You are probably aware that Lee County has implemented an automated pickup system for its recycling truck, and has distributed 64 gallon containers to over 99% of the 600,000 Lee County residents over the past few years. It appears the effort is aimed at keeping workers from picking up the 18 gallon bins by hand. The new containers have a metal bar on the side that hooks to the truck and is hauled to the top and dumped in automatically.
Thankfully, we have been able to work with the County to keep these 64 gallon containers from being delivered into Spring Run next week. At issue is the limited size of our garages. This program does not affect the condos, as they have large community bins already at the street. The County will deliver the new 32 gallon rolling and covered containers to the single family, attached, and carriage units in Spring Run once they are manufactured, likely within the next couple months. The 32 gallon containers fit in the approximate footprint of the 18 gallon bins, but are taller. Until then, continue to utilize the 18 gallon bins for recycling. We feel that this is a good compromise to their original plan of delivering 64 gallon containers to all units in Spring Run and the Brooks.
When your container is delivered, please place the old empty bins out with the recycling and they will be picked up. If you choose to have a 64 gallon container, please contact Lee County Solid Waste (239) 533-8000 to arrange for this.
During our meeting with the County, I learned some interesting tidbits I thought I would share:
- Florida has been converting to the automated collection system since 2010. Our area is in the final conversion of Lee County and encompasses 35,000 units
- It reflects a cost savings for the County due to less work injuries and faster/efficient automated methods.
- One 32 gal. container roughly equals the current dual tub capacity
- The additional 32 gallon containers for the Brooks will cost $110,000
- 12 tons of recycling is removed from the Brooks each week
- 350 tons of recycling is removed from Lee County each day
- Recycling is the areas’ third largest export, with most of the paper going to China
- The State of Florida is mandated to require each county to hit 75% of its residents recycling by 2020. Lee County already eclipses this mark in 2015
The Lee County Solid Waste Coordinator, Molly Schweers, invites any interested groups to come visit their Waste to Energy plant, which has won numerous awards, including the prestigious 1996 Environmental Citizen of the Year Award from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. If you happen to be interested in a group tour, please contact me.