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Northwest Florida’s recycling efforts should be back in full swing by summer, officials said Friday as they broke ground on the Interim Materials Recycling Facility, or IMRF.

The $9.5 million facility, to be operated by the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority and located at Escambia County’s Perdido Landfill, will sort and process recyclables from a three-county area.

The IMRF is expected to be fully operational by around June, which is good news for area residents who recycle. Since the closure last year of Infinitus Renewable Energy Park in Montgomery, Ala., agencies like ECUA have been left without a recycling processor. The City of Pensacola has been able to deliver recyclables to a small Loxley, Ala.-based facility, but the recyclables placed curbside by residents in unincorporated Escambia County as well as Santa Rosa County have largely been diverted to the landfill.

Escambia County and ECUA officials broke ground Friday on a new $9.5 million interim materials recycling facility. (Drew Buchanan/The Pulse)

Escambia County and ECUA officials broke ground Friday on a new $9.5 million interim materials recycling facility. (Drew Buchanan/The Pulse)

ECUA and Escambia County have been working last year to construct the IMRF, a temporary facility which is designed to provide recycling processing as quickly as possible while a permanent facility is constructed over the next three years. The IMRF will include a 50,000 square-foot fabric building that will house the equipment used to sort recyclable materials. The facility is projected to handle 165 tons of recyclable materials per day, with an estimated annual capacity of 40,000 tons.

ECUA officials said Friday they planned to accept recyclables from Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties, as well as the cities of Pensacola and Gulf Breeze.

The cost of the facility includes $1.49 million to Brown Construction for site work, $1.4 million to Big Top, Inc. for the fabric building, and $5.5 million to Bulk Handling Systems for the recyclables processing equipment.

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