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Lee County Solid Waste to mark 25 years

By Staff | Oct 24, 2019

Lee County Solid Waste will hold a 25th anniversary celebration and community open house this Saturday to provide a glimpse of how the Lee County’s Waste-to-Energy Plant works.

The celebration and open house will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 26, at Lee County Resource Recovery Facility, 10500 Buckingham Road in Fort Myers.

“We are pretty excited about it,” Lee County Solid Waste Division spokesperson Molly Schweers said. “This is an opportunity for the public to get to come and see everything. To see how the waste energy plant works and what we do with the trash.”

The Waste-to-Energy Plant, which was built in 1994, is not open to public, unless there are pre-arranged tours. Since opening, Lee County has created clean, renewable energy from waste, which includes additional recycling and recovery programs. Residents of Lee County produce 1,800 tons of waste material each day.

“The last time we had an open house was for our 20-year celebration,” she said, which attracted approximately 450 people. “I’m hoping for about 700 people this time.”

Schweers said a lot of people do not have any idea what happens with the stuff they put at the curb. She said with the open house, they will have a better understanding of what it takes to make all the trash go away.

The community has the opportunity to take a windshield tour to see the Waste-to-Energy plant. The bus tours will continue to circle the campus throughout the event at approximately 20 minute intervals.

“It’s a fun family day. It’s an opportunity to come with your own family at no cost,” Schweers said.

There will also be an approximate 20 minute formal presentation at 10 a.m. featuring many officials, including Lee County Board of County Commissioners. Refreshments will be provided for attendees.

A touch a truck experience will also be part of the anniversary celebration.

“Little kids love garbage trucks. They are fascinated with garbage men and garbage trucks,” she said, adding that there will be two different kinds of trucks at the celebration, a garbage and recycling truck.

In front of the recycling plant there will be games, such as recycle bingo, samples of market bales, as well as a container that is full of what is pulled out of people’s recycling bins that do not belong.

The green bus, courtesy of the Lee County School District, will also be in attendance, which will showcase the importance of recycling.

Displays showcasing the waste-to-energy process and recycling will be provided, as well as information from county departments, such as Parks & Recreation, Extension Services, Lee County Library System and Natural Resources.

“We have strong community support. It’s not your average Saturday morning,” Schweers said of doing something different with the family. “It’s a different experience. Most of the people have never been to the facility.”

For more information, visit www.leegov.com/solidwaste/th-anniversary