A ceremonial ribbon cutting celebrating the completion of the newly constructed City of Naples Solid Waste Recycle Transfer Facility was held on February 11th. This 12 acre site is located on the northern quadrant of the Naples Municipal Airport and once served as a landfill from the 1940s to the 1970s. In June 2011, the City signed a leasehold agreement with the Airport for the property.
For approximately 23 years, the Solid Waste Division has provided residents side yard solid waste pickup service and a residential recycle program. Over the years, the recycle program has been expanded and enhanced in order to promote participation in an effort to reduce the volume of recycle material that enters the Collier County landfill.
At the beginning of the program, recycle collection service was contracted through Waste Management which included the processing and disposal of the recycle material.
In 2007, the City assumed in-house responsibilities of the dual-stream recycle program as an alternative to the “contracted” recycle service in order to reduce operational cost. The dual-stream recycle program provided residential customers with 18-gallon containers that required the recycle material to be segregated at the curb. Upon the commencement of the City’s recycle collection operations; a temporary recycle transfer site was constructed behind the existing Solid Waste building. The segregated material was then managed and transferred to a recycle center.
In October 2010, the Solid Waste Department began a single-stream residential recycle collection program that replaced the 18-gallon recycle carry-out bins with 65-gallon recycle carts. This change in operations was intended to improve efficiencies at the curb and to promote and increase customer recycling participation with a subsequent reduction in solid waste hauled to the Collier County landfill. As anticipated, the increase in recycled material required an appropriate transfer facility for the size of the operation.
Since the start of the single-stream recycle program, the volume of recycled material has increased by approximately 17 percent from the previous amount collected using the 18-gallon carry-out bins and now exceeds 70 percent of the trash stream. The recycled material is placed in a temporary transfer facility behind the Solid Waste building, then loaded into 40 yard roll-off containers and hauled to the Lee County recycle processing facility. Due to the requirement that the recycle material be clear and dry, the temporary transfer facility was not suitable therefore; plans for a new transfer facility were designed and then constructed.
The Solid Waste Department will relocate operations from the old (50 Riversides Circle, Naples) Solid Waste Recycle Transfer Facility to the new facility in March, 2014. Relocation of the Solid Waste Division to the Airport provided 8.5 acres for the City’s future legacy park on the Gordon River and the new park will connect to the Gordon River Greenway which is adjacent to the Airport along the eastern edge of the River. The Greenway is anticipated to be constructed in the near future. The facility consists of a 15,000 square foot steel metal building, which includes a recycle material sorting/transfer space, administrative offices and a storage warehouse; heavy truck scales for tracking recycle materials, and a collection/staging area for hurricane debris or other projects that require offsite storage.
It was designed by Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. and constructed by Brooks & Freund, LL C. Construction began in January, 2013 and the total cost of design, permitting and construction was $3.4 million.
A special thanks to Bob Middleton, Utilities Director, City of Naples, for his contributions to this article.
Progress continues on the new legacy park on the Gordon River. The Park gala was held on March 15th and the Family Day at the Park was held on March 16th. Both events were well attended and enjoyed by all. Please visit the Naples Gordon River Park’s website at www.naplesgov.com to stay updated or to get involved. If you are interested in learning how you can help with the Park, give me a call at 239.248.1550239.248.1550 or email me at email@example.com.
I am very excited about this opportunity to reach so many people in the community and encourage each of you to become involved with your local government as you deem appropriate. All ideas, suggestions or comments are welcome; please contact me.