Florida DEP releases recycling goal report
Florida generates almost 2 tons of waste per resident annually
After gathering extensive public input, the Florida Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) released its report
with recommendations to achieve a new statewide recycling
goal of 75 percent by the year 2020 to Governor Charlie
Crist and the Florida Legislature. The Energy, Climate
Change and Economic Security Act of 2008 established
this new goal and directed DEP to submit a comprehensive
program to achieve it by January 1, 2010.
“The 75 percent recycling goal is the highest of any
state,” said DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole. “It will
be a challenge to achieve, but it can be reached through
partnerships among state government, local governments,
trade organizations, schools, businesses and industries
as well as the people of Florida.”
The information and recommendations in the report were
developed based on broad research and contributions of
more than 500 stakeholders who participated in four public
workshops. An even wider range of ideas were submitted
through e-mails and DEP’s web forum, which received nearly
Florida generates more than 32 million tons of municipal
solid waste annually, almost two tons per resident per
year. Today, more than two decades after the Legislature
passed Florida’s first 30 percent recycling goal, Floridians
collectively recycle only 28 percent of their solid waste.
The report explores ways to increase the percent of material
recycled in an economically responsible way through heightened
public awareness, state leadership, development and expansion
of recycling markets as well as increased investments
throughout the local government and commercial sectors.
The report outlines initial steps low in financial impact
but high in recycling value in order to make the report
practical in today’s economic climate. Some of the key
recommendations in the report include:
Require state agencies to meet the 75 percent goal.
Apply the new recycling goal to counties with a
population greater than 100,000 and cities with
a population greater than 50,000.
Require commercial recycling in large counties and
cities to include multi-family residential units
such as apartments and condominiums, as well as
institutional facilities such as schools and hospitals.
Direct school districts to implement recycling programs.
Create a Recycling Grants or Revolving Loan program
to help local governments reach a 75 percent recycling
goal in their jurisdictions.
Require that all unlined construction and demolition
debris (C&D) disposal facilities be modified to incorporate
a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). A MRF is a specialized
plant that receives, separates and prepares recyclable
materials for marketing to end-user manufacturers. By
incorporating a MRF or some similar sorting and separating
operation at C&D facilities, recyclable materials
such as wood waste, asphalt, concrete, etc., would
not end up in traditional landfills.
Create a recycling business assistance center to
promote markets for the entire spectrum of recyclable
municipal solid waste materials.
The next step in the process is for the Legislature to
consider these recommendations during the 2010 legislative