State, industry partnership works to reduce
contamination of curbside recycling through education
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, on Florida Recycles Day, will announce the launch of a statewide public education campaign, Rethink. Reset. Recycle. Designed in partnership with Waste Management, MARPAN, Waste Connections and Single Stream Recyclers, LLC., the campaign aims to educate Floridians about curbside recycling.
The campaign serves to remind Floridians of the basics of curbside recycling: clean and dry aluminum and steel cans, plastic bottles and jugs, and paper and cardboard. About 30 percent of all household materials recycled in Florida are actually not recyclable at curbside, according to estimates by Waste Management, leading to the shutdown of processing centers for hours at a time each day. Contamination costs an average of $125 per ton. By eliminating the 30 percent of contaminated materials in curbside recycling bins, Floridians could save up to $100 million in recycling costs in one year.
The centerpiece of the campaign is FloridaRecycles.org, a website that serves as the hub for the program, housing informational messaging and resources for recycling coordinators across Florida to use in their own counties. Resources include a robust social media kit with content; best practices and a response guide; fact sheet; infographic; rack card; mail insert; website banners; messaging and styleguide.
“With the increased popularity of curbside recycling across Florida’s 67 counties, we’ve seen a big increase in participation — but many items ending up in the bins aren’t actually recyclable at curbside,” said Joe Ullo, Division Director of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. “We are pleased to be a partner in the launch of this statewide campaign, which calls on Floridians to rethink what they knew and reset their recycling behavior to focus on the basics.”
“Waste Management is pleased to lead a group of industry colleagues as part of the recycling partnership’s recycling education campaign,” said Dawn McCormick, Communications Director for Waste Management, Inc. of Florida. “We all share the important goal of recycling more material that has an environmental benefit, and keeping non-recyclables out of curbside containers to remain environmentally and economically sustainable.”
As Floridians commit to improve their recycling efforts and reduce curbside contamination, the partnership seeks to help Florida reach its long-term goal of a 75 percent recycling rate by 2020. Since 2011, the statewide recycling rate has increased from 30 percent. In 2016, Florida recycled 16.4 million tons of municipal solid waste – increasing the statewide overall recycling rate from 54 to 56 percent from the year before.
For more information, visit FloridaRecycles.org.