Meet Michael Purvis! He serves as a Waste Alternative Specialist for Alachua County Solid Waste & Resource Recovery. Michel grew up in Georgia and after attending UGA he moved to Gainesville, FL to start his journey as a public servant in Alachua County.

Recording This Episode

Did you know that, in average, a single Alachua County resident creates 4-5 lbs. of trash PER DAY? This translates to 500-900 TONS of trash created in the county per day! Even worse, during game days the county produces 1200 TONS of trash in a single DAY. Crazy, right?

The worst part is that 25% of Alachua’s trash is from organic materials that could have been composted.

Are you an Alachua County resident and want to start composting? Give Michael a call or sent him an email to get started with the best resources and advice from an expert! The Alachua County Department of Solid Waste & Resource Recovery is here to help you get started on composting by giving away a FREE wire composting bin [one FREE wire roll per person].  Please, call (352) 338-3233 to schedule your FREE bin pick-up!
Check Alachua County Recycles on Facebook!
Don’t have time/space to compost? There are organizations in town who will gladly take your organic waste for their compost.

Beaten Path Compost has 3 drop-off locations in Gainesville, FL. Anyone can bring compostable materials to them. Find them here:

  • Corner of SW 4th Ave. and SW 3rd St., next to 4th Ave Food Park. (this location is always open)
  • 231 NW 10th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601 (near the restaurant Afternoon)
  • Union Street Farmers Market on Wednesdays from 4-7pm. You can also pick-up a bucket to collect for your food scraps. Check them out!

Student Compost Cooperative promotes sustainability on campus and around Gainesville! The Student Compost Cooperative maintains several composters allowing students and other community members to compost their food waste. Bring your food scraps to the UF Energy Research and Education Park on SW 23rd Terr. The composters are located behind Bldg. 246 and 245.

How does Alachua County recycle?

Our county has a dual recycling system: BLUE bin & ORANGE bin. After your recyclables area picked from the curbside, they are taken to the Leveda Brown Environmental Park & Transfer Station to then be processed in different lines, blue line or orange line.

What are the benefits of recycling?

Michael mentions 3 important points about recycling, (1) recycling cuts down the amount of virgin material needed for production (ex: aluminum is highly recyclable). (2) recycling cuts litter and pollution, and (3) recycling industry creates jobs and helps our economy!

What goes in each bin? *please do not place any items in plastic bags*

ORANGE → Junk mail and office paper, newspapers and magazines, catalogs, coupon books, telephone books, clean cardboard (up to 4×4’ flattened), brown paper bags, flattened cereal box, flattened tissue box, flattened shoe box.

BLUE → Plastic and glass bottles and jars (up to 4 gallons in size), milk cartons, metal cans (including EMPTY aerosol cans), yogurt cups and margarine tubs, food and beverage cartons.

It is important to only put recyclable items in your orange and blue bins Alachua County, when in doubt throw it out!

Touring the Hazardous Waste Collection Center

What items cannot be recycled in Alachua County?

Our county recycling plant cannot take: plastic bags, paper towels, clamshell plastic containers (usually holds blueberries, strawberries, etc.), plastic wrap, plastic straws, plastic utensils, dishware, glassware, soiled paper, napkins or tissue, coffee cups, paper plates, Styrofoam, solo cups, to-go containers, compostable plastics, bubble wrap or any shipping package that contains bubble wrap on the inside, food or liquids #letsrecycleright.

What about hazardous waste?

You can bring hazardous waste (paint, electronics, prescription meds, appliances, fluorescent lightbulbs, car oil, gasoline, house chemicals, etc.) to the Hazardous Waste Collection Center FREE of CHARGE!

Do you want to contact Michael?

Michael Purvis – Waste Alternatives Specialist
Office phone: (352) 548-1283