Recycled items for Waste Management customers in Destin recently began being brought once again to a recycling facility in Escambia County

DESTIN — Recycled items from Waste Management customers in the city’s franchise area recently began being taken once again to a recycling facility in Escambia County.


Last month, the Okaloosa County Commission and the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority’s board of directors finalized a new, almost two-year agreement that allowed recyclables from customers of Waste Management in the county’s two-part, unincorporated franchise area to be processed once more at the ECUA facility in Cantonment.


The agreement, effective last Friday, also allowed Destin’s and several other local municipalities’ recyclables that are mixed with those from the county to be delivered to the ECUA facility.


The new contract does not include any change in cost for customers in Destin, Ronnie Bell, public sector solutions manager for Waste Management, told the City Council on Monday.


In September, a majority of the County Commission decided to have recycled items from the county’s franchise area taken to the Springhill Landfill in Jackson County, rather than paying ECUA’s higher recyclable-processing rates and rather than disbanding the recycling program all together.


But last month, the commission responded to a public outcry against taking the county’s recycled items to the landfill by announcing plans to consider a new agreement with the ECUA.


County officials agreed to use money from reserves to cover the higher recycling cost in the new contract. In the brief period when the new agreement was being finalized, Waste Management had stored all the recycled items it collected from the unincorporated area so they could be processed in Cantonment.


Before the new contract took effect, Destin’s recycled items had temporarily been taken to the RePower South recycling facility in Montgomery, Alabama.


In other business Monday, a majority of the Destin council members agreed to adopt an ordinance that changes the city’s election day from the second Tuesday in March to the first Tuesday following the first Monday of November in each even-numbered year, commensurate with the Florida General Election.


The city’s next election day will be Nov. 3, 2020.


The switch in dates is geared toward taking advantage of a generally higher voter turnout in November elections compared to those in March.


The new election date means the current council terms of Parker Destin, Cyron Marler, Chatham Morgan and Steven Menchel will be extended by more than half a year, rather than expiring next March.


Morgan cast the lone "no" vote against changing the date of the election. Councilman Destin, who suggested the change earlier this year, is seeking to win the District 5 County Commission seat next November.


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