Cities asked to endorse county recycling center

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DAPHNE – Daphne officials endorsed a plan for a Baldwin County recycling center, but officials in neighboring Spanish Fort said they want more information on the proposal before taking final action. The Daphne City Council voted Monday, Sept. 20, to support county plans to build a processing center for recyclable materials at the Magnolia Landfill. The closest center that processed recyclable materials was Emerald Coast Utility Authority in Pensacola. That center has been closed after being damaged in a fire requiring Baldwin County and most cities in the area to either suspend recycling or store the materials until the center reopens or another processor is found. Daphne has not sent recyclables to ECUA since the city’s processing facility was destroyed in a fire in 2019. Mayor Robin LeJeune said that when Daphne is ready to process recyclable materials again, having a center in Magnolia Springs would be more practical than having to take the items to Pensacola. “Baldwin County is looking at building their own recycling center to where, once the city of Daphne gets back up and running with our recycling, we would not have to go to Pensacola to drop off our recyclables,” LeJeune said. “We’ll be able to do it here locally through Baldwin County, which would be a huge savings to the city of Daphne.” LeJeune said a county facility would be better for Daphne and other Baldwin communities. They’re just asking for support from the surrounding cities. They have the money to do it. They are moving forward with building this. They’re doing the plans now, so we expect to see it up, I was told by the county, hopefully within the next year and a half, two years at the max,” LeJeune said. “We’re very excited about this because, like I said, beforehand, we were having to travel all the way to Pensacola. This will give us much needed savings and we’ll be able to make it here locally, so it’s very good for us.” In Spanish Fort, the City Council withheld action on endorsing the county request until Oct. 4. Mayor Mike McMillan said Spanish Fort has a contract with Waste Pro to collect recyclable material, but that service was also discontinued after the ECUA facility closed. At the Spanish Fort City Council meeting on Sept. 20, McMillan said he wanted more information from the county, such as what would be charged for recyclable material before the city endorsed the proposal. “I could not ask the council to pass this without some idea of the tipping fees, who’s paying for what,” McMillan said. “What has been reported is very vague to me so I would like to introduce this tonight and let’s work through a better version at the next meeting.”