This article stems from views regarding one of the most important parts (in my eyes) of county, national, and world responsibilities. The subject of waste management is of critical importance to those that want to do right as stewards of this land. And in that arena, the methods of recycling are paramount in helping to save this world.
It was a few years back (when gas could be bought without a bank loan) that our government entities were asking us to recycle everything possible. So, with that thought in mind, our household rearranged our mindsets, our habits, and our kitchen space to do what was asked of us. This conundrum is not brought on by an issue with life or death choices, or calls for political activism, although when the landfills are full, the “No landfill in our neighborhood” signs come out. My beef with the county is that we cannot recycle glass anymore. Of course upon reflection, I know that it has been this way for quite some time now.
As a fuel hauler, part of the job was to go to the varying municipal maintenance and landfill sites, and fuel up their fueling station bulk units (between 10 and 20,000 gallons). If their fuel cost was $2.45/Gal back just 2 years ago, and you were to figure their bill now (at about $4.65/Gal) that is a difference of $44,000 for a 20,000 gallon tank. And that is just one fuel site of many (for large municipalities) Just imagine the impact on a small town budget! Of course, they usually only get around 7,500 gallons at a load, but the bill for that will now be around $34,875.00 (after their tax corrections).
These radical “progressive” changes are stressing even the best budget wizards at most governmental locations. (Just imagine what the school districts are looking at)! Other responsibilities (regarding the recycling issues) probably involve manpower for some sorting, and upkeep to the mechanized units, (where applicable). Also, the employment fiasco brought on by the COVID-19 “pandemic” would be other good reasons to “scrap” parts of the processes.
I have a friend down the street that works at one of the satellite transfer stations, and I made a point of talking to him (for clarity purposes) before finishing this essay. He did also tell me that besides Hernando County, Citrus (to the north), Pasco, and Hillsborough counties (to the south), have followed suit in their procedures as well. When I mentioned that I was concerned with things (like my glass bottles) taking up so much room in the “mound”, he then (attempted to) reassure me that the compactors at both satellite stations have multiple tonnage pressures that turn big glass to little bits of aggregate. He also said that the steel wheels on the large tractors working the mounds do the same thing.
I must also add this, that my family has been in the county for well over 40 years, and have been to those “cells” many times. As we were bringing refuse to the old High Corner Road area, in the 1980s and 90s, we contracted with the county to haul a couple of used double wide units that were used during the “Swiftmud” SouthWest Florida Water Management District Hwy 41 building. I watched the county build its north Hwy 98 landfill site from the beginning, and know that at least one of the massive cells there is already “topped off.” This issue does not go away once your big blue county cans are emptied.
There may come a day where those big trash cells have to be torn down (either for more space, or product retrieval). More waste to energy incinerators on this “Nature Coast” may need to be considered as well. And while we are on this subject, my friend tells me that any “exterior refuse” (such as fencing, lawn chairs, and swing sets) will no longer be accepted at either of the smaller transfer stations. Those items now will have to be taken all the way out to the 98 north site.
One more personal comment. Showing off my wine bottle (and its size), is more important in getting the message out about being a good steward of the lands we occupy, than worrying about someone tagging me as an “imbiber!” Hopefully in the future, the glass in my garbage can will go to better use, (like being part of an asphalt roadway mix), than taking up precious space in our beautiful county.