DEP Reminds Florida About The Importance Of Recycling On America Recycles Day

In recognition of America Recycles Day, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection reminds Florida businesses and residents to recycle daily in order to help the state achieve its 75 percent recycling goal by 2020.

Last year on America Recycles Day, the Department announced the expansion of its Recycling Recognition Program. Since then, the Department has recognized eight commercial entities for their outstanding recycling efforts. Recipients include International Speedway Corporation/NASCAR, Tervis, Rooms To Go, Children’s World Uniform Supply and Global Organic Specialty Source. Most recently, the Department recognized Florida State University, which was the first university to join the program.

The Department encourages private businesses, governmental entities and universities who have a recycling rate of 40 percent or more to submit their recycling data to our Division of Waste Management for review and recognition.

“America Recycles Day is the perfect time to educate Floridians on how to increase recycling, which, in turn, better protects Florida’s natural resources,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. “The Department continues to focus on encouraging expanded recycling in the commercial sector in order to reach Florida’s 75 percent recycling goal.”

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 statewide recycling goal of 75 percent to be achieved by 2020.

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.

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.

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