Walton County Solid Waste Manager Billy McKee addressed Walton County Commissioners at a recent meeting on the subject of recyclables, in particular plastic and glass.
"I asked Billy to come and speak to us about this as I am hearing and reading a lot of talk about the county not taking plastic so I wanted to hear from him," said District 2 Commissioner Cecilia Jones.
McKee told commissioners that he also hears a lot of concerns about recycling in Walton County.
"Plastic is not doing well on the markets," he said. "China has lowered its acceptance of plastic by 70 percent, making it almost impossible for American markets to send plastic to China. So it's piling up but we're seeing if we can find a market for it."
China has historically been the world's largest importer of recycled plastic, paper, and scrap metal.
McKee said the landfill currently has more than 50 bales of plastic stored.
The only thing worse than plastic is glass, said McKee.
The best thing to recycle that the landfill can do something with is paper and cardboard.
However, even though the landfill is having difficulty dealing with mounds of plastic, it is still accepted.
"We do accept plastic," said McKee. "It can be placed in any of our recycle trailers, but we do not accept glass. It should be placed in regular household garbage."
Per Florida Statute, counties with populations of less than 100,000 permanent residents are only required to provide residents with the opportunity to recycle, but not a curbside program.
As Walton County's population increases, the county is bringing in new recycle trailers, said McKee.
Walton County currently has 30 locations for recycle trailers that accept plastic bottles, aluminum cans, mixed paper, and cardboard. Seven of those are located in South Walton. The seven locations are:
-- 30 Castle Harbour Drive, Alys Beach
-- 107 N. Winston Lane, Rosemary Beach
-- 119 Crest Drive, Legion Park, Miramar Beach
-- Corner of Moll Drive and U.S. Highway 98
-- South Walton Courthouse Annex
-- Emerald Coast Middle School
-- Topsail State Park