TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. joined the Florida Recycling Partnership and industry representatives at the Florida Capitol today to promote awareness of recycling in Florida, particularly in the commercial sector.
Thirteen Industry representatives including Waste Management, Recycle Florida Today and the Florida Beverage Association set up information booths to educate Capitol visitors on the importance of recycling, not only from an environmental standpoint, but from a business perspective as well.
Additionally, Secretary Vinyard honored Florida State University for its outstanding recycling rate of 48 percent. FSU, which is the first university to become part of the Department’s Recycling Recognition Program, achieved its recycling rate through a comprehensive campus sustainability program that includes indoor recycling as well as yard waste diversion. Willie Wiggins, Supervisor at FSU’s Solid Waste & Recycling Center and Trey Gowdy, FSU Campus Sustainability Associate were on hand to accept the award.
“Investing in recycling is good for business and for Florida’s environment,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. “I am honored to recognize Florida State University for its outstanding recycling efforts and for the good environmental stewards they have been in our state.”
In 2012, the Department developed the Recycling Recognition Program to highlight the outstanding recycling efforts of various commercial entities that are leading the way to Florida’s recycling goal of 75 percent. Any company, institution, governmental entity, non-profit or other organization that can document a recycling rate of 40 percent or more are eligible for the program.
This year, the Department has recognized International Speedway Corporation/NASCAR, Tervis, Rooms To Go, Children’s World Uniform Supply and Global Organic Specialty Source. The Department has received data from and intends on recognizing other governmental entities, private businesses and universities.
The Department has an easy tool for companies to track recycling efforts — the Florida DEP Business Recycling Tracking Tool. Through the website, which includes free registration, companies can track different types of recycling efforts and produce reports on how those efforts are helping to shrink their carbon footprint. The tracking will help the Department to recognize companies that are doing more to go green.
In July, the Department released the 2012 municipal solid waste annual report, which reported Florida’s statewide recycling rate is 48 percent. In 2008, the Florida Legislature established a new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent to be achieved by 2020.
Commercial municipal solid waste accounts for approximately 55 percent of the total municipal solid waste stream in Florida. In order for Florida to reach its 75 percent goal, the Department is urging all sectors, especially the commercial sector, to actively increase its recycling efforts. According to the 2012 data, less than half of commercial waste is being recycled. It is crucial that businesses, schools and other commercial recyclers increase their recycling efforts. Recycling provides a direct cost savings to most businesses because the more that is recycled means less waste and lower waste management operating costs. Reuse of materials can also represent a cost savings.
To view a video of Secretary Vinyard’s speech, click HERE.