ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The solid waste, recyclable materials and yard trash collection agreement for residential curbside services in Alachua County expires on September 30, 2009. The Alachua County Commission approved of the new contract with Emerald Waste Services (EWS) on September 22, 2009. Significant changes to the County's curbside collection program will include: a four-day, Monday through Thursday, collection week; additions to recycling collection; bulk and yard trash changes; enhancement to customer service; and an additional holiday.
For some residents, collection days and route times will change effective November 1, 2009. Residents whose collection day is changing will receive a sticker on their garbage cart in October to inform them of their new pick up day. As in the past, all residents are reminded to place their garbage, recycling, and other items for pick up at the curb by 7 a.m. on their collection day.
Junk mail, office paper, margarine tubs and yogurt cups were added to the recycling program in January of 2009. A new item, Pasteboard, (cereal boxes without the plastic bag, beverage cartons, etc) can now be recycled in the orange bin. Current items that will continue to be collected include: glass and plastic bottles and jars, metal cans, empty aerosol cans, newspaper, corrugated cardboard, magazines, catalogs and brown paper bags. With all the items that can be recycled, many people can save money by recycling more and reducing the size of their garbage cart. For example, County residents who have a 96 gallon cart (the largest one) can save about $100 per year by changing to a 64 gallon cart. In addition to saving money, by recycling more you will help Alachua County meet the new State requirement to recycle 75% of our waste by 2020.
To view the container size and cost chart, click here.
As of October 1, 2009, residents will no longer need to call for collection of bulk items, such as unusable furniture, exercise equipment, and large toys. Whenever practical, the regular garbage truck will collect these items at the same time as the garbage. Otherwise it will be collected within 24 hours. White Goods such as refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers will still have to be scheduled for pick-up by the customer due to the special handling they require.
Beginning November 1, 2009, yard trash will not be collected in plastic bags. Leaves, grass clippings, and small cuttings must be set out in brown paper lawn and leaf bags (available at local retailers or online) or in a re-usable container such as a plastic or metal trash can in order to be collected. In addition to being more environmentally friendly, this change significantly reduces the processing costs.
Customer service will be enhanced with the addition of a web-based complaint tracking system that will be accessible by Alachua County staff, the hauler, and residents. Residents will be able to enter a service request or complaint on-line, receive an individual tracking number, and track the complaint's progress to resolution. This system will be available to the public by November 1, 2009.
Due to repeated requests by residents, Memorial Day has been added to the list of holiday closures, which include New Years Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. With the new four day collection week, holiday week collections will be completed on Friday instead of Saturday. This will keep garbage trucks out of neighborhoods on weekends.
For more information, contact Karen Deeter, Asst. Public Works Director/Waste Management at 352-374-5245 or Milton Towns, Waste Collection Manager at 352-338-3233.
For any questions or to order a new recycling bin or to change your cart size, please call Alachua County Office of Waste Collection at 352-338-3233.