Tallahassee/Leon County Consider Uncertain Recycling Future

Jan 27, 2020

Both the Tallahassee and Leon County commissions will consider big changes to the area's one-source recycling programs this week. The matter is on both commissions' meeting agendas.

Marpan's facility for sorting recycled materials
Credit Marpan

It all began with the recent collapse of the international recycled materials market. Marpan, the local company that does recycling for both the city and the county, said it may have to get out of the business entirely. Leon County Commission Chair Bryan Desloge remarked both governments face tough choices.

"It's either continue down the path we're going and rates will go up, or find another alternative. I'm not sure what that is at this point. I think we're probably going to find someone smarter than us who can give us what our alternatives are in the short term."

Which may mean hiring an outside consultant with the city and county splitting the cost. Still, veteran community conservation advocate Steve Urse was trying to look at the bright side.

"This crisis is a good opportunity to look at ways to be creative," he mused. "Like perhaps commercial and residential composting to take all of that organic material out and turn it into something we can put back in the soil."

The Leon County Commission takes up the issue during their Tuesday (Jan. 28) meeting with City Commissioners addressing it on Wednesday, Jan. 29.