Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced a change in policy on Thursday that includes a reallocation of resources to fight litter and a more convenient way for residents to recycle.
The administration’s goal with these moves is to increase the city’s diversion rate — the rate at which garbage is diverted from a landfill — from 6 percent, to something closer to the national average of 34 percent.
Standing in front of a large compactor, Stimpson said, going forward, the city could allow for single-stream collection at the recycling center on Government Street. In addition, he said the city would place a collection compactor at the Western Administration Complex at Langan Park.
Such compactors can hold five times as much as normal dumpsters, and Stimpson said, when full, the compactor at Langan would be picked up and taken to Escambia County, Fla. where recyclables would be sorted automatically.
“The vision is to have one in every district,” he said. “The goal is to increase the diversion rate.”
In addition, Stimpson said the city would divert resources to allow for five, two-person teams to pick up litter as part of a new litter patrol. The administration purchased new litter patrol vehicles through the automobile pool and didn’t need City Council approval, Stimpson said.
The litter patrol members will be made up of Public Works employees, and no new employees will be hired.
The city also purchased two litter vacuums to clean up sidewalks and parks.
In addition, Stimpson announced that five supervisors within Public Works would be given ticket-writing authority to go along with members of the existing code enforcement team. The supervisors will have the authority to write tickets to business owners who don’t keep their premises free of litter, Stimpson said.
The new strategy will be represented in two contracts Stimpson plans to present to the City Council for approval. The first contract will be for the hauling services to deliver the materials, and the second will be with the materials recycling facility to accept and process the material.