The TallyCast

…all polite and classy.

Going to the Dump

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Meet the Miccosukee Rural Waste Service Center, or as I continue to call it, “the Dump”. When I first moved to the country back in the early 1970’s, it really was a landfill dump. You would drive in, drop your trash into a pit and a worker on a bulldozer would scrape it into a pile and cover the trash with dirt. Eventually, with the increase in the rural population, the dump filled up and now the site serves as a waste transfer station.

It’s a system that works well for the rural residents, especially those independent minded folk living on the many dirt roads in my end of the county. While my urban friends depend on commercial garbage trucks that come on a weekly schedule, I am able to deal with trash on my own schedule and going to the dump has a few more benefits. In addition to handling my recycled paper, aluminum and glass, the Miccosukee dump provides recycling and disposal for a wide variety of waste. There is a container for used motor oil along with another for used cooking oil. The later is recycled into biodiesel for use by the City of Tallahassee. There are places to leave old tires, automotive batteries, paint and other hazardous materials, florescent light bulbs, broken appliances, broken furniture, electronics and more.

While the dump’s primary mission is to serve the needs of the rural residents, it’s used by many urban residents as well, since the big trucks don’t handle all their recycling and disposal needs.

My favorite feature of the Miccosukee dump is the “free” store, a covered area where good, but no longer needed items can be left for others to pick up. It’s brilliant and while I tend to be more of a “dropper offer” than a “picker upper”, I appreciate that there’s a way to divest myself of unwanted stuff without having to throw it away.

Earlier this spring, it appeared that the Miccosukee dump, and all the RWSC’s would close. The County Commission (with the exception of Commissioner Sauls) decided that running the dumps cost too much money, and that it would be better to require all the residents of the county to pay for garbage collection. At first, it seemed like a done deal. The County negotiated a sweet deal with Waste Pro, which would have required all county residents to pay for “curbside” service.

Public hearings were held, and the Commissioners were surprised to hear that not everyone who lived in the woods wanted to see the big green trucks driving down their dirt roads. To people without curbs, and especially those who value their privacy, the idea of big trucks coming down narrow roads was not appealing. Elderly residents were worried about the necessity of moving large and heavy trash containers from their homes to the roadside. Those who lived in areas where bears are roaming were worried about the trash containers attracting more attention from the bruins. The green folks who recycle everything they can were disappointed that their recycling was going to be limited to paper, cans and bottles.

To their credit, the commissioners listened and changed their decision. The RWSC’s will remain open and I will still have a place to bring my old paint, that broken refrigerator and the too much garbage that my home seems to generate.

So thanks to Jane Sauls, Bill Procter, Kristin Dozier, John Dailey, Brian Desloge, Mary Ann Lindley and Nick Maddox for being flexible, reasonable, responsive and forward thinking. I may not agree with every decision of the Commission but this one made a lot of rural Leon County residents happy. Well done!

The Miccosukee Dump (ie the RWSC) is located at 13051 Miccosukee Road and is open on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s from 9AM to 7PM. Four other trash transfer stations are located in other parts of Leon County. You can find the addresses and schedules here.

A special TallyCast shout out to Curtis, the Miccosukee Dump attendant who keeps the place as clean as a waste facility can be and always has a kind word for the residents who use his facility.

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