© 2023 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Leon County Hazardous Waste Center Receives Awards

Caitie Switalski

The Leon County Hazardous Waste Center has something to celebrate. The center received three awards this week.

The remote collection program is just one reason the Leon County Hazardous Waste Center is getting recognition from the Florida chapter of the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association.

The County’s more than 20 years of service collecting hazardous waste from homes and businesses earned it the Longstanding Program Excellence Award.

It is also getting recognition for improved efficiency and innovation. Leon County’s remote collection events helped it stand out in this category. They are held Sept. through May to give citizens more access to safe disposal of hazardous waste materials, such as household cleaners, paint, nail polishes, oils, and batteries.

Hazardous Waste Manager, Richard Lobinske, says the center has worked to increase community use.

“There are over 300, averaging over 300 customers in our last season, and so, it’s, you know, it was just we’ve improved the number of customers and the amount of material we’re bringing in for proper processing,” Lobinske says.

The center is also getting accolades for the most unusual item found in hazardous waste collection.  Leon County found a World War II era aerial photoreconnaissance photograph paper roll.

Lobinske, says the photograph paper was received in a regular customer drop-off, and didn’t actually turn out to be hazardous material.

“We ended up donating it to FSU’s Institute of World War II and the Human Experience,” he says.

The Florida State University Institute had been collecting and researching photographs taken during World War II and were interested in including the paper.

What these three awards do for the Leon County center is, according to Lobinske, recognize good work.      

“It’s good for the staff morale to know that their work is being recognized and appreciated. You know, this all works because I’ve got an excellent team working for me,” he says.

The awards are also recommendations for potential awards on the national level, perhaps giving workers who sort  hazardous materials in protective clothing on Apalachee Parkway more motivation to continue cleaning up Tallahassee.