack of transparency from public officials is not just disappointing — it’s completely unacceptable. As mayor, I will be transparent about not only our successes but also our challenges. It’s the people’s government, and the people have a right to know.”
Buchanan said city officials must take immediate steps to reach an agreement with ECUA or another processor to accept Pensacola’s recyclables.
“Citizens deserve more than excuses,” Buchanan said. “They expect government agencies like the city and ECUA to work together to best serve the public. It is embarrassing that we’re dumping thousands of tons of recyclables in a landfill when there is a recycling facility right next door. If the current administration does not resolve this issue, then as mayor I will step up and resolve it myself.”
ECUA opened its $10.6 million recycling facility, located next to the Perdido Landfill, in 2016, and is currently processing recyclables collected in unincorporated Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, and Okaloosa County, as well as the cities of Gulf Breeze, Fort Walton Beach, Foley, Atmore, Fairhope, Daphne, and Mobile, Ala. Despite months of negotiations, the City of Pensacola failed to reach an agreement with ECUA at that time to use the facility.