Unincorporated Citrus County Residents To Lose Some Recycling Services

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Some residents in unincorporated parts of Citrus County will see new recycling rules implemented next week.

Plastic bags and glass will no longer be accepted by curbside hauler F.D.S. Disposal, Inc., effective Oct. 1.

Mixed glass has a negative value, so we end up paying to get rid of the glass, said Casey Stephens, director of solid waste management for the county.

There are no end users in the surrounding areas for these types of recycled materials, said William Ray, vice president of F.D.S Disposal, the largest curbside service hauler in Citrus County.

The materials have to be shipped to other regions in the country or exported outside the United States for use.

“Transportation is a huge economic issue,” Ray said.

A four-yard container of glass weighs about 2,300 pounds. Shipping that container to a mill creates a larger carbon footprint with the transportation than the benefits of recycling, he said.

Stephens said as far as the plastic bags go, grocery stores can do a better job of recycling them.

It takes a large quantity of bags to be able to reuse them, and they are most likely contaminated with other materials. It’s easier to have people bring them back to their grocery stores, Ray said.

About 73 percent of Citrus County residents participated in curbside recycling in 2013, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection website.

For Crystal River residents, the recyclable materials list will likely follow suit by the beginning of next year, said Lou Kneip, public works director for the city.

Inverness, however, has different rules. While the city continues to recycle glass, it hasn’t accepted plastic bags for a while, said Katie Cottrell, public works director for the city.

“We’re going to focus on something more sustainable,” Ray said. “It’s about what can we do to get a product recycled that can be reused over and over and over again.”

About Patricia Potestades

Patricia is a reporter for WUFT News who may be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org

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