75% Recycling Goal

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75% Recycling Goal 


The modern era of recycling in Florida began with the Florida Legislature’s passage of the Solid Waste Management Act (SWMA) of 1988, which included a goal to recycle or otherwise divert from burial in a landfill a minimum of 30% of the total municipal solid waste stream (MSW).  The SWMA directed all counties with populations greater than 50,000 (later increased to 100,000) to achieve a 30% recycling rate for MSW. Smaller counties were exempt from the goal as long as they provided their residents with an “opportunity to recycle.” Since 1988, the recycling rate has stagnated at 28%, equivalent to nine million tons of MSW being recycled each year.

During the first 10 years, between 1988 and 1998, the state witnessed rapid growth in the recycling rate, increasing from an estimated 4% to 28%.  To make Florida more environmentally sustainable, the SWMA revised its goal and improved specific recyclable material groups, including aluminum cans, steel cans, newspaper, plastic bottles, cardboard, office paper, and yard trash.  Only about half of the counties with populations greater than 100,000 exceeded the 1988 recycling goal of 30%. 

In 2010, the Energy, Climate Change and Economic Security Act of 2008 created Section 403.7032,75% Recycling Goal Florida Statutes. This established a new statewide recycling goal of 75% to be achieved by the year 2020. The statute directed Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to develop a program designed to achieved this goal. The FDEP recycling program requires a recycling rate statewide of 40% by 2012, 50% by 2014, 60% by 2016, 70% by 2018, and 75% by 2020.

For Florida to achieve the 75% recycling goal, it must have the capability to manage and measure its progress. Annual certified recycling rates are determined by FDEP, and comprise percentage of total tons collected for recycled materials, such as office paper, glass, plastics, cardboard, newspaper, yard trash, construction & demolition materials, aluminum, etc.

In 2015, the FDEP's Annual MSW Recycling and Collection Data reported a combined countywide certified recycling rate of 63% for Collier County. The FDEP recycling rate is forecasted to increase as Collier County continues to successfully manage the waste stream through recycling and diversion initiatives.


Recycling Education at Schools

If the Florida K-12 schools achieved a recycling ratel of 75%, approximately 6% of Florida’s statewide goal could be achieved. Education is one of the biggest components in reaching the state's 75% recycling goal.  The Florida DeRecycling Educationpartment of Education (DOE) requires educating K-12 students in recycling through curriculum materials and recycling awareness programs.  

In 2009 the Collier County School District, FDEP, and the Collier County Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Department joined together to increase recycling at Collier’s schools.  The countywide “School Recycling Challenge” has played a significant roll in promoting recycling in our schools. Classroom recycling containers were placed in all schools, outside waste containers were reduced and replaced by single stream recycling containers, and students compete annually to see which school recycles the most. Students also develop recycling videos, and submit art work for the annual calendar art contest.

In addition to the School Recycling Challenge, we offer an educational program that provides classroom lessons and tours of the solid waste facilities. The educational program reaches thousands of children and adults every year. 

Recycling Education in the CommunityTeam Picture

The Waste Reduction and Recycling staff participate in community events, group meetings, and trade-shows.  During these events,  staff provide education outreach to attendees by distributing helpful recycling brochures and  magnets customized exclusively for Collier County's recycling program.

If you or your organization is hosting an event or meeting and would like to include recycling education, call the Collier County Waste Reduction and Recycling Team at (239)-252-2508.  We look forward to the opportunity to provide your organization or attendees with informative and fun recycling information.            

How can commercial businesses help us reach our next recycling goal? 

The Waste Reduction and Recycling staff understands recycling needs are uniquely different to each industry.  To provide some guidance, the recycling team developed customized recycling web pages for each industry, capturing helpful information on the most common types of recyclable materials and recycling facts per industries.  To find out more, click on your industry's link.   


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The 75% Recycling Goal facts and statements compiled from FDEP's web site.