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Comprehensive Plan

Solid Waste




Establish level of service standards for solid waste management in order to coordinate capital improvement planning with land use decisions to meet the requirement that adequate solid waste management facilities be available when needed for development concurrent with the impacts of development by implementing Policies 1.1.1 through 1.1.4.

Policy 1.1.1     The level of service (LOS) standard for solid waste disposal, used as the basis for determining availability of disposal capacity to accommodate the demand generated by existing and new development in Alachua County, is hereby established, at a minimum, at 0.8 inbound tons per person per year at the Leveda Brown Environmental Park in 2018 and thereafter.

Policy 1.1.2     Any project proposed for development in the unincorporated area of Alachua County that produces solid waste must obtain a Certificate of Level of Service Compliance (CLSC) from the County as a precondition of any Final Development Order issued by the County.  The following standards must be met to satisfy the concurrency requirement and to receive a CLSC:

(a)          The necessary facilities and services are in place at the time a development permit is issued; or

(b)         A development permit is issued subject to the condition that the necessary facilities will be in place when the impacts of development occur; or

(c)          The necessary facilities are under construction at the time a development permit is issued and will be in place when the impacts of development occur; or

(d)      The necessary facilities and services are guaranteed in an enforceable development agreement that includes the provisions of Policy 1.1.2.  An enforceable development agreement may include, but is not limited to: (1) development agreements pursuant to Section 163.3220, Florida Statutes, or (2) an agreement or development order issued pursuant to Chapter 380, Florida Statutes. Any such agreement must guarantee that the necessary facilities and services will be in place when the impacts of development occur.

Policy 1.1.3     Any proposed project that cannot obtain a CLSC shall not be issued a Final Development Order on the project or project phase, consistent with the Capital Improvements Element, until it can be demonstrated that the County solid waste management facilities can meet any of the requirements of Sections (a)-(d) under Policy 1.1.2.

Policy 1.1.4     Procedures for coordination with cities and Gilchrist County with respect to concurrency and level of service standards shall be implemented in accordance with Policy 5.1.9 in the Intergovernmental Coordination Element.  



Provide for safe operation and maintenance of publicly owned solid waste management facilities, in compliance with all stipulations and conditions of Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) permits; and other applicable local, state or federal regulations; provide for protection of water, soil and air resources, in compliance with local, state, and federal permit requirements including monitoring of groundwater at all public landfill sites.

Policy 1.2.1     Proper and efficient operation and maintenance procedures, in compliance with all local, state and federal stipulations and conditions of solid waste permits, shall be followed at County solid waste management facilities.

Policy 1.2.2     Engineering and design of new solid waste management facilities shall be in accordance at a minimum with local, State and Federal regulations for protection of water, soil and air resources.

Policy 1.2.3     The County shall monitor closed landfills and surrounding properties as required by Florida Department of Environmental Protection Landfill permit conditions and local, state, or federal regulations for groundwater and potable water supply contamination.

Policy 1.2.4     Should any contamination be discovered at County landfills appropriate remediation  shall be performed to remedy the situation expeditiously to minimize any potential impacts on public health or safety.

Policy 1.2.5     Incinerator and mass burn facilities will not be included in the County solid waste system.  The use of tires, plastics or plastic derived materials as a fuel source or as feedstock for a waste to energy facility is prohibited in the County solid waste system. This policy does not prohibit the combustion of vegetative yard trash, vegetative biomass and vegetative storm debris. Hazardous waste or other material for which there is no alternative method of disposal shall be disposed of as mandated by Federal law. Exceptions to this policy may be allowed for research and development activities by special exception when approved by the Board of County Commissioners. Additional standards including limitations on scale and environmental and safety standards shall be included in the Unified Land Development Code for such research and development activities.

Policy 1.2.6     New solid waste management facilities shall be adequately buffered from incompatible land uses, especially residential areas.


Regulate, consistent with local, state, and federal regulations, all privately-operated landfills, including C&D landfills, and solid waste management facilities to ensure proper disposal methods and protection of natural resources including groundwater.

Policy 1.3.1     Each landfill operator, including C&D landfill operators, shall be required to maintain accurate daily logs of, and to report to the County, the volume or weight of materials disposed by material type.  Penalties will be imposed for failure to report.  The County will track landfill, including C&D landfill, disposal reporting. 

Policy 1.3.2     Solid waste disposal systems shall be designed to prevent air, water and soil pollution, and danger to public health and safety. The use of land, water or air for uncontrolled disposal of any waste shall be prohibited.  Development regulations shall require use of appropriate methods for preventing leachates which violate water quality standards from entering ground and surface water at all active landfill sites. At the County's discretion additional regulatory methods may include, but not be limited to, periodic inspections and monitoring programs during the permitting, operation, closure, and after closure of landfills.  The need for additional regulatory methods will be based upon site specific conditions such as hydrogeology, ecological characteristics, and neighboring land use.  Additional inspections and groundwater monitoring requirements shall be at the expense of the owner. It shall be the responsibility of the permit holder and/or land owner to provide for the cost of monitoring and proper closure.  Monitoring and closure shall be reviewed by the County and/or other appropriate agencies.  This policy does not preclude the proper use of manure, mulching or composting of yard waste, or regulated use of biosolids for land application.

Policy Each landfill operator, including C&D landfill operators, shall be required to monitor soil and groundwater, using sufficient methods to ensure no contamination of ground and surface waters as a result of the landfill activity.  Monitoring programs shall be, at a minimum, in accordance with Florida Department of Environmental Protection landfill permits. The County may require a more stringent monitoring program at specific landfill sites.  A monitoring program imposed by the County that is more stringent than that called for in the FDEP permit(s) shall consider the expense of the increased requirements.

Policy 1.3.3     Land based solid waste disposal systems shall provide for the eventual closure and reuse of the site.                               

Policy 1.3.4     Private landfills, including C&D landfills, disposal capacity and tipping fees shall be continually monitored by the County to determine if there is sufficient environmentally sound disposal capacity for material such as construction and demolition debris at fair market prices.  Should the County have concerns about capacity or cost, it may perform a needs analysis in consideration of a publicly owned construction and demolition debris management facility.


Develop and maintain a long term solid waste management system.  Utilize the Leveda Brown Environmental Park as a locale for centralized solid waste management facilities with the capacity for processing various components of the solid waste stream for the next 20 years.  The core of the Park is a solid waste transfer station with disposal at properly permitted facilities elsewhere.  Continue to expand the capacity and function of the Park to meet changing needs for processing solid waste.

Policy 1.4.1     The County will seek long term environmentally sound disposal capacity (ten years or more) via agreements with public or private disposal facility owners.  Such agreements will include environmental liability protection for the County.  The caliber of the disposal facility(s) management, environmental records, haul distance and disposal fees will be considered when negotiating such agreements.

Policy 1.4.2     Balu Forest shall be held in reserve as a future solid waste management facility site.  Should the need arise and there be no other environmentally safe or economic option available, Balu Forest should be considered for a solid waste management facility site.


The County shall develop and implement a waste reduction strategy that includes waste prevention, source reduction, reuse, recycling and biological disposition, resulting in a reduction of solid waste disposed per capita.

Policy 1.5.1     Annual per capita waste tonnage disposed at the County Leveda Brown Environmental Park and transfer station, or any Class I waste disposal site as designated by Alachua County, which is classified for disposal as Class I waste, will be recorded and measured on an annual basis.  The annual change in tonnage disposed will act as a measure of waste reduction, waste prevention, reuse and recycling.  The change from year to year will be used to monitor the effectiveness of the waste prevention strategy.

Policy 1.5.2     Achieve a diversion rate from disposal of 40% by December 31, 2012; 50% by December 31, 2014; 60% by December 31, 2016, 70% by December 31, 2018; and 75% by December 31, 2020.  Special waste being recycled such as tires, appliances, yard trash and construction and demolition debris will be included.  The calculation will be made in accordance with the accepted methodology of the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In addition to changes in total waste diversion, the County shall track and report on indicators of improvements in waste diversion such as percentage of businesses in compliance with the mandatory commercial recycling program, percentage of residential users voluntarily recycling, rates of recycled vs. disposed waste collected at rural collection centers, or similar measures.

Policy 1.5.3     The County shall maintain and improve the single family residential curbside recycling program in the Municipal Services Benefit Unit (MSBU) and offer drop-off recycling in the non-mandatory rural area by providing recycling containers at the Rural Collection Centers.  The County shall explore the feasibility of a mandatory curbside recycling program throughout the County.

Policy 1.5.4     The County shall increase enforcement of the mandatory commercial recycling program that includes apartments, multi-family complexes, businesses, institutions for a compliance rate of 95% by the year 2030.

Policy 1.5.5     The County shall maintain recycling and waste reduction programs in all county offices.  The County’s purchasing policy shall foster purchase of goods made from recycled materials.

Policy 1.5.6     The County shall provide coordination and assistance to all local municipalities, and institutions to maintain effective and efficient recycling programs.

Policy 1.5.7     The County shall continue to promote waste prevention, source reduction, re-use, recycling, the purchase of goods made from recycled materials, composting and pollution prevention through public education programs.  Such programs will be directed to schools, churches, civic organizations, service clubs, businesses, institutions and residents.

Policy 1.5.8     The County shall pursue available Federal or State grants and funding to maintain and promote expansion of the County's recycling, resource recovery, and source reduction programs.

Policy 1.5.9     The County shall improve the yard trash management program and shall encourage the public to increase efforts to utilize landscape and yard waste at home through backyard mulching and composting programs.

Policy 1.5.10  All white goods and other recyclable bulky wastes shall be segregated from the solid waste stream and recycled.

Policy 1.5.11  The County shall continue to investigate other methods of waste management and alternatives to landfill disposal of solid waste, including source reduction.

Policy 1.5.12  The County shall prepare and publish an annual report of solid waste management activities, programs and accomplishments.   The report will include program costs, recycling rates, per capita generation rates, trends, waste reduction rates, disposal amounts and other data pertinent to evaluating the success of the waste reduction strategy.


Ensure that collection and transportation of all solid waste is handled safely, securely,  and efficiently to protect human health and the environment. In addition, such collection and transportation shall be conducted in an economically feasible manner to minimize costs to the County.  No new truck routes shall cross significant natural uplands without critical review of impacts on contiguous habitat characteristics.

Policy 1.6.1     The County shall contract with private haulers, or otherwise provide collection service or systems, so as to utilize the most efficient and cost-effective methods for solid waste collection within the unincorporated areas of the County.

Policy 1.6.2     The County shall investigate the equity, efficiency and administrative feasibility of alternative revenue structures for solid waste services such as variable can rates (based on volume), weight based rates and special assessments.                     

Policy 1.6.3     The County shall continue to coordinate with the municipalities in the County and Gilchrist County through interlocal agreements to promote disposal of solid waste collected within their jurisdiction at County solid waste management facilities.


The County will continue to provide safe and economic disposal and recycling of household hazardous waste (HHW).

Policy 1.7.1     All household hazardous waste storage, handling and disposal within the County shall be conducted in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations.

Policy 1.7.2    The County shall provide containers at the rural collection centers for collection of used oil, lead-acid and dry cell batteries, fluorescent tubes, oil based paints and other specified materials determined to be of a low-hazard nature.

Policy 1.7.3     The County shall encourage small businesses classified as small quantity conditionally exempt generators of hazardous waste to participate in the household hazardous waste program on a fee basis when common household hazardous wastes such as oil, batteries and other hazardous materials are accepted for recycling and disposal.

Policy 1.7.4     The County shall implement a household hazardous waste collection program which allows citizens to deliver their household hazardous materials to the household hazardous waste collection center or other designated drop-off points for proper disposal or recycling.

Policy 1.7.5     The County shall plan for collecting household hazardous waste as part of the County’s overall storm debris management plan.  Household hazardous waste will be collected from temporary storm debris disposal sites where such waste has been separated from other storm debris materials.  Curbside collections may be made where an emergency exists and the homeowner cannot get to a designated drop-off site.

Policy 1.7.6   The County shall pursue available State and Federal grants and funding for household hazardous waste collection programs.


Dumping, disposal and littering of solid waste on land, rights-of-way, wetlands, lakes, streams, ponds or any other site not permitted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and/or the County is prohibited.  This does not prohibit the use of yard trash or other vegetative wood debris for use as compost or mulch when applied as a soil amendment for an active farming operation or landscaping.  Nor does it prohibit the application of bio-solids in accordance with local, state and federal regulations.

Policy 1.8.1     The County shall control illegal dumping and littering by enforcing existing regulations prohibiting such actions. The County shall utilize the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Codes Enforcement Office, Solid Waste Management Division, Environmental Protection Department, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to enforce these regulations.

Policy 1.8.2     The County shall investigate and institute additional regulations and measures to deter illegal dumping and littering such as vehicle tarp requirements.  Illegal dumping and littering shall be an issue addressed by the Environmental Crimes Task Force. 



Bulky wastes means items whose large size or weight precludes or complicates their handling by normal collection, processing, or disposal methods.

Clean debris means any solid waste which is virtually inert and which is not a pollution threat to ground water or surface waters and is not a fire hazard, and which is likely to retain its physical and chemical structure under expected conditions of disposal or use.  The term includes brick, glass, ceramics and uncontaminated concrete including embedded pipe or steel.  Mixing of clean debris with other types of solid waste will cause it to be classified as other than clean debris. 

Closure means the cessation of operation of a solid waste management facility and the act of securing such a facility so that it will pose no significant threat to human health or the environment.  This includes closing, long term monitoring, maintenance and financial responsibility.

Composting is a form of recycling.  A natural process of decomposition and recycling of organic material into a soil additive.  The controlled biological decomposition of organic material in the presence of air to form a humus-like material.

Construction and demolition debris means materials generally considered to be not water soluble and non-hazardous in nature, including but not limited to steel, glass, brick, concrete, asphalt roofing material, pipe, gypsum wallboard, and lumber, from the construction or demolition project or from the renovation or maintenance of a structure.  The term includes rocks, soils, tree remains, trees, and other vegetative matter which normally results from land clearing or land development operations for a construction project.  Mixing of construction and demolition debris with other types of solid waste, including material which is not from the actual construction or destruction of a structure, will cause it to be classified as other than construction and demolition debris.

County Solid Waste System  The collection, processing, and disposal of garbage, recycling, yard waste, and white goods at County operated or contracted facilities, or by County employees or contracted services.

Disposal means the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking, or placing of any solid waste or hazardous waste into or upon any land or water so that such solid waste or hazardous waste or any constituent thereof may enter other lands or be emitted into the air or discharged into any waters, including groundwaters, or otherwise enter the environment.

Garbage means all kitchen and table food waste, animal or vegetative waste that is attendant with or results from the storage, preparation, cooking or handling of food materials.

Generation means the act or process of producing either solid waste or a marketable fuel.

Household hazardous waste means those wastes resulting from products purchased by the general public for household use which, because of their quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical or infectious characteristics, may pose a substantial known or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, disposed, or otherwise managed.

Landfill or Sanitary Landfill means a disposal facility, excluding those exempted under Subsection  62-701.320(2), FAC, which meets the criteria of Chapter   62-701, FAC.  This term shall not include:

(a)          a land spreading site; or

(b)          a surface impoundment; or

(c)           an injection well defined under and subject to the provisions of Chapter 62-28, FAC.

Leachate means liquid that has passed through or emerged from solid waste and contains soluble, suspended or miscible materials.

Liner means a continuous layer of low permeability natural or man-made materials, beneath or on the sides of a landfill, or landfill trench, which controls the downward or lateral escape of waste constituents, or Leachate.

Monitoring wells are strategically located wells from which ground water samples are drawn for water quality analysis.

Per capita waste reduction Per capita waste tonnage disposed (D) will be added to per capita tonnage recycled (R) to determine waste generation per capita (W), i.e., W = D+R.  The annual change in waste generation rate ( D W) is a measure of waste prevention, source reduction and reuse.  The change from year to year will be used to monitor the effectiveness of the strategy.

Recovered materials are metal, paper, glass, textiles, or rubber materials that have a known recycling potential, can be feasibly recycled, and have been diverted and source separated, have been removed from the solid waste stream for sale, use, or reuse as raw materials, whether or not the materials require subsequent processing or separation from each other, but does not include materials destined for any use that constitutes disposal.  Recovered materials as defined herein are not solid waste.

Recycling means any process by which solid waste, or materials which would otherwise become solid waste, are collected, separated, or processed and reused or returned to use in the form of raw materials or products.

Research and Development means activities undertaken to create new or improved products and processes and consists of basic scientific research, prototyping, testing and refining products prior to commercial sale or use and may be conducted by individuals, corporations, or institutions.

Resource recovery means the process by which materials, excluding those under control of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which still have useful physical or chemical properties after serving a specific purpose are reused or recycled, including use as an energy source.

Sludge means any solid, or semi-solid, or liquid generated from any waste water treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, air pollution control facility, septic tank, grease trap, portable toilets and related operations, or any other such waste having similar characteristics or effects.

Solid Waste means garbage, refuse, yard trash, clean debris, white goods, special wastes, ashes, sludge or other discarded material, including solid, semisolid, liquid or contained gaseous material from domestic, commercial, industrial, mining, agricultural or governmental operations.

Solid waste management facility means any solid waste disposal area, volume reduction plant, transfer station or other facility the purpose of which is resource recovery or the disposal, recycling, processing, or storage of solid waste.

Source reduction means (1) Reducing the amount and toxicity of waste actually generated.  Also known as precycling, waste minimization, waste reduction or waste prevention.  (2) The design, manufacture, acquisition, and reuse of materials so as to minimize the quantity and /or toxicity of waste produced.  Source reduction prevents waste either by redesigning products or by otherwise changing societal patterns of consumption, use and waste generation.

Special wastes means those wastes that require extraordinary management.  They include but are not limited to, abandoned automobiles, white goods, used tires, waste oil, sludges, dead animals, agricultural and industrial wastes, septic tank pumpings, and infectious and hazardous wastes.

White goods means inoperative and discarded refrigerators, ranges, washers, water heaters, and other similar domestic and commercial appliances.

Yard trash means vegetative matter resulting from landscaping maintenance or land clearing operations and includes materials such as trees and shrub trimmings, glass clippings, palm fronds, trees and tree stumps.